Sunday, August 23, 2009

Intel acquires two software firms

Intel has quietly snapped up two software companies in the last 30 days with aim of boosting development of applications that take better advantage of chips with more than one processing core.

"Over the last few years, there has been a gradual emergence of multicore microprocessors. It's put parallelism in more and more machines," James Reinders, chief evangelist and director of marketing and sales at Intel, said in a phone interview Friday, explaining why Intel bought the two firms.

"If you look at traditional applications, ones that we use everyday, it's fair to say that most are not exploiting parallelism--at least not to the full extent," Reinders said.

A multicore processor is defined as any chip with more than one processing core. Today, almost all Intel chips that go into laptops, desktops, and servers have at least two cores. The challenge for Intel is to make sure that applications take advantage of all the cores--so-called parallelism. This has historically presented a challenge for software programmers.