Electronic Design
Parallel Programming Platform Targets Linux And Windows

Parallel Programming Platform Targets Linux And Windows

Intel's earlier parallel programming announcement about the Intel Parallel Studio 2011 (see Dev Tools Target Parallel Processing) brought the the latest parallel programming platform to Microsoft's latest Visual Studio development platform. The Intel Parallel Studio XE brings this functionality to Linux while adding more features to both platforms. The Intel Cluster Studio builds on the parallel programming support to improve MPI and math cluster support. This was formally known as the Intel Cluster Toolkit Compiler Edition.

The Parallel Studio XE Suite (Fig. 1) consists of the following major components:

The suites are built around the latest Intel v12.0 compilers for C/C++ and Fortran. The compilers are tuned for the forthcoming Intel Sandy Bridge multicore processor (see IDF Highlights Sandy Bridge and Tunnel Creek). This includes support for Intel AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) AVX pushes on-chip vector processing to 256-bits (see Intel's AVX Scales To 1024 bit Vector Math).

The compilers support Intel's Parallel Building Blocks and the Fortran compiler adds support for Fortran co-arrays. Co-arrays are an extension to Fortran 95 created by Robert Numrich and John Reid in 1990s. It was formally known as F--. A co-array Fortran program is replicated and each copy, called an image, has its own set of data. It is designed to facilitate data decomposition and support for message-passing models.

Intel's Parallel Inspector XE (Fig. 2) is designed to catch various errors that a developer will encounter with parallel programs. It can detect memory leaks and corruption. It can also find deadlock and race conditions in multithreaded code. It supports native threads as well as Parallel Building Block-based threads. The Inspector can also identify over 250 security related errors.

Intel's VTune Amplifier XE (Fig. 3) assists in tuning multicore applications. Its statiscal call tree highlights hot spots allowing developers to balance workloads. The system can utilize hardware-event-based tracking. VTune is compatible with Intel's latest compilers as well as Microsoft's and open source GCC compilers.

The Intel Cluster Studio tools are designed to scale beyond 50K cores in a high performance computing (HPC) environment. It supports MPI and enhances MPI scalability and performance on x86 platforms. The suite includes Parallel Building Blocks, the Math Kernel Library, and the Integrated Performance Library.

The MPI Timeline View and MPI Event View tools are also included. They utilize the Trace Analyzer and Collector data. They can be used to find MPI deadlocks, data corruption, and they check for parameter errors.

Much of the software is available as open source or as free downloads. The tools are available for free for academic and non-commercial use. Parallel Studio XE 2011 for Linux and Microsoft Visual Studio are priced at $2249 and $1899 respectively. The Intel C++ Studio XE 2011 alone is priced at $1499 for both platforms. The Parallel Studio XE 2011 components are also available separately. The Intel Cluster Studio 2011 for Linux and Microsoft Visual Studio are priced at $1849 and $1499 respectively. The Intel C++ Composer XE 2011 and Fortran version for the MacOS are available for $599 and $699 respectively.

TAGS: Intel
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