Intel and Microsoft announce parallel computing research centers

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Microsoft and Intel jointly announced today a new initiative to fund two universal parallel programming research centers. One will be housed at UC Berkeley under the direction of David Patterson, and the second will be housed at the University of Illinois under the leadership of Marc Snir. From the MS release:

Microsoft logoIntel Corporation and Microsoft Corp. are partnering with academia to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC), aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing, for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing.

There is really money here: MS and Intel are investing $20M over 5 years in these centers, and the universities are adding an expected $15M of their own money.

There is a lot of pie-in-the-sky talk on the teleconference about the promise of dramatically increased processing performance on applications in every corner of the application space, even parallelism on mobile phones. And the focus of the discussion is on creating tools and technology through this initiative that will enable the programming massess to get at parallelism in everyday consumer applications. As Tony Hey from MS put it on the teleconference

“We need to develop parallel computing software that works from the laptop to the desktop.”

Andrew Chien, in response to a question, put the focus of this effort on single socket parallelism rather than the kind of parallelism we all focus on most often in HPC. Although one expects that there will be spillover of benefit.

Look for more detailed coverage of today’s announcement in this week’s HPCwire.


  1. […] attention paid by the industry to programming multi-core architectures was noted, including the major investments by Microsoft and Intel among […]


  1. This announcement from Intel and Microsoft is typical. Neither of them have any interest in making scientific HPC any better, only in the HPC market and potential technology transfer from HPC to the Personal Computing market. That’s great, The HPC community gets some “spillover” from their paultry $20M 5 year investment to as Tony Hey put it:

    “develop parallel computing software that works from the laptop to the desktop”

    I mean it’s better than nothing, but considering that “we are in the midst of a revolution in the computing industry” this seems a bit disingenuous.

  2. Tyler: given that point of view, you might enjoy the angle I took in my article in HPCwire;