Microsoft has been hinting that even though it had no plans to make major changes to the Windows kernel, it did have a scheme up its sleeve to make Windows 7 and Windows 7 Server better suited to working on multicore/parallel systems. Now details are becoming clearer as to how Microsoft plans to do this.
During the debut of the pre-beta of Windows 7 this week, Windows Engineering Chief Steven Sinofsky made a passing reference to Windows 7 being able to scale to 256 processors. But he never said how this would be enabled.
Mark Russinovich, Technical Fellow in Microsoftâ€™s Core OS division, explained in more detail how Microsoft has managed to do this in a video interview published on Microsoftâ€™s Channel 9 Web site. Russinovich said that Microsoft has managed to break the dispatcher lock in Windows â€” a task that had stumped even the father of the Windows NT operating system, David Cutler. When Cutler designed Windows for the server, systems beyond 32-way seemed far, far away, Russinovich said.
Presented below is video of Mark Russinovich (of sysinternals fame… ya seriously the guy is a geek hero) enlightens us on the new kernel constructs in Windows 7. One very important change in Windows 7 kernel is the dismantling of the Dispatcher Spin Lock and redesign and implementation of its functionality into separate components.