Intel updates software tools for Prescott, threading

Intel Corp. has added software development tools for its recently released Prescott processors to its software library as well as tools to help improve the performance of applications that use its hyperthreading technology, the company said Tuesday.

The Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) 4.0 library contains a common API (application programming interface) that software developers can use to build applications across desktops, servers and mobile devices with Intel processors. It now supports the Prescott chips introduced last week, Intel said.

IPP 4.0 will also support Bulverde, the next generation of Intel’s XScale processors for mobile devices, when that chip is released in the second quarter, Intel said.

The new toolset contains improvements to media coding standards and enhanced cryptography, among other things. Versions are available on Intel’s Web site for download or on CD-ROM for Windows and Linux. It costs US$199, and is available immediately.

The other software tool unveiled Tuesday is Intel Threading Tools 2.0, a new version of an existing toolset that allow developers to verify software threads.

Certain Intel processors, such as the new Prescott chips and Intel’s Xeon server chips, can take advantage of multithreaded software with a feature called hyperthreading. This technique takes advantage of unused or idle instruction units in a CPU (central processing unit) to process more than one software thread simultaneously.

Hyperthreading can increase performance for certain types of applications, and the new software threading tools can help developers build those types of applications and debug existing applications, Intel said.

Intel Threading Tools 2.0 contains three separate tools called Intel Thread Checker, Intel Thread Profiler and Intel VTune Performance Analyzer. It can also be downloaded from Intel’s Web site or loaded off a CD-ROM. The threading tools work with Pentium 4 or Xeon processors running Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, and they cost US$1,198.

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