The release of Intel's Thread Building Blocks 2.0 (TBB) coincides with the company's announcement to take it open source. Both are significant announcements.
TBB is designed to make efficient use of multiple processing cores in a symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP) environment (see "Multiple Threads Make Chunk Change" at www.electronicdesign.com, ED Online 13645). C/C++ applications utilize TBB syntactic extensions.
The latest version of TBB is based on extensive user feedback. Its grain size setting allows hints to be given on how finely to break up the algorithm. This works in conjunction with automatic, hueristic tuning done by TBB so developers don't have to try to tune their algorithms manually.
This version runs on more platforms, such as FreeBSD and Solaris, but expect even more now that the source code is freely available. All that's needed is a C/C++ compiler and knowledge about the target operating system's multiprocessing support.
The move to open source is expected to increase both the use of TBB as well as Intel's product flow. A supported and packaged product will appeal to companies that have come to depend upon TBB to accelerate their parallel programs.
For more, see our review of Intel Threading Building Blocks by James Reinders, chief evangelist and director of marketing for Intel Software Development Products, at ED Online 16537.