11 May 2010
Vector Fabrics has introduced vfAnalyst, a cloud-based tool for parallelising sequential C code. It enables software engineers to identify the most promising parallelization opportunities easily so that they can create an effective multicore implementation much more quickly than is possible today. vfAnalyst is hosted on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) - a well-proven, secure server facility accessed through a standard web browser. The tool is paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis - a business model that minimises up-front costs and eliminates software and hardware maintenance issues for customers.
Developing a multi-threaded program from sequential code is a time-consuming and expensive process to manage manually, particularly when multi-threading has not been explicitly planned ahead of time. vfAnalyst's unique graphic interface makes it easy to identify, which portions of the program can be run in parallel and what kinds of data communications are needed in order to ensure that the multi-threaded code will operate identically to - but faster than - the sequential code. In addition, vfAnalyst is intended to help engineers who are tasked with parallelising legacy sequential code: engineers can do the project without having to know in detail how the code works.
Through its easy-to-use browser-based interface, the exploration of parallelisation options can be simplified to three steps: identifying those portions of the code that would benefit from parallelism; of those, having vfAnalyst show the best candidates for partitioning; and of those, picking the ones that have the lowest cost. The analysis is done irrespective of target platform, allowing analysis of code destined for servers or embedded systems.