Superoptimization and Supercomputing

The BCS OSSG is hosting two talks which look at “super” themes.

Venue: The Prince Philip room, Royal Society of Arts, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6EZ (N.B. Note the change of venue to the RSA)
Date: Wednesday 26 November
Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm start

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required.

Superoptimization: How fast can your code go

Speaker: James Pallister, University of Bristol

Super TuxModern compiler optimization can take almost any code and produce a reasonably efficient binary at the end. However compiler “optimization” doesn’t make your code “optimal”, just better.

In contrast, superoptimization can produce perfect code – the fastest, the smallest or the most energy efficient code. The technique, first introduced in the late 80s found in some cases it could do 25% better than the best assembly programmer, and 40% better than the best compiler at the time.

Free software has always played a central role in superoptimization research, with the GNU Superoptimizer being one of the very first tools constructed.