Multicore Association Delivers Specification to Support Resource Management and Application Portability

Mar 08, 2011, 08:00 ET from Multicore Association

Multicore Association is Also Providing an Example Implementation and Webinar to Help Developers Get Started

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., March 8, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Multicore Association™, a global non-profit organization focused on developing standards that help speed time to market for products that involve multicore implementations, has announced the availability of its Multicore Resource Management API specification (MRAPI). The MRAPI is an industry-standard API that specifies essential application-level resource management capabilities needed to coordinate concurrent access to multicore system resources. Utilizing MRAPI, system developers will be able to write portable application programs that will scale throughout current and future generations of multicore processors and architectures, benefiting application, middleware, processor, and system developers.

It's inevitable that over time embedded systems will require more processing capability. This capability will be delivered with increasing levels of heterogeneity of both hardware and software and increasing levels of integration with more sophisticated hardware acceleration. Resource management is a crucial capability for these high-performance embedded systems and MRAPI is the only suitable standard solution in the embedded application space. Standardization will allow multicore processor vendors and third-party tool vendors to take over the resource management aspects and enable system developers to focus their efforts on other critical features of their software that deliver real competitive advantages.

"Multicore processor providers want their customers to be able to take advantage of the special hardware features that are continuously being integrated into the hardware," noted Jim Holt, senior member of the technical staff at Freescale Semiconductor and chair of the MRAPI working group. "Without the use of MRAPI, system developers potentially lose portability because they must tie their applications to the specifics of each chip. Without a standard such as MRAPI, system developers are forced to create and maintain their own solutions for sharing the system-on-a-chip (SoC) resources amongst tasks in their applications."

In addition to having shared resources, complex SoCs contain functions and features that can change dynamically, especially to accommodate power management and virtualization. In an asymmetrical multiprocessing system (AMP), it's impossible for a single operating system to track and control all resources. Furthermore, Linux (SMP) doesn't support a facility to notify applications when the operating environment/resources have changed. To accommodate these deficiencies, MRAPI provides support for system-level event notification such as power savings states, device failures, and hypervisor repartitioning.

"I want to commend the MRAPI working group members for their enormous two-year effort in creating this very valuable multicore specification," exclaimed Markus Levy, Multicore Association president. "Not only does MRAPI deliver to programmers a much needed mechanism to coordinate critical sections and resource sharing in their applications, it also complements the consortium's successfully implemented Multicore Communication API (MCAPI).

Along with the introduction of the MRAPI specification, the Multicore Association will also provide an example implementation in the form of an application library created with the C programming language.  This source code implementation can be compiled on Linux or Windows systems with the Cygwin environment installed. The implementation is not tuned for any specific operating system or hardware, and is intended to serve as an example to programmers either wanting to try the MRAPI APIs for application programming or to implement the standards.

Join Jim Holt on April 6th in a live webinar where he will provide an introduction to MRAPI, discuss how to utilize the example implementation, and explain how MRAPI can be used in conjunction with MCAPI to handle many of the functions of a multicore system.

About The Multicore Association

The Multicore Association provides a neutral forum for vendors who are interested in, working with, and/or proliferating multicore-related products, including processors, infrastructure, devices, software, and applications. The consortium has made available its Multicore Communications API (MCAPI) specification through its website, and has just released its Multicore Resource Management API (MRAPI). Currently, the organization also has active working groups focused on: Multicore Virtualization, Multicore Communications (Version 2.0), Multicore Programming Practices (MPP), and Tools Infrastructure (TIWG).

Members include Abo Akademi University, AMD, Argon Design, CAPS entreprise, Carnegie Mellon University, Cavium Networks, Codeplay, CriticalBlue, Delft University of Technology, EADS North America, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, EfficOS, Enea, eSOL, Freescale Semiconductor, IMEC, Intel, LG Electronics, LSI , Mentor Graphics, MIPS Technologies, National Instruments, nCore Design, NetLogic Microsystems, Netronome, Nokia Siemens Networks, OneAccess, Plurality, PolyCore Software, Qualcomm, RadiSys, Sage Electronic Engineering, Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Texas Instruments, Tilera, UAS Technikum Wien , UltraSoC Technologies, University of Houston, University of Tsukuba, and Wind River. Further information is available at

SOURCE Multicore Association