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Google shivs server crowd with PeakStream buy

Keeps performance gains to itself

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Exclusive Google has stunned the server world by acquiring superstar start-up PeakStream, The Register can confirm.

PeakStream's website and phone lines mysteriously crashed yesterday, indicating that the software maker was struggling to pay its bill or had been gobbled. As it turns out, Google has purchased the start-up for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition demonstrates just how far Google will go to keep itself happy.

How so? Well, PeakStream had developed tools that improve the performance of single-threaded applications on multi-core chips. Such tools should prove useful to coders who don't want to deal with complex, parallel code but do want to take advantage of performance gains delivered via products such as GPGPUs (general purpose GPUs) from Nvidia and AMD/ATI and even multi-core x86 processors.

"We believe the PeakStream team's broad technical expertise can help build products and features that will benefit our users," Google said in a statement. "We look forward to providing them with additional resources as they continue developing high performance applications for modern multi-core systems."

The PeakStream code looked to benefit the server world at large, making players such as Nvidia, Intel, AMD, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft and IBM the most likely purchasers of the start-up, founded in 2005.

Now it would seem Google wants to take all the performance gains for itself, perhaps by dabbling with GPGPUs or simply by tuning its in-house software to run well on multi-core chips.

PeakStream enjoyed investments from venture capital firms Sequoia and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, as did Google.

PeakStream's main rival RadpidMind must be feeling good with the multi-threaded code shift game all to itself. ®

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