Microsoft and Intel hook up on parallel computing

Microsoft and Intel hook up on parallel computing

Universal Parallel Computing Research Centres planned

Intel and Microsoft are partnering with academic institutions to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centres aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing.

The centres will be located at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Microsoft and Intel have committed a combined $20m to the Berkeley and Illinois centres over the next five years.

An additional $8m will come from the University of Illinois, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7m in funds from a state-supported programme to match industry grants.

Research will focus on advancing parallel programming applications, architecture and operating systems software.

The companies said in a statement that this is the first joint industry and university research alliance of this magnitude in the US focused on mainstream parallel computing.

Parallel computing focuses on the development of advanced software and processors that have multiple cores or engines which, when combined, can handle multiple instructions and tasks simultaneously.

"Intel has already shown an 80-core research processor, and we are quickly moving the computing industry to a many-core world," said Andrew Chien, vice president at Intel's Corporate Technology Group and director of Intel Research.

"We think these new applications will have the ability to efficiently and robustly sense and act in our everyday world with new capabilities, such as rich media and visual interfaces, powerful statistical analysis and search, and mobile applications.

"Ultimately, these sensing and human interface capabilities will bridge the physical world with the virtual."