Microsoft readies early preview of new parallel-computing tool

Summary:Microsoft is making available as soon as this week an early preview build of what it's calling ParallelFX, the Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework. The new extensions will aid developers writing software that will work on parallel-processing systems.

Microsoft execs have been talking up during the past year the ongoing shift to multi- and many-core technologies. Now the company is putting its programming tools where its mouth has been.

Microsoft is making available as soon as this week an early preview build of what it's calling ParallelFX, the Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework.

Microsoft Developer Division Chief Soma Somasegar blogged about ParallelFX and said Microsoft planned to make the preview available on November 29. But as of this blog posting, Somasegar's blog post had been pulled. In any case, the release of the preview sounds imminent.

Update at the end of November 29: The December Community Technology Preview (CTP) of ParallelFX is on the Microsoft Downloads site now.

What the original posting did say was that ParallelFX wuold run on the recently released .Net Framework 3.5 and would rely on C# 3.0 and Visual Basic 9.0 features. These features include:

  • Imperative data and task parallelism programming interfaces, including parallel for and foreach loops, to make the transition from sequential to parallel programs simpler.
  • Declarative data parallelism in the form of a data parallel implementation of LINQ-to-Objects, allowing developers to run LINQ queries on multiple processors.
  • New concurrency runtime used across the library to enable lightweight tasks and effectively map and balance the concurrency expressed in code

Microsoft is working on a variety of many-core/multi-core projects, including its MS-ManiC (Memory Systems for Many Cores) research initiative.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Software Development

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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