Intel updates and expands multicore development tools
November 9, 2010 —
It wasn't long ago that Intel learned a lesson about multicore processors: If it was to produce them, it needed to help developers take advantage of them. To that end, the company offered libraries, compilers and analysis tools to enterprise developers working with multicore systems. Today, Intel announced updates to all of its development tools, as well as the availability of Intel Cluster Studio.
James Reinders, director and evangelist for Intel Software, said that this update of Intel's tools offers some new capabilities for both C and Fortran developers.
“For Fortran developers, we have added co-array, which is a distributed array. It's about this idea you express things mathematically without explicitly moving the data around. You write a shared array and let your code worry about moving data. That's part of the Fortran 2008 standard, and we're able to support hundreds of processors sharing data this way,” he said.
For C developers, the biggest change comes from a reworking of the Threading Building Blocks and the new Parallel Building Blocks, both of which previously felt very C++-centric, said Reinders. In this version, such libraries' blocks will feel more familiar to regular C developers.
Elsewhere in this release, Intel has bundled together its tools into two separate packages. While the compilers, analysis tools and libraries can all be purchased separately, the bundles offer similarly themed packages targeted at parallel developers and high-performance cluster developers, specifically.
While Intel Parallel Studio XE was released in September, Intel Cluster Studio was announced today for the first time. Both packages include the VTune analysis tool, as well as Inspector XE, a tool for finding bugs in multi-threaded programs.
All of the tools function alongside Microsoft's Visual Studio. Developers can simply flip a switch in VS, said Reinders, which will switch it from using Microsoft to Intel compilers. Linux users, on the other hand, can swap out Intel's compilers for GCC whether they are using Eclipse or a command-line tool. Mac developers can plug these into Xcode, but Reinders said that Intel has no Mac versions of its analysis tools.
Intel Parallel Studio XE and Intel Cluster Studio vary in price depending upon whether the buyer wants Fortran tools included. With Fortran tools, packages start at US$1,849 for Windows and $2,249 for Linux. Without Fortran tooling, prices drop to $999 and $1,499 for Windows and Linux respectively.
Developers looking to try out these new tools can also find free 30-day trials on Intel's website. Open-source developers and teachers, on the other hand, can request a free version of the software for non-commercial use.
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