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Intel opens up Threading Building Blocks

Intel announced this week that they’re open sourcing TBB, a thread library for creating parallel apps

Intel logoIntel Threading Building Blocks (TBB), a popular software C++ template library that simplifies the development of software applications running in parallel (key to any multicore computer), is now available as an open source project under the GNU General Public License version two (GPLv2) with the runtime exception. Intel TBB, as both an open source and fully supported commercial offering, makes parallelism more accessible for programmers and enables increased application performance on multi-core processors.

You can get an overview of the library applied to a problem in this article at DevX.com. Opinions on the usefulness of TBB are varied (for example, here), even within Intel’s software blogging army (here). But the company seems to be hoping to position TBB as the gateway to parallelism in C++ as this post from late last year indicates:

OpenMP is great if you have Fortran code, or C code that looks like Fortran, or C++ that looks like Fortran. In other words, flat do-loop centric parallelism. With TBB, we’re trying to go beyond that and enable generic parallel programming.

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