Thursday, July 1, 2010

And the third one begins...

28th June, 2010


Today my third semester began with a course which has only 7 of us in there. The class seems sooo empty :( - I miss my old fellows! At least there wasn't pin drop silence in the class like there is now.

So the course is called 'Advanced Topics in Computer Engineering' – and the advanced topic is 'Architecture of Chip Multiprocessors'.  Now it sounds pretty cool, but I was highly skeptical before attending it, because in our engineering educational institutes, the cool sounding subjects often turn out to be extremely off-putting.

But it wasn't ! This course is being taught by a teacher who is a PhD scholar in this subject and his thesis is about to be completed now. He took the subject right from the basics and I know exactly what we're going to study ... which sounds sooo interesting :). Get this, we're going to study the entire architecture of Intel processors, AMD processors and something called Sun Spark (?). Never heard of it. But there is a machine out there which is called Sun Spark.

I also got this one confusion cleared. What exactly is the difference between multi-programming, multi-tasking, concurrent and parallel programming. :P. I was always confused. He cleared that up pretty well as well.

For the record, whatever we're doing now (handling spreadsheets, browsing, listening to some audio in the background, watching a clip etc) is all concurrent (happening one after the other)  – even though it LOOKS parallel.

Again, for the record (er, record for me :$), 32-core processors are now out in the market. But they cost 32k rupees too :D. But it sounds like a good investment **quite dreamily**

And.. (I'm so ashamed to say this is stuff I didn't know, and this was being said in the intro lecture) :$, the machines are best suited for MS Windows OS, whereas AMD machines are great for Linux.

Overall, it was a pretty nice day!

PS: For research purposes, an 80-core processor is out in the academic circles. Eighty!!!


Ahmar said...

Interesting...I found the AMD part interesting (better suited for Linux), never knew of luck for your third semester :)

Uni said...

Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to it!

Anas Imtiaz said...

Sounds really interesting. I've a feeling you'l love studying the AMD processors. They're quite cool. Not sure which Intels are you guys doing, but I did read about the latest ones (when I was bored at work) and they're...complicated. Good luck and keep posting about thi course as you learn :)

Uni said...

Yeah I have a feeling I won't be as bored as I was in Advanced OS :o

And I will IA. This should help definitely!
Thanks for the comment~!