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Intel buys RapidMind to boost multi-core chips

Chipmaker remains on acquisition trail

Intel has acquired software company RapidMind in an effort to push development of programs that can exploit the power of Intel's multicore processors.

The chip maker plans to integrate RapidMind's data-parallelism products into Intel offerings. Intel already offers compilers, middleware and other tools that enable programmers to execute tasks across multiple threads and cores.

RapidMind offers a platform that allows developers to scale application performance in processors from Intel and AMD. The platform also taps into the power of multiple cores in graphics processing units.

Intel declined to comment about the acquisition price, but said it plans to retain much of RapidMind's staff.

"We will retain most, if not all, of their employees," said Bill Kircos, an Intel spokesman. "These guys are highly respected experts in data parallel programming."

Intel has been snapping up software companies as it tries to provide tools that can adapt software better to its hardware. The company in June bought Wind River, which offers software design tools and operating systems, for $884 million. It recently acquired Cilk Arts, which provides tools to maximise application performance on multicore processors.

"RapidMind proved itself to be an innovative company with advanced technology for helping software developers with data parallel programming for multicore processors and accelerators. Their joining Intel will let us do even greater things together," wrote Intel's James Reinders in a blog entry.

Reinders referred to the integration of RapidMind's platform with Intel's Ct parallel programming model, which will provide the basis to scale the execution of tasks across multicore and multithreaded chips.

"Product plans for Intel Ct technology are on track for beta before the end of the year, and the integration with RapidMind products will come in phases after the first beta is available," Reinders wrote.

Intel will continue to service existing RapidMind customers, Reinders wrote.


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