Intel buys multicore software specialist RapidMind
Intel Corp has acquired multicore software specialist RapidMind with plans to integrate RapidMind's platform and Intel software products and technologies, including the Intel Ct technology for data parallelism.
RapidMind was founded five years ago as Serious Hack Inc by University of Waterloo Professor Michael McCool and Stefanus Du Toit to commercialize Sh, a programming system created at the Canada school. According to the company, developers continue to write code in standard C++ using their existing skills, tools, and processes and the RapidMind platform then allows parallelization across multiple cores. On RapidMind's Web site, the company claims that developers of HPC and enterprise software are using its platform "to create manageable, single-threaded applications that leverage the full potential of multicore processors from Intel and AMD." In addition, RapidMind said its platform allows developers to take advantage of the application acceleration available from GPUs and the Cell Broadband Engine.
With the acquisition, Intel has acquired RapidMind's products and technology, aiming to support parallelism of all kinds. The company will continue to sell RapidMind products. Intel said RapidMind's founders, engineering team, and marketing team joined the company this week.
Intel announced the acquisition without making an official press statement. Instead, the company on the morning of August 19, blogged about its buy, singing RapidMind's praises.
"RapidMind proved itself to be an innovative company with advanced technology for helping software developers with data parallel programming for multicore processors and accelerators. Their joining Intel will let us do even greater things together," the post by James Reinders, an Intel expert in parallelism, states.
Intel outlined plans for RapidMind products while boasting that it already offers complete OpenMP 3.0 support in its Fortran and C/C++ compilers for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X; support for Intel Threading Building Blocks that spans those operating systems and more with support for platforms including Intel, PowerPC, and SPARC; and its recently introduced Intel Parallel Studio with support for parallel processing for the Visual Studio developer.
"This year we’ll introduce the beta for our product based on Intel Ct technology, and next year we’ll introduce the result of integration of Cilk++ as well as RapidMind into our product lines. Oh, they’ll be more things to unveil too – but this blog is getting a bit too long to explain all that now!"
Intel said that all of these technologies and products complement each other, and "offer the diversity and complete development solutions needed for a multicore world with forward-scaling built-in."
Intel also issued a second blog post on the afternoon of August 19, encouraging its audience to "join many Intel parallelization experts at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) September 22-24, 2009 in San Francisco, including folks from the RapidMind and Ct technology team."
The buy comes of the heels of Intel's $884 million acquisition Wind River Systems Inc, announced in June. Wind River develops operating systems, middleware, and software design tools for a variety of embedded computing systems. Its main products include VxWorks, a proprietary and multicore-ready real-time operating system, and commercial-grade Linux software platforms. With that move, Intel targeted embedded systems and mobile handheld devices as it continued to extend itself beyond its traditional PC boarders.
Intel did not disclose the purchase price for RapidMind.