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The Multicore Association

The Multicore Association®


June 2009

Progress at the Multicore Association

The Multicore Programming Practices (MPP) working group, chaired by Max Domeika (Intel) and David Stewart
(CriticalBlue) is focused on defining industry-wide, best practices to leverage existing code in multicore environments. The working group discussions are informative and challenging and we strongly encourage you to get involved if you are doing any kind of multicore programming. Currently, the working group has completed and approved a document outline and is busy drafting the chapters. Drafts of several chapters have been written and are at various phases of review. These chapters include: ‘Overview of Available Technology’ and ‘Analysis and High Level Design’.

Our expectation is to complete this review in the next 3 months and move to writing and reviewing the last two chapters. We’re expecting a final draft in Q4 2009 and if you are interested in being a reviewer let us know.

The Multicore Resource Management API (MRAPI®) working group, chaired by Jim Holt (Freescale), is focused on synchronization primitives, shared & distributed memory primitives, and execution environment metadata. The working group has converged on a proposal for remote memory (access to non-shared memory via DMA and other mechanisms). We've also been fine tuning the definition of mutexes to meet some new requirements. Due to these developments we have been holding off on wrapping up the metadata section, but should return to that very soon. Altogether the spec is taking good shape and we’ll soon be publishing a release schedule.

The Multicore Virtualization Work Group, chaired by Surender Kumar (Nokia Siemens Networks), is currently working on device para virtualization which addresses mechanisms to share devices including the front-end driver interface, device discovery and buffer transfer. The MVWG is also exploring standard interfaces for shared memory management access and management in the hypervisor. The target is to produce an initial draft for the above work items by Q4 2009. Other relevant work items in the workgroup are secure and efficient inter-virtual machine communication and in-service upgrade, these will be taken up as we achieve progress with the current work items.

The Multicore Communication API working group, chaired by Sven Brehmer (PolyCore Software), released its first specification and example implementations last year. More than 500 people have downloaded this free specification. The MCAPI® working group has been preparing an updated version of its specification, and is currently reviewing several proposed modifications derived from the MRAPI® discussion (to ensure synergy). PolyCore Software is helping with the validation of the proposed modifications (recall that PolyCore Software was the first company to have a commercial implementation of MCAPI®). Expect a release of the new specification in the July-August timeframe.

Latest News

Huawei Joins the Multicore Association as an Executive Board Member
“Huawei has already started to adopt multicore technology in many of our next-generation products,” said Edmoon Cai, Director of Huawei's Processor CTMG of Huawei. “As a member of the Multicore Association, we look forward to helping define new common interfaces that will benefit the telecoms market and the embedded market in general.”

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