AMD opens up its cores

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AMD opens up its cores

AMD's announcement that it is making its performance library available as open-source code should stimulate the development of multi-threaded software..

The library contains more than 3,200 software routines which can be used by developers to tailor software to take advantage of multi-core chips. The open source version of the library will be known as Framewave 1.0.

The library will also be compatible with Intel's libraries, meaning that developers can write one set of code which will be optimised for CPUs from both companies.

By allowing full access to the library, AMD hopes that developers will more readily integrate multi-threading capabilities into their applications to allow software to take better advantage of the latest quad-core chips.

Margaret Lewis, director of commercial solutions and software strategy at AMD, said that, while some developers have easily adapted their code to the new chips, others have not been so eager to embrace multi-threading.

Lewis explained that applications written for large multi-processor systems are much easier to optimise.

"A lot of applications that come over from the server world have been written for multi-core systems," she said. "When you get out of that range you get into code that is not multi-threaded by nature and it becomes a challenge."

AMD hopes that by giving developers unfettered access to the performance library, a new base of open source code will be developed which can be plugged into future applications.

However, Lewis does not see the move to multi-threaded code being a quick and painless process.

"I do not think anyone thought this was going to be instantaneous," she said. "It is easier for developers to create new code that is multi-threaded, so we think there is going to be a migration."
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