Factored Operating Systems (fos): The Case for a Scalable Operating System for Multicores

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Executive Summary

The next decade will afford one computer chips with 100's to 1,000's of cores on a single piece of silicon. Contemporary operating systems have been designed to operate on a single core or small number of cores and hence are not well suited to manage and provide operating system services at such large scale. If multicore trends continue, the number of cores that an operating system will be managing will continue to double every 18 months. The traditional evolutionary approach of redesigning OS subsystems when there is insufficient parallelism will cease to work because the rate of increasing parallelism will far outpace the rate at which OS designers will be capable of redesigning subsystems.

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