Dan Reed was at Salishan this week (but still took time to talk with me about the HPC marketplace, thanks Dan!) and has a great summary of what went on for all of us not in the club of luminaries who get the nod to attend.
Exascale was a big topic
The technology and economic hurdles to build an exascale system were the opening topics. Peter Kogge opened first full day of the meeting by outlining the device physics constraints technologies needed for exascale. Peter took care to note that although he is chairing the DARPA exascale study group, he was reporting his own opinions. He then estimated that billion-way parallelism would be required to reach exascale rates.
As was multicore
In addition to exascale computing, the other debate at Salishan concerned programming models for multicore chips and the right mix of on-chip functions. There were the inevitable discussions of FPGAs and GPU accelerators, but broad realization that more general solutions would be required, particularly given the parallel programming challenges and the need for code portability. Several of us also reminded the audience that Amdahl’s law still applied.