The Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) and Microsoft have created the BSC-Microsoft Research Centre, which will focus on the future design of microprocessors and software for the mobile and desktop markets over the next 10 years or so.
Computer architecture experts at BSC have teamed up with computer scientists at Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC) in the UK to look for innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities that massively parallel processing represents.
The vision of the centre is of a top-down computer architecture in which software requirements drive the hardware innovation forward rather than letting the hardware design condition software development. In addition to fundamental and applied research in transactional memory, a promising technology that facilitates writing of parallel programs for multi-core processors, hardware support for managed runtimes will be conducted in the initial research projects.
‘Two years after the initial agreement, we are reaffirming our research commitment by establishing a research centre in Barcelona, building upon the successful collaboration of a group of researchers from the Computer Architecture team in BSC and Microsoft Research. To optimise the designs and interactions of multi-core processors and software, we need to start from parallel programming. The way to deal with this multi-core architecture challenge is to bring together computer architects and programming language experts,’ said Mateo Valero, director of BSC.
‘We are pleased to partner with the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre to create this new research centre,’ said Tony Hey, corporate vice president of External Research in Microsoft Research. ‘Partnerships like this help us to reach our goal of supporting the global research community and ultimately assisting researchers and scientists to address some of the toughest, most urgent societal and technological challenges worldwide. Microsoft Research has a strong track record of collaboration with public research centres and academic institutes to advance the state of the art in computing. The BSC-Microsoft Research Centre is our most recent step, combining our respective areas of expertise to address the challenges of writing trustworthy software for multi-core processors.’