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17 August 2011, 13:03

Parallel programming: Intel Cilk Plus becomes open source project

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Intel Cilk Plus has become an open source project. The C and C++ extension adds three keywords that are designed to simplify the development of parallel applications. Applications that are optimised in this way reportedly perform better particularly in multi-core environments.

Cilk Plus provides three keywords _Cilk_spawn, _Cilk_sync and _Cilk_for, as well as special array notations for data parallelism and special semantics that are designed to simplify the debugging of programs in a familiar debugger.

Programmers who want to access Cilk Plus features via the GCC can already use a "cilkplus" branch of GCC 4.7 that contains the Intel extension. Cilk Plus is also available as a dedicated runtime library (under the BSD 3-Clause licence), and as an Intel Parallel Building Blocks component.

Cilk Plus is based on the Cilk technology that M.I.T. and Intel have jointly developed for about 20 years; it is said to allow parallelism to be added to existing programs without requiring significant restructuring work. Intel says that the runtime system is highly scalable and operates smoothly on systems with hundreds of cores.


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