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Intel: Our first five parallel-computing schools are open for business

Boffins primed to make new programmers think less sequentially

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Chip giant Intel has begun funding research into ways to make applications easier to write for parallel processing systems, and to teach those methods to future generations of computer engineers and scientists.

The first five institutions to qualify as Intel Parallel Computing Centres are: the Konrad Zuse Information Technology Centre in Berlin and Bologna’s Cineca in Italy, and three universities in the US: Texas, Tennessee and Purdue.

All are “leaders in their field”, said Intel senior fellow and data centre group CTO Steve Pawlowski this week.

Speaking at Intel’s European Research and Innovation Conference (ERIC), Pawlowski called on other leading institutions who want in on the programme to submit their collaborative research proposals straight away. Intel wants to hear about work leading to solutions that are open, portable and scalable.

Pawlowski told The Register that the new Parallel Computing Centers were established to “push forward” on the development of parallelism coding techniques and clever new ways to teach them.

Much programming education still centres on sequential coding, he said, but with exascale systems coming on stream in the next five years, the ability to think and code for parallel computing is going to be at a premium.

To get coders ready for exascale, the new generation of programmers need to start putting parallelism at the heart of their learning today.

Much of that work is happening over here in Europe. Four out of Intel’s five exascale computing research labs are located in Europe, in France, Belgium, Germany and the UK. ®

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