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Multicore Association disseminates MPP guide

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Multicore? C/C++ code? software developer? MPP guide?

A Multicore Programming Practices (MPP) guide has been launched by the Multicore Association. The guide is set to provide developers with a detailed set of best practices for writing multi-core-ready embedded software.

The MPP guide, collectively written by a wide range of industry experts, outlines how to migrate applications to multi-core platforms and shares industry-proven techniques that help reduce development costs.

"While the industry continues to make important long-term research into new programming languages and methodologies, the MPP guide tackles how existing embedded C/C++ code may be written to be 'multi-core ready' today," said Multicore Association president Markus Levy. "One of the major things that distinguish this guide from all other multi-core books is that it was written by committee. The industry experts who make up the MPP working group worked together to ensure completeness, usefulness, and industry-wide compatibility that will help save development time and costs while easing the industry's move to even higher-core platforms."

The software developer is responsible for achieving increasing performance gains when upgrading processors. Developers must implement significant software modifications, which involves program analysis and rethinking the design, debug, and performance optimisations. Under tight deadlines, many developers continue to use C/C++ rather than learn a new parallel programming language or re-architect the application to support widespread concurrency. As a result, many developers adopt an evolutionary approach that uses existing programming tools and technology.

The Multicore Association MPP guide embraces this evolutionary approach. It includes best practices for writing multi-core-ready software using C/C++ without extensions, ensuring that the application can be more easily compiled across a range of multi-core processor platforms, speeding time to market and ensuring portability. The MPP guide also serves as a framework for transitioning from serial to parallel applications and provides common pitfalls, possible solutions, and avoidance tactics to reduce bugs and minimise debugging efforts.

Four years ago, the Multicore Association formed The Multicore Programming Practices working group to develop a multi-core software-programming guide that would improve consistency and understanding of multi-core programming issues. Co-chairs David Stewart (CEO of CriticalBlue) and Robert Oshana (engineering manager at Freescale Semiconductor) carefully assembled the working group and led the team through a rigorous definition cycle before jointly writing, reviewing, and approving the 120-page document.

Participating companies in the MPP working group include CriticalBlue, Freescale, Intel, PolyCore Software, Texas Instruments, and Virtutech (Wind River). Additional companies who were very active in helping write the MPP guide include CAPS entreprise, Carnegie Mellon University, and Mentor Graphics. The working group is open to all Multicore Association members and welcomes new members interested in continuing to evolve the Multicore Programming Practices Guide.

The Multicore Programming Practices Guide is available for download from the Multicore Association website.

- Nick Flaherty
??EE Times

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