Intel backs Microsoft's concurrent-computing play

Intel backs Microsoft's concurrent-computing play

Summary: On August 20, Intel rolled out new parallel-processing tools that support Microsoft's concurrent runtime environment that is expected to become a central component of Redmond's next-generation computing model.


On August 20, Intel rolled out new parallel-processing tools that support Microsoft's concurrent runtime environment that is expected to become a central component of Redmond's next-generation computing model.

Intel is kicking off an open beta for what it's calling the Intel Parallel Studio products that it expects to last through mid-2009. The family will include code analysis, design, debugging and performance tools, all of which will integrate with Microsoft's Visual Studio and are being optimized to support Microsoft's Concurrency Runtime. Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR).

Update: The Concurrency Runtime from Microsoft's Developer Division is not the same as the Concurrency and Coordination Runtime (CCR); it is part of the Parallel Extensions to the .Net Framework. However, the CCR sounds like it is on its way to become part of the Developer Division's set of deliverables.

Hidden away as part of Microsoft's Robotics Studio is the CCR , as well as the related Decentralized Software Services (DSS) runtime. These runtimes are designed to help with programming multicore, distributed systems. As I noted in April:

“In the Microsoft Robotics Studio, you see the new programming model we are creating at Microsoft,” (General Manager of Microsoft’s Robotics Group Tandy) Trower said.

"The developer division at Microsoft is in the process of integrating the CCR library into the parallel frameworks it is devising (but not specifically into the Parallel FX parallel extensions to the .Net Framework), Trower said. Ultimately, Microsoft is planning to make CCR part of Visual Studio itself and possibly even part of the Common Language Runtime (CLR), he said. Microsoft’s Mobile and Embedded teams are planning on integrating CCR and DSS into their own toolkits, as well, Trower said."

CCR and DSS evolved from Microsoft's BigTop/BigWin grid-operating-system project that the company killed off a few years ago.

Microsoft is on tap to talk more about CCR its concurrency runtime at the upcoming Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in late October. Here's one of the session descriptions detailing some of what officials will discuss:

Concurrency Runtime Deep Dive: How to Harvest Multicore Computing Resources Presenter: Niklas Gustafsson

Learn how the Concurrency Runtime provides an efficient and scalable infrastructure for multiple concurrent programming models by bringing together cooperative work scheduling and resource management into one component. This deep dive presentation gives you an idea of what it means to target the Concurrency Runtime with your domain-specific library or language. We also cover many of the internal algorithms of the runtime to help educate you on the applicability of the runtime to your scenarios.

Anyone out there been dabbling with the Concurrency Runtime and/or CCR/DSS? If so, in what kinds of projects?

Topics: Intel, Microsoft, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Concurrency Usage

    We are currently learning, and have significant plans to use the parallel tools that are becoming available in order to better handle the scale of applications we are currently developing.
  • RE: Intel backs Microsoft's concurrent-computing play

    When we simulate elections or economies there is a staggering amount of computing so we welcomed the Intel announcement yesterday at the IDF. However, there are lots of cloud vendors out there already. We will be watching to see if the idea of two schemas - one to ask the cloud what it has and what it costs and another to actually send the EXE and data structures - gets as far as ANSI or ISO.
  • RE: Intel backs Microsoft's concurrent-computing play

    We are currently experimenting with both DSS/CCR and PFX and both look promising; however *effectively* using either is nontrivial and thus far the performance improvements are not overwhelming. Of course these are still CTP versions (and we still have some learning to do) so it's way early to be discouraged. We certainly do welcome arrival of additional tools for debugging, performance monitoring, etc.
  • RE: Intel backs Microsoft's concurrent-computing play

    pdcmxf,good post!