Visual Studio 2010, parallelism goes into production

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Microsoft logoVisual Studio 2010 has been in beta for a while now, and one of the big changes relative to our community is a significant emphasis on helping developers do a better job of putting the cores inside a single node to good use. Earlier this week Microsoft announced at a developer event that the new Visual Studio has been officially released. That release is targeted at the wide world, so you won’t find much to indicate the good parallel news in there.

But happily Intel’s James Reinders offered his perspective on the news in a recent blog post

Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010 development environment has, for the first time, several new parallelism capabilities built-in.  Combined with Intel Parallel Studio, I think it is reasonable to say that Windows has the richest and most complete set of tools for multicore programming.  Microsoft has worked with Intel and others, to help tools from both companies interoperate well, and provide a well conceived set of key capabilities for other tools as well. Many of the key features have been discussed at both Microsoft PDC 2008 and PDC 2009, allowing tool vendors time to jump on-board.

A very significant advancement, that helps all tools, is the Concurrency Runtime layer (ConcRT) Resource Manager. The ConcRT resource manager is an abstraction over the hardware that allows vendors including Microsoft and Intel (OpenMP, TBB) to program at a higher layer and compose these platforms, as well as coming up with one set of concepts for providing parallel code such as tasks, task groups and so forth.

More in James’ post. Intel’s own parallel programming tools plug in to Visual Studio, but as of today they are only available for VS 2005 and 2008. James indicates that will be fixed “in a forthcoming update.”