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PlayStation Cell development software moves off the console

Codeplay, a compiler company based in the UK, announced today that their Offload programming tool suite for the Cell Broadband Engine is now available for Linux developers not specifically targeting the PS3.

Offload provides a smooth migration path to heterogeneous multi-core processors. Unlike many other multi-core tools, Offload does not focus on parallelizing software. Instead, Offload focuses on providing a very easy migration path from CPU to SPU. Parallelism can instead be expressed using standard parallel programming techniques such as C++ parallel template libraries. Heterogeneous multi-core overcomes the problem of memory bandwidth saturation (that occurs with Symmetric Multi-Threading multi-core processors) by requiring software developers to handle memory accesses themselves, by using separate local and shared memories, or streaming DMA. Offload lets programmers take full advantage of the memory-bandwidth features of heterogeneous multi-core, but only requiring minimal and incremental changes to source code.

…Offload: Community Edition is free to use for academic research and commercial projects, subject to licensing conditions.

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