Automatic Parallelization in the Paralax Compiler

Hans Vandierendonck, Koen De Bosschere

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The efficient development of multi-threaded software has, for many years, been an unsolved problem in computer science. Finding a solution to this problem has become urgent with the advent of multi-core processors. Furthermore, the problem has become more complicated because multi-cores are everywhere (desktop, laptop, embedded system). As such, they execute generic programs which exhibit very different characteristics than the scientific applications that have been the focus of parallel computing in the past.
Implicitly parallel programming is an approach to parallel pro- gramming that promises high productivity and efficiency and rules out synchronization errors and race conditions by design. There are two main ingredients to implicitly parallel programming: (i) a con- ventional sequential programming language that is extended with annotations that describe the semantics of the program and (ii) an automatic parallelizing compiler that uses the annotations to in- crease the degree of parallelization.
It is extremely important that the annotations and the automatic parallelizing compiler are designed with the target application do- main in mind. In this paper, we discuss the Paralax approach to im- plicitly parallel programming and we review how the annotations and the compiler design help to successfully parallelize generic programs. We evaluate Paralax on SPECint benchmarks, which are a model for such programs, and demonstrate scalable speedups, up to a factor of 6 on 8 cores.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorkshop on Software and Compilers for Embedded Systems (SCOPES)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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