Intel announces Penryn ship date, launches new QC Xeons, AMD releases multicore software tool spec

In today's enterprise HPC wrap-up we focus on new technology announcements from Intel that will shape big compute in the enterprise, including two new quad core Xeons from Intel and a ship date for the new Penryn 45nm processors. AMD is also in the news this week with a new spec aimed at making it easier for chips to make runtime decisions about how apps make use of multicore processors.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from the recent enterprise HPC news stream as reported at

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Mercury launches new visualization subsidiary

Mercury Computer Systems, the company that just recently launched the PS3 SDK, announced yesterday that its getting in the visualization business with a focus on medicine and the life sciences.

The new subsidiary will be called Visage Imaging

As an independent operating entity, Visage Imaging will be more effectively positioned to deliver Mercury’s distinct expertise in advanced visualization, and its expanding portfolio of imaging and visualization products and services, to a growing roster of international OEM and clinical partners. As an example, Visage TM , Mercury’s end-to-end image management and distribution line, will be offered along with amira®, its multifaceted software framework that enables users to visualize, manipulate, and analyze complex data sets for biomedical imaging research.

Intel’s new Xeons and Penryn ship date

Intel’s been busy this week. They launched two new quad-core Xeon processors the continue the drive to just bury AMD in a flurry of technology releases. The new Xeons are the X5365 and L5335.The X is a performance processor running at 3 GHz and 120 watts with a fronside bus speed of 1333MHz. The L is an eco-friendly processor running at 2 GHz at 50 watts and the same FSB.

HP, IBM, SGI, Rackable, Verari, Fujitsu, and others have signed on to hawk the chip. You can pick them up in quantity now. (More on this HPC news item)

And the DailyTech is reporting that Intel has set a launch date for Penryn, the next of the Core 2 line that currently includes Woodcrest and Conroe. Penryn is a process shrink, this time down to 45nm and those hi-k gates all the kids are talking about (we’ve talked about Penryn before; for example, here and here) .

Intel has set the launch date for its Penryn based quad-core Xeon processor family. The company intends to launch seven new Harpertown based models ranging from 2.0-to-3.16 GHz on November 11, according to a posting on Intel’s reseller webpage. Standard “E” bin and performance “X” bin processors launch on November 11.

You can find out more here.

AMD releases spec to speed development of effective multicore software

AMD released its Light-Weight Profiling this week, the first step in its Hardware Extensions for Software Parallelism initiative.

LWP is designed to enable code to make dynamic and real-time decisions about how best to improve the performance of concurrently running tasks, using techniques such as memory organization and code layout, with very little overhead. These capabilities are particularly beneficial to runtime environments like Java and .NET, which can run multiple threads and are used to develop an increasingly large percentage of applications.

This step is targeted at the runtime, and the company is talking about it specifically in terms of “managed” runtime evinronments as in the Java and .NET examples cited above.

The Hardware Extensions for Software Parallelism program

…will encompass a broad set of innovations designed to improve software parallelism, and thus application performance, through new hardware features in future versions of AMD processors.

(More on this enterprise HPC news item)

John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld. You can contact him at