Feeds

RapidMind takes multi-threaded magic to x86 realm

It's hip profitable to be square

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Start-up RapidMind has gone mainstream by supporting x86 chips from Intel and AMD with the latest release of its flagship product that makes it easier to get more performance out of multi-core CPUs.

Come Dec., RapidMind will release Version 3.0 of the RapidMind Multi-core Development Platform - or RMMcDP for those keeping score at home. Past versions of the software were aimed at IBM's Cell chip and GPUs from Nvidia and ATI/AMD. Now, developers can fancy up their code for the x86 chips found in most servers as well.

RapidMind's software allows developers to keep coding away as they always have - rather than learning more complex multi-threaded software techniques or delving into the intricacies of various chip architectures.

As the always eloquent Rick Merritt puts it:

Application developers can use existing tools to profile their programs and identify performance bottlenecks in their code. Those modules can then be linked to the RapidMind run-time tool through a C++ application programming interface and library calls.

The RapidMind software automatically generates parallel code for array processing and other math functions. The run-time software checks as many as eight areas for possible parallelism. The company said it has tested its new X86 version on as many as eight cores using two quad-core chips, with results as much as tenfold better than native code.

HP has taken notice of RapidMind's x86 skills and invited the start-up into its new acceleration nation.

Clearly, high performance computing customers will be most interested in RapidMind's software, although the x86 play could help it branch out into business applications.

RapidMind used to have a direct competitor known as PeakStream, but Google ate that baby, leaving the server market in the lurch. Google's open source chief Chris DiBona has said the company would consider releasing PeakStream's old code under an open source license if only it could get around restrictions on Intel's math libraries.

Huge questions remain around how the market will accept products from RapidMind and others. Without question, we're heading toward a software crisis where not enough multi-threaded code will exist to take proper advantage of multi-core chips. RapidMind, however, seems like more of a stopgap than an industry-wide answer. But, you know, stopgaps are valuable too. ®

Register editor Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?