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Intel Releases Compilers that Help Build Hyper Threaded Apps

Intel Corp. took a step this week to make it easier for developers to use the Hyper Threading technology in its newest processors.

The chipmaker released new compilers for translating C++ and Fortran code into the machine language understood by the processors on Tuesday.

One of the most significant features of the new compilers is that they help developers produce multi-threaded applications, a key requirement for getting performance increases out of Intel's newer processors that include Hyper Threading technology.

Processors including Intel Itanium 2, Intel Xeon and Intel Pentium 4 can run multiple threads of an application in parallel to boost performance. The processor behaves as if it were two processors. Optimal performance gains with multi-threaded applications can be in the range of 30 percent, according to past Intel statements.

The new compilers have an auto-parallelization option that automatically looks for opportunities in applications to create multiple execution threads, Intel says.

Intel also contends that its compilers offer additional performance gains over competitive compilers because Intel can make use of its own expertise about how the processors handle the compiled code.

The new compilers are version 7.0 releases of the Intel C++ Compilers for Windows and Linux and the Intel Fortran Compilers for Windows and Linux. The C++ compilers cost $399. The Fortran compiler for Windows costs $499, while the Fortran compiler for Linux costs $699.

Other feature additions in the 7.0 compilers include support for features in Compaq Visual Fortran and enhanced integration into Microsoft Visual Studio.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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