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Friday, April 9, 2010

FastFlow Parallel Programming Framework

I’ve been looking into Intel’s thread building blocks during the early morning hours here in Bucharest (jet-lag) and ran across an interesting library that provides non-blocking, lock-free, wait-free, synchronization mechanisms.

Check out this tutorial page with small code snippets and some sample pipelines/farms:

Here are some background links:

From the fastflow page:

“FastFlow is a parallel programming framework for multi-core platforms based upon non-blocking lock-free/fence-free synchronization mechanisms. The framework is composed of a stack of layers that progressively abstracts out the programming of shared-memory parallel applications. The goal of the stack is twofold: to ease the development of applications and make them very fast and scalable. FastFlow is particularly targeted to the development of streaming applications.”

From wikipeida:

“Fastflow is implemented as a template library that offers a set of low-level mechanisms to support low-latency and high-bandwidth data flows in a network of threads running on a cache-coherent multi-core.[1] On these architectures, the key performance issues concern memory fences, which are required to keep the various caches coherent. Fastflow provides the programmer with two basic mechanisms: efficient communication channels and a memory allocator. Communication channels, as typical is in streaming applications, are unidirectional and asynchronous. They are implemented via lock-free (and memory fence-free) Multiple-Producer-Multiple-Consumer (MPMC) queues. The memory allocator is built on top of these queues, thus taking advantage of their efficiency.”

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