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20 May 2015

An introduction to thread pools in Java

According to Moore’s law the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. However, the exponential processor transistor growth does not always translate into exponentially greater practical CPU performance. Processor manufacturers for years delivered processors with higher clock rates and instruction parallelism. As a result, single-threaded code executed faster on newer generations of processors. Of course, it is impossible to speed up clock rates infinitely and processors like AMD FX-9590 with turbo clock speed at 5 GHz are rather unique. Today, processor manufacturers favour multi-core processors. It is common to have a quad-core CPU in smartphones, not to mention laptops or even desktop PCs. Consequently, software has to be written in a multi-threaded manner to take full advantage of the hardware. Thread pools can help programmers harness multi-core CPUs.