CriticalBlue announces broader support for Renesas’ multicore platforms within Prism

Release of new Prism Platform Support Package helps developers unlock the power of Renesas’ manycore parallel architecture

San Jose, Calif. — May 2nd, 2012 — CriticalBlue, a provider of embedded multicore software analysis, exploration and verification tools with associated services, announced today the availability of more support for different multicore platforms from Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) , a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, within its Prism product. Software developers using various Renesas’ multicore platforms can now analyze their existing software applications, quickly evaluate performance on the chosen platform, and accelerate the implementation and tuning of their software on the parallel architecture.

This announcement deepens the existing collaborative relationship between CriticalBlue and Renesas which previously produced Prism support for SH-4A and V850 platforms and now adds supports for the imaging hardware accelerator engine based multicore platforms.

Multimedia processing functions, such as network connection or voice and image processing require high performance processing, particularly in automotive applications where the growing use of electronics continuously demands more performance but faces the challenge of the increasing power required to achieve that performance.

Renesas, as the leader of the automotive microcontroller (MCU) market, has introduced multicore products to answer this market demand. The parallel processing on these platforms improves the performance while optimizing the power efficiency. However, such platforms introduce some new concepts from the developers’ perspective when porting their software from single to multicore platforms. Renesas quickly responded to concerns about these new challenges and chose to develop, in collaboration with CriticalBlue, support for Renesas multicore platforms within the Prism tool. This delivers a software solution which enables users to take advantage of the parallel architecture while allowing them to get a good understanding of the achievable performance of the multicore design and the resulting porting effort.

Prism is an award winning Eclipse-based embedded multicore programming system which allows software engineers to easily assess and realize the full potential of multicore processors without significant changes to their existing development flow. Prism analyzes the behavior of code running on hardware development boards, virtual machines or simulators. It allows engineers to take their existing sequential code, and before making any changes, explore and analyze opportunities for concurrency. Having identified the optimal parallelization strategies in this way, developers implement parallel structures, and use Prism again to verify performance efficiency and thread-safe operations.

In addition to partitioning software onto multicore hardware, the availability of this new Prism Platform Support Package (PSP) will be that users can quantify the benefit of migrating their software applications to multicore platforms. Developers can analyze the impact of the parallel architecture, selecting a number of cores and viewing data cache performance at function or source line level, resulting in an ability to see the impact of such core architectural features on the overall concurrent schedule. This important feedback to the software programmer would be extremely difficult to visualize otherwise. Ultimately, Prism provides developers with an estimate of the performance gain achievable by partitioning their program into multiple threads, as well as providing a methodology and flow to implement, tune and verify that multi-threaded software.

These analyses can be done on existing unmodified software applications running on an instruction set simulator. Experienced multicore software programmers will benefit from Prism’s capabilities in the area of performance tuning and general multicore code optimization.

Support Quotes

“We have added support for many different homogeneous multicore platforms since Prism was released in 2009 but this is our first many-core platform.” said David Stewart, CEO, CriticalBlue. “Highly parallel engines present a deeper set of challenges for software developers and it has been a pleasure to continue working with Renesas to realize a solution which will deliver tangible benefits to our joint customers.”

“The multicore architecture delivers outstanding performance when configured correctly and loaded up with sufficient work to process, and our customers often ask us for help in figuring out how best to migrate their applications to the parallel platform.” said Jean-Luc Bui, engineer, Renesas. “The Prism technology, coupled with the knowledge of CriticalBlue’s engineers, creates an ideal environment to evaluate the benefits available to our customers if they use our multicore platform and to implement the required software changes efficiently and safely.”

Key Points:

  • Prism helps speed development and optimization of multicore software applications and hence accelerates time to market of end products based on highly parallel architecture.
  • Integration with Prism allows Renesas customers to analyze their existing single threaded application code for use with multicore platform.
  • Prism technology is an Eclipse plug-in and is based on dynamic tracing of the users’ software execution.
  • Developers can work in a familiar Eclipse environment using existing IDEs and compilers alongside CriticalBlue’s Prism development tools.
  • The Renesas V850, SH-4A and image hardware accelerator engine PSPs for Prism are available now.

About CriticalBlue

CriticalBlue guides software developers through the task of migrating to and optimizing code on multicore platforms through the delivery of innovative and multicore software focused tools, training, and services. The increasing use of complex, multicore processor architectures has accelerated demand for CriticalBlue’s technology and expertise throughout all electronic industry sectors. To learn more, please visit www.criticalblue.com