Looking Ahead to 2012

Well, I reflected on 2011 in my last blog, so now it's time to look ahead. My basic role will remain unchanged - I help users of our Intel® Software Development Products to achieve better performance on their applications. I will still be updating our training materials and videos for the latest mainstream Intel processors. And I will be helping customers to discover the latest Intel® VTune™ Amplifier XE features. And, since parallelism is a common path to performance, I will still be a big advocate of Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB). In fact, I plan to create some new training around TBB 4.0 and the flow graph feature. But I will also be ramping up on some new focus areas for me:

Intel® Many Integrated Core Architecture (MIC) MIC (pronounced "Mike") is a new architecture that uses many low-power, single-threaded Intel® processor cores working together to provide a high degree of parallelism. As more customers begin using the Knights Ferry development kit and the developer tool package we currently have available for MIC, I will start studying the architecture and conducting some experiments too. My first project will be to try to identify the most important performance aspects of MIC applications and how our tools can help developers measure them.

Vectorization is parallelism within one CPU core, using special hardware that can work on more than one piece of data at once. First off I plan to write a series of blogs explaining what vectorization is, who should be interested in it, how to achieve it, and why it's important. Then I hope to work with some customers directly on this. One reason why vectorization will be of big interest to me is that it will definitely be a big help to performance on the MIC architecture.

Intel® Cilk Plus
Fitting hand in hand with the 2 focus areas above is Intel® Cilk Plus, our open source parallelism model that also includes vectorization support. Although I have worked with and evangelized Cilk Plus a lot this past year, I had mainly been looking at the parallelism part. Next year, I will spend more time on the vectorization part of Cilk Plus. The other reason to focus here is that Cilk Plus code, like TBB code, will also run on the MIC architecture.

So get ready to hear more from me on the above topics! And Happy Holidays!

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