PathScale Announces Highest-Performance 64-bit Compilers for AMD Opteron Linux Computer Systems
Posted by Kenneth Farmer (Monday November 17 2003 @ 03:10PM EST) [ ]
Former SGI Chief Scientist Dr. Fred Chow Leads Development of First Compiler Specifically Optimized for AMD Opteron Processor

Sunnyvale, Calif. and Phoenix, Ariz. - November 18, 2003 - PathScale, Inc., developer of innovative software and hardware solutions to accelerate the performance and efficiency of Linux clusters, has unveiled a suite of high-performance compilers for the AMD Opteron™ processor. PathScale compilers leverage the AMD Opteron processor's high-performance 64-bit functionality and remarkable industry-leading price/performance benefits, including 32-bit capability. Initial benchmarks on real application code and initial SPEC results show that the PathScale Compiler Suite is the highest performance 64-bit compiler for AMD Opteron-based Linux servers by a margin of up to 40 percent. The announcement was made today at the SC2003 Super Computing Conference in Phoenix.

"AMD's collaboration with PathScale presents a compelling new alternative for the AMD64 developer community and our system builders," said David Rich, director of High Performance Computing at AMD. "The PathScale compiler's performance has been very impressive and it substantially increases the attractiveness of AMD Opteron processor-based servers relative to alternative solutions for HPC users."

The PathScale compiler suite is based on stable, mature technology originally developed by SGI. The optimization infrastructure of this compiler technology is generally considered to be one of the most advanced in the industry. The PathScale compiler development team is led by Dr. Fred Chow, formerly chief scientist for compilers at SGI, and recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on compiler technology.

"Based on more than 60 interviews with users of high-performance computing systems within large organizations, there is a clear market need for a balanced, 64-bit, fully-supported compiler for the AMD Opteron processor," said Len Rosenthal, VP of marketing at PathScale. "We have witnessed very strong HPC end-user interest in Opteron processor-based servers. The added performance of the PathScale Compiler Suite is expected to increase this interest and make the AMD Opteron the preferred processor choice for Linux clusters, altering the balance of power in the competition between AMD and Intel in the high-performance 64-bit market."

In both floating point and integer-intensive performance benchmarks, PathScale compilers substantially out-performed competitive compiler offerings. Unlike other compilers that provide optimization for either floating point or integer (but not both), PathScale compilers deliver balanced performance results for floating point and integer computations as measured by the SPEC benchmarks and real applications codes.

"PathScale's technology sits at the conjunction of three major drivers for the HPC market: the growth of cluster computing, the entry of standard processors such as AMD's Opteron, and ongoing requirements to solve ever more complex and demanding scientific and engineering problems," said Christopher Willard, Research Vice President for the Workstations and High-Performance Systems Group at IDC Research. "Compiler technology directly effects how quickly and easily applications can be developed, extended and ported to take advantage of new architectural strategies and component technologies."

The PathScale Compiler Suite includes C, C++, and Fortran 9X compilers that deliver:

- Industry-leading optimizations
- Complete support for 64-bit and 32-bit compilation
- Native code generation for the AMD64 ABI
- Compatibility with GNU/GCC tool chain and debuggers
- Binary and source code compatibility

"The general availability of PathScale compilers in the first quarter of 2004 will help accelerate the adoption of Linux clusters for high-performance computing," said Scott Metcalf, president and CEO of PathScale. "The PathScale Compiler Suite is ideal for HPC users who care about 64-bit application throughput and price/performance. Our goal is to make it easier for users to develop and deploy clustered Linux servers."

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