GMP 20 years

Dennis Clarke dclarke at
Thu Mar 24 11:13:58 CET 2011

> The first change log in GMP is dated 1991-03-03, and the initial public
> release happened in September of the same year.
> So finally, GMP is no longer a teenager!
> I wrote GMP because there were several bignum libraries of questionable
> quality at the time, and many research projects in computational number
> theory or computational algebra started with writing a bignum library.
> I wanted to create a library that would allow researchers to start at a
> higher level, and then also give them better performance.
> Back in these days, a 32-bit multiply instruction took from around 20
> cycles to around 40 cycles, and CPU clocks were about as many MHz as we
> have GHz today.  Today a 64-bit multiply instruction takes just 2 cycles
> on the best processors.  All-in-all, hardware developments have allowed
> GMP to be perhaps 40000 times faster.
> Today GMP has become used in more places than I could imagine back in
> 1991.  The usage has grown, but as with any software project, source
> code has also grown substantially--the initial release's tar file was 50
> kbyte while the latest release's tar file was 13 Mbyte.
> About 25 people have contributed to GMP directly over the years--but
> thousands of people have contributed to GMP indirectly by submitting bug
> reports.  Thank you all!
> Now, let's look forward to another 20 years of GMP development!
> Extrapolating, it will have become 3 Gbyte of source code at the end of
> that period...
> --
> Torbjörn

Congratulations !

If no one has stepped up to the plate, let me say "thank you" from the
bottom of my very geeky heart which admires truely inspired code.

Dennis Clarke
dclarke at  <- Email related to the open source Solaris
dclarke at   <- Email related to open source for Solaris

ps: I'm surprised that the first release was not in Fortran IV :-)

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