Intel, Microsoft converge on parallel computing

David Worthington
August 20, 2008 —  (Page 1 of 3)
Wintel is entering the era of parallelism in lockstep. Intel is partnering with Microsoft to create a suite of interoperable tools for parallel programming in Visual Studio in C and C++.

Today, at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel announced that it will be conducting open beta tests of Intel Parallel Studio products beginning late this year and through mid-2009. The studio consists of four separate components for code analysis, design, debugging and performance tuning that integrate with Visual Studio.

Intel will standardize on Microsoft’s forthcoming concurrency runtime for Windows to ensure application and tool interoperability. The runtime will be included with the next version of Visual Studio, said James Reinders, chief product evangelist and director of marketing for Intel’s Software Development Products Division.

“The [Microsoft] concurrency runtime gives interoperability and [helps Intel] to keep as reasonable programming style far into the future,” he said.

Intel Parallel Advisor is the analysis piece. It examines existing source code to advise developers on where they can inject parallelism into their code, makes recommendations on how to implement threads, and identifies potential conflicts as well as suggesting ways to resolve them.

“[Parallel Advisor] will give hints to barriers, and that could come down to mundane details like a global data structure that may limit scalability,” said Reinders. The tool is not completely automatic; developers must still recognize when a particular problem might lend itself to parallelism, he noted.

A beta of Parallel Advisor will ship in mid-2009, with the final product becoming generally available before the end of the year, according to Intel.

For cases where parallelism is warranted, Intel Parallel Composer provides a compiler and libraries for parallel development in Visual Studio without low-level thread management.

The concurrency functions of the OpenMP 3.0 API specification will be supported, in addition to including an assortment of Intel created domain specific libraries (Threading Building Blocks), and Intel’s Integrated Performance Primitives for software functions in multimedia data processing, and communications applications.

Related Search Term(s): parallel programming, Windows, Intel, Microsoft

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