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Cilk++ 1.0 Released; Tool for Optimizing Multicore Apps

Cilk Arts, a developer of software for multicore programming, has released Cilk++ 1.0, a platform for optimizing the performance of Linux and Windows applications on multicore processors. Cilk++ enables rapid development, testing, and deployment of multicore applications. The solution consists of a set of extensions for the C++ programming language, a runtime system, and tools that ease the development of multicore software.

A Cilk++ program preserves the structure of the original serial C++ program by marking regions of code that may execute in parallel. The Cilk++ program behaves the same as the original serial program and can be compiled as an ordinary, serial C++ program for debugging. As a result, programmers still work in the serial domain using their existing tools, making Cilk++ easy to learn and use. This is in contrast to parallel programming approaches that require the developer to relearn the fundamentals of programming in order to think in parallel.

When parallelism is introduced into an application, that application becomes vulnerable to "race conditions" -- bugs unique to parallel programs that are notoriously difficult to detect during testing. The Cilkscreen Race Detector allows developers to build multi-core applications that are as reliable as the original serial versions.

The Cilk++ Runtime System enables a program to dynamically and automatically exploit an arbitrary number of available processor cores, with low overhead and linear scaling as cores are added. Applications are thus "future-proofed," and do not need to be re-written for the next multicore processor generation.

"We were able to parallelize our application quickly and easily," said M.I.T. Professor Ron Rivest, founder of RSA Data Security. "And, our new MD6 cryptographic hash algorithm exhibited excellent performance and scaling. For the time being, the Cilk++ implementation holds the world record in MD6 throughput!"

Cilk++ 1.0 is available for Linux and Windows in three editions:

  • Open Source Edition: Free download for open source projects
  • Professional Edition: For commercial applications, and includes one year of upgrades, updates and commercial-grade technical support (Free 30-day trial available)
  • Academic Edition: Free download for classroom instruction and research at accredited universities

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