archive: Re: SETI@home and processing time

Re: SETI@home and processing time

Corey Ashford ( )
Thu, 20 May 1999 01:10:12 -0700 (PDT)

In many modern processors, floating point arithmetic
is actually faster than integer arithmetic. This isn't
the case on a Pentium (unless you are talking about
the Pentium III's SIMD instructions), but it is the
case with MIPS, SPARC, and Alpha. And this doesn't
even include the time that would be required for
scaling results if fixed point integer arithmetic is used.

--- David Woolley <> wrote:
> >
> > I'll drop my 2 cents worth on the SETI@Home
> software and then quietly slip
> > out the back door. By far one of the most
> inefficient processes I've ever
> > had the pleasure to run a profile trace against.
> The graphics are
> Is the inefficiency in terms of the graphics and
> windows message loop code,
> or in the numerical stuff itself. (Personally I
> question the need for
> floating point for most of it and suspect it is all
> written in high
> level languages.)
> > beautiful but the processing time required to
> reduce just 200K of data are
> > excessive. Not bad for a first cut, only time
> will tell.
> Don't forget that the data is being solved for a
> large number chirp rates
> and that the input data is only two bits each of I
> and Q, so this represents
> 400K time samples.

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