PACT'99 Keynote Speaker

The MAJC Program: Architecture and Implementation

Marc Tremblay
Distinguished Engineer
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The MAJC (pronounce magic) architecture was created based on the assumption that Java will be the dominant programming platform for internet/intranet computing in enterprise and consumer markets. It also relies on the fact that current and future workloads are very different from workloads used in the 70's and 80's. Multi-threaded Java applications and multi-threaded C/C++ applications found on Webservers, Mail servers, Application servers, etc, are invading server rooms at a faster pace than traditional applications. Also, digital data types and their associated operations, needed for the handling of digital communication, or for encryption (secure servers, VPN, and e-commerce transactions), or for compression of digital contents, or for processing digitized analog signals, are given as much importance in MAJC as traditional data types (integer and float), and traditional operations (add and subtract). Functional units, therefore, operate on "data" much like object methods operate on fields, almost irrespectively of data types.

High Instruction Level Parallelism (ILP) is reached by issuing multiple instructions per cycle (VLIW ISA) that operate on operands originating from a large unified register file. ILP also gets a boost from what are now becoming traditional techniques such as predication, speculation, branch filtering, load positioning, etc. More importantly, support for higher levels of parallelism, namely thread-level parallelism (TLP) is provided. TLP and Space Time Computing, a form of speculative multi-threading, drove many architecture decisions and its impact is reflected in the ISA and in the micro-architecture of the first MAJC processor.

Besides covering the subtleties of the architecture, details of the MAJC-5200, a VLIW Multi-Processor System-On-a-Chip with support for Space Time Computing, will be given during the talk.

PACT'99 Invited Speakers

High-end Computing Technology: Where is it Heading?

Greg Astfalk
Chief Scientist
High Performance Systems Division
Hewlett-Packard Company

It is well established by precedence and current practice that the demand(s) for higher computer performance continues to grow. Note that when we say "computer performance" we are considering the system view; processors, infrastructure, peripherals and networks. The feature set of the computer system that is desired is well understood. The ability of the computer industry to provide these features in a timely fashion at a reasonable, and affordable, price is well understood; by the vendors. There is a gap between the two views.

We comment on the technological issues in both hardware and software that are being provided and will be provided in the future. It is the speaker's view that the gap between the "needs" and the "products" will grow larger in the future. We will explain why. This growing gap implies that either users or the computer industry must change. We will leave the answer to this question unstated until the seminar.

Linux Alighted: Down to Earth Clusters

Beau Vrolyk
Senior Vice-President and General Manager
Server and Supercomputing Business Unit
Silicon Graphics

Sky high costs and through the roof servicing of traditional specialized supercomputing has put immense pressure for earth-bound pricing and clustering solutions. Vectors and scalable UNIX-based solutions are not going to disappear, but over time Linux clusters will likely do for supercomputing what the Apple II did for personal computing: bring down costs, ease use, and make high-end computing power commercially viable and consumer available. This movement is in its adolescence, but maturity is rapidly approaching. This talk will discuss what is being done to integrate today's real solutions with tomorrow's promise.

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