[Beowulf] threading building blocks

Jim Phillips jim at ks.uiuc.edu
Fri Jul 27 18:05:39 EDT 2007


I just saw a talk that somewhat covered TBB.  See slides at
http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/UserInfo/Training/Workshops/Multicore/presentations/Intel_Threading_Tools.ppt

It's closer to OpenMP than pthreads.  One idiom I recall is to change your 
loop body to an operator, possibly adding locks or atomics, and then feed 
the operator to a parallel_for template.  The runtime has a neat method of 
splitting the loops to improve cache performance.

They went open source because programmers were unwilling to adopt a 
programming system that wasn't portable to non-Intel/AMD platforms.  The 
main porting work is writing the assembler to do atomic operations.

-Jim


On Thu, 26 Jul 2007, Bill Broadley wrote:

> I saw a bunch of press on intel's new Threading Building Blocks 2.0.  Seems
> similar to a couple other products promising easier parallelism, even down
> to a contest for the best use.
>
> Except:
> * GPL v2 - an actual open license, not a fake open license.
> * Not OS specific: Windows, mac, and linux (I even heard opensolaris and at
>  least one of the *BSDs mentioned)
> * Not compiler specific: gcc, intel, and microsoft
> * AMD, Intel, and even found mentions of it working on a G5
>
> Sounds like a potentially useful technology, especially with the ever 
> increasing number of threads becoming available inside a node and the
> ever increasing difference between onchip communication and outside
> node communication.
>
> I've downloaded some examples but they have all been windows specific so far
> (sigh).
>
> Anyone look at it closer?  Is it much different than say pthreads?
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