Mercury Releases Dev Kit For Cell BE Processor

The Mercury MultiCore Plus SDK 1.0 provides developers with a complete programming environment for Cell BE and other multicore processors, boosting its alliance with IBM to commercialize Cell BE processor-based products.
SAN FRANCISCO — Mercury Computer Systems Inc. Tuesday (Sept. 19) released a software suite for programming the Cell Broadband Engine (BE) processor.

According to Mercury (Chelmsford, Mass.), the Mercury MultiCore Plus SDK 1.0 provides a complete programming environment for products based on the Cell BE and other multicore processors. Combining a set of software tools and libraries, the MultiCore Plus SDK enables users to maximize resources and application performance by taking full advantage of the multicore processor's computation model, Mercury said.

The beta version of the development kit has been in use at customers across industries since late 2005, Mercury said.

"The release of Mercury's development kit software combined with our own recent announcement of the availability of the Cell BE-based IBM BladeCenter QS20 demonstrates the momentum behind and the industry demand for this type of graphic intensive, Cell-based computing," said Satish Gupta, vice president of development and delivery at IBM's technology collaboration solutions. "Together, IBM and Mercury are able to bring Cell-based innovative products and solutions to market quickly through product development, joint marketing and collaborative selling activities."

Mercury and IBM announced an alliance focused on the joint development, engineering and commercialization of Cell BE processor-based products in 2005. Since then, Mercury has announced a family of Cell BE processor-based products including the Cell Accelerator Board, a 1U server, the ruggedized PowerBlock 200, and Cell Technology-based development systems available in multiple form factors.

Mercury has been shipping prototype versions of its Dual Cell-based Blade since December 2005, and production versions since August 2006. According to Mercury, the Dual Cell-Based Blade is the first Cell BE processor-based product available outside of the gaming industry.

"While programming the Cell BE processor requires a different paradigm for many software developers, it's a simple extension of our existing capabilities to the multicore architecture, which we provide to the user in a comprehensive package," said Craig Lund, Mercury vice president and chief technology officer.

Mercury said the MultiCore Plus SDK is supported on the open source Linux distribution for Cell and complements components of the IBM SDK. General availability is scheduled for later this month.

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