PGI Visual Fortran Delivers MPI Debugging on Windows HPC Server 2008

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-08-05 Print this article Print

The Portland Group, a subsidiary of STMicroelectronics, announces the general availability of PGI Visual Fortran (PVF) Release 9.0 for Windows workstations, servers and clusters.

The Portland Group, a subsidiary of STMicroelectronics, has announced the general availability of PGI Visual Fortran Release 9.0 for Windows workstations, servers and clusters. 

PVF 9.0 is the first general release to include support for the building, launching and debugging of Microsoft MPI (MSMPI) Fortran applications from within the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment.

"PVF 9.0 is a big step forward in ease-of-use for HPC Fortran programmers porting applications to or developing applications for Windows workstations, servers and clusters," said Douglas Miles, director of Portland Group, in a statement. "For Windows Fortran users looking to leverage the power of Windows HPC Server 2008 clusters, the ability to cover all aspects of Message Passing Interface [MPI] and parallel Fortran application development from within the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE can simplify their work considerably." 

PVF augments the Visual Studio debugger by adding a Fortran language-specific custom debug engine, Portland Group officials said. The PVF debug engine supports debugging of single- and multi-thread, OpenMP, multi-thread MSMPI and hybrid MSMPI+OpenMP Fortran applications, the company said.

The software enables debugging of 64-bit or 32-bit applications using source code or assembly code, and provides full access to the registers and hardware state of the processors. Other new multiprocess MSMPI capabilities in PVF 9.0 include Visual Studio property pages for configuring compile-time options, launching applications either locally on a workstation or on a distributed-memory Windows HPC Server 2008 cluster system, and debugging of programs running either locally or on a cluster, the company said. 

PGI Visual Fortran is compatible with both the current version of Visual Studio, Visual Studio 2008, and the previous version, Visual Studio 2005, Portland Group officials said.

"The majority of HPC applications are still written in Fortran and parallelized using MPI and OpenMP," said Vince Mendillo, director of technical computing marketing at Microsoft, in a statement. "By including MSMPI job launch and debugging support within PGI Visual Fortran, PGI has further enhanced the Windows HPC Server 2008 ecosystem and simplified porting of HPC applications to Windows clusters."

Additional new features in PVF 9.0 include support for Intel Core i7 (Nehalem) and six-core AMD Opteron (Istanbul) processors, several incremental Fortran 2003 features, improvements in serial debugging and disassembly speed, and completely updated documentation and online help. 

PGI Release 9.0 is the first general release to include support for the high-level PGI Accelerator programming model on x64 processor-based Linux systems incorporating NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, Portland group officials said. Announced last month, the PGI Release 9.0 line of high-performance parallelizing compilers and development tools for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows is now available. 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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