Multicore Association to Tear Down Development-Tool-Interoperability Barriers

Jun 17, 2010, 08:00 ET from Multicore Association

Industry Leaders Cooperate to Drive Standards for Data Exchange Between Tools and Ease the Transition to Multicore Systems

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Multicore Association™, a global non-profit organization that develops standards to speed time-to-market for products with multicore implementations, has announced its intent to tear down barriers that slow development of complex multicore applications. These barriers grow from the diverse and non-interoperable tools that developers use to design, assemble, program and verify their products.

When programmers are developing applications that utilize complex multicore devices, they must understand how the whole system functions and they often use a variety of diverse and non-interoperable development tools for this purpose. Although mechanisms exist to support tool interoperability for embedded applications that utilize a single, integrated development environment (IDE), today no standard exists to support the embedded multicore environment. To mitigate the issue of interoperability, the Multicore Association's newly formed Tools Infrastructure Working Group (TIWG) aims to define a common data format and create standards-based mechanisms to share data across diverse development tools knocking down the barriers that prevent data exchange.

Multicore platforms offer the ability to run software in parallel. When migrating existing sequential software to multicore platforms or developing new parallel software, programmers must use a range of tools that include tracers, profilers, and analysis tools. To facilitate these activities, the TIWG's first year goal is to establish a trace data format standard. A subsequent goal will be to define interfaces between profilers and analysis/visualization tools. Meeting these goals will aid programmers searching for performance bottlenecks that limit the speed and capabilities of their multicore platforms.

The TIWG also plans to collaborate with the CE Linux Forum on a reference implementation for a de-facto trace data format standard that TIWG will define. "Together with the Multicore Association, we have the ability to co-develop a reference implementation targeting the Linux Trace Toolkit Next Generation," said Mathieu Desnoyers, president of EfficiOS Inc. and lead developer of the LTTng project. "The reference implementation and the toolkit will certainly help resolve the pressing industry need for interoperable tracing tools. We will initially be gathering use cases and requirements from the industry's tracing users."

"In general, programmers always choose the development tools they are familiar with, but because these tools may not be able to exchange data, the familiar tools may build barriers, rather than facilitate application development," noted Markus Levy, president of the Multicore Association. "Furthermore, the more difficulty that users have with the tools for specific processors, the less inclined they will be to purchase those processors. Hence, the TIWG's efforts will have far-reaching benefits for the embedded multicore ecosystem."

Tasneem Brutch, Sr. Staff Engineer of Samsung Electronics, is chairing the Multicore Association Tool Infrastructure Working Group, with participation from industry and academia including: Freescale Semiconductor, Mentor Graphics, IBM, IMEC, National Instruments, Nokia Siemens Networks, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Tilera, Wind River, University of Houston, Polytechnique Montreal, and University of Utah. In line with the other working groups of the MCA, the TIWG will ultimately make the fruits of its labor publicly available to ensure unconstrained industry-wide adoption.

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 will soon release its Multicore Resource Management API (MRAPI). Currently, the organization is set up with four active working groups: Multicore Virtualization, Multicore Resource Management, Multicore Programming Practices (MPP), and Tools Infrastructure (TIWG).

Members include Abo Akademi University, Argon Design, CAPS entreprise, Carnegie Mellon University, Cavium Networks, Codeplay, CriticalBlue, Delft University of Technology, EADS North America, Enea, eSOL, Freescale Semiconductor, Huawei Technologies, IBM, IMEC, Intel, LG Electronics Co, LSI , Mentor Graphics, MIPS Technologies, National Instruments, nCore Design LLC, Nokia Siemens Networks, Open Kernel Labs, Plurality, PolyCore Software, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Texas Instruments, The Multicore-Association, Tilera, Univ Polytechnique Montreal, University of Houston, University of Utah, and Wind River. Further information is available at

SOURCE Multicore Association