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Intel buys multicore software specialist RapidMind

Suzanne Deffree

Intel has acquired multicore software specialist RapidMind with plans to integrate RapidMind's platform and Intel software products and technologies, including the Intel Ct technology for data parallelism.

Intel announced the acquisition on a blog on 19 August.

"RapidMind proved itself to be an innovative company with advanced technology for helping software developers with data parallel programming for multicore processors and accelerators. Their joining Intel will let us do even greater things together," said James Reinders, an Intel expert in parallelism.

Intel outlined plans for RapidMind products while boasting that it already offers complete OpenMP 3.0 support in its Fortran and C/C++ compilers for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X; support for Intel Threading Building Blocks that spans those operating systems and more with support for platforms including Intel, PowerPC, and SPARC; and its recently introduced Intel Parallel Studio with support for parallel processing for the Visual Studio developer.

"This year we will introduce the beta for our product based on Intel Ct technology, and next year we will introduce the result of integration of Cilk++ as well as RapidMind into our product lines. There will be more things to unveil too - but this blog is getting a bit too long to explain all that now!" said Reinders.

Intel said that all of these technologies and products complement each other, and "offer the diversity and complete development solutions needed for a multicore world with forward-scaling built-in".

Intel also issued a second blog post on the afternoon of August 19, encouraging its audience to "join many Intel parallelization experts at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) September 22-24, 2009 in San Francisco, including folks from the RapidMind and Ct technology team."

The acquisition comes of the heels of Intel's $884m acquisition Wind River Systems, announced in June. Wind River develops operating systems, middleware, and software design tools for a variety of embedded computing systems.

Its main products include VxWorks, a proprietary and multicore-ready real-time operating system, and commercial-grade Linux software platforms. With that move, Intel targeted embedded systems and mobile handheld devices as it continued to extend itself beyond its traditional PC boarders.

Intel did not disclose the purchase price for RapidMind.

RapidMind was founded five years ago as Serious Hack by University of Waterloo professor Michael McCool and Stefanus Du Toit to commercialise Sh, a programming system created at the Canada school.

Suzanne Deffree is managing editor, news, at Electronic News

A version of this story originally appeared on ElectronicsWeekly.com.


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