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ARM buys HPC software specialist Allinea to help devs code good

If Intel and IBM think HPC is a two-horse race, they need to think again

By Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016

ARM has splashed an unspecified quantity of cash on Allinea Software, the maker of tools that developers can use to get the most out of high performance computing (HPC) rigs.

Javier Orensanz, general manager of ARM's Development Solutions Group, says the company “will use its newly acquired capabilities to accelerate its adoption in HPC and new markets.” Allinea's CEO David Lecomber says he's on board with that ambition and that “the whole Allinea organization remains together - as one HPC Tools team within ARM.” And that team will keep working multiple CPU architectures.

ARM was already working on tools similar to Allinea's. Those efforts will now be combined and new people hired.

It's generally agreed that machine learning and data analytics are going to become very, very big, and that lots of very, very, big computers are going to be required to run such workloads at very, very big scale. Which is why ARM wants in to the market in which its many virtues present a fine alternative to the Xeon and Power CPUs that currently dominate the field.

ARM has a couple of early successes on its resume, notably Fujitsu picking ARM for a 1,000-PFLOPS super in Japan. The previous, SPARC-powered, version of that machine used 705,000 cores. Just how many it will need this time around hasn't been specified. The Register suspects the answer is “a very, very big number.” Which by coincidence is probably what ARM hopes will one day land on its balance sheet if its HPC push succeeds. ®

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