Intel Releases Beta of Intel Parallel Studio Tool

Chipmaker Intel has released the beta version of Intel Parallel Composer - the first component of the Intel Parallel Studio to reach beta. The other components of Intel Parallel Studio are Intel Parallel Advisor, Intel Parallel Inspector and Intel Parallel Amplifier. Intel Parallel Composer supports Threading Building Blocks (TBB), OpenMP and other standards.

Intel has launched the first public beta of a component of its Intel Parallel Studio - the Intel Parallel Composer.

Intel, which is as responsible as any other company for the push toward parallelism with its creation of multicore processors, released the Intel Parallel Composer to beta, while the other components of Intel Parallel Studio -- Intel Parallel Advisor, Intel Parallel Inspector and Intel Parallel Amplifier -- will be released to beta in 2009, said James Reinders, chief evangelist and director of marketing for Intel's software development products.

Reinders said Intel Parallel Composer is a comprehensive set of compilers and libraries for Microsoft Visual Studio C++ developers that speeds and simplifies threading for improved productivity. It enhances the capabilities of Microsoft Visual Studio to support the entire spectrum of parallel expression and takes advantage of Intel's latest versions of compilers and libraries for parallelism.

Intel Parallel Composer features both 32-bit and 64-bit compilers and features support for standards such as Threading Building Blocks (TBB) and OpenMP. OpenMP is an application programming interface (API) that supports multiplatform shared memory multiprocessing programming in C/C++ and Fortran.

"I tend to think of four things we provide to help developers adapt to parallelism: Support for standards, debugger extensions, static checking capabilities and extensions for parallelism," Reinders said.

Reinders said Intel supports OpenMP 3.0, the latest version of the standard. "We have full support for it, which helps because the C language was not written to support parallelism."

Intel also is supporting extensions to the C++ standard. "The stewards of the C++ standard have been adding a variety of things to the draft standard -- known as C++0x -- to support parallelism," Reinders said.

Intel also is supporting lambda functions, parallel valarray and asynchronous I/O, he said. The company is supporting asynchronous I/O via support of the Portable Operating Systems Interface (POSIX) specification. And auto-vectorization, auto-parallelization, spawn and threaded libraries are among the additional features in Intel Parallel Composer.

In addition, Intel provides parallel debugger extensions that add functionality to the Microsoft debugger, including a Parallel Lint capability. Parallel Lint provides source file diagnostics to eliminate bugs, boundary violations and memory corruptions.