Google Tech Talk (more info below)
June 23, 2011
Presented by Phil Taylor and Peter Zion.
The architecture in modern computing platforms has changed significantly over the last decade - multi-core CPU architectures and the use of the GPU for computation have brought significant challenges for software developers. This hardware is incredibly powerful when properly leveraged, but writing software that can take advantage of multiple cores and heterogeneous architectures is a daunting task. Factor in the many different software and hardware platforms that must be addressed, and it's easy to see what a tough problem this is.
Web technologies solve one aspect of this problem - they are ubiquitous and bring many advantages to developers and their customers. In an ideal world, we would use the browser for all of our computing needs. However, web applications lag behind the performance of native applications - largely because the browser is unable to take advantage of modern hardware. This means that many types of application are not possible in today's browsers. As native developers begin to utilize multi-core CPUs and GPUs, this performance gap is only going to become more pronounced.
Our talk will cover the following:
- how hardware has changed over the past decade, and where it is heading next
- how fragmentation is becoming a big deal again
- the problems of developing for heterogeneous architectures
- challenges around the performance of current web technologies
- an overview of our approach to multi-threading in the browser
- computation on the GPU
- a brief demo of Fabric Engine, showing some of these methods in action
- QA session
Fabric Engine is a web technology that extends the browser to become a high performance application platform, allowing developers to write applications that can take full advantage of CPU and GPU resources on many different devices.
Fabric Engine was founded in 2010 in Montreal. For more information, see http://www.fabric-engine.com/
CTO -- An Emmy-nominated animator for his work on the 2002 Animal Planet documentary series "The Most Extreme", Philip went on to found the company "Character Animation Technologies". There, he designed and led the development of the Character Animation Toolkit (CAT), which became widely-used throughout the animation industry. Avid Technology acquired Character Animation Technologies and as part of the acquisition Phil became Head of Animation at Softimage, a division of Avid. Phil moved on to become animation lead at Trapdoor Inc. (a game company) before leaving to become an independent contractor and to found Fabric. Phil has been published in the industry publication "Game Programming Gems" and is a widely known and respected figure in the animation industry.
VP Engineering -- Peter specializes in low-level device driver, library and application development, including iPhone application development. A former driver developer at Broadcom, Peter also has experience in developing derivative trading applications, the performance optimization of 3-D content creation software and the design of web database applications. Most recently, Peter co-founded and worked as a principal developer for a small consulting group specializing in large cloud-based web applications and iPhone applications. Peter holds a M.Sc. in pure mathematics from the University of Toronto.