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C++, Fortran compilers tackle vector, parallel optimisation in single phase

Posted: 07 Jun 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel compilers  tool support for multi-core  multi-core solutions  C++ and Fortran compilers 

In order to better exploit programming its X86 multi-core processors, Intel Corp. has beefed up its C++ and Fortran compilers, its first major upgrade since 2005. The new feature in the version 10.0 compilers is an ability simultaneously to optimise applications both for vector processing of multi-media instructions as well as for scalar processing of multi-threaded data parallelism. Version 9.0 compilers rolled out two years ago handled the two jobs separately.

"These are the first compilers that can handle optimisation for vector and parallel code in one phase. That makes these compilers faster and their resulting libraries higher in performance," said James Reinders, director of marketing for Intel's software group. "We started a project three years ago to merge these into one process."

The new compilers generally offer a 10-15 per cent performance boost over existing compilers, he added. They are also the first to support the new multi-media instructions extensions called SSE4 Intel is rolling out with its 45nm Penryn processors later this year.

The C++ compiler comes in editions for Linux, the Mac OS and Windows that retail for Rs.24,479.13 ($599), including libraries. To help spread the use of tools for multi-core programming, Intel is making the compilers available for the first time at student discounts ranging from Rs.2,002.47-Rs.5,271.80 ($49-$129).

The C++ compiler comes with a set of thread building blocks aimed at shielding programmers from the still-evolving details of Intel's multi-core processors. The building blocks automate some of the low-level decisions about how to make particular tasks parallel.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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