Last week, I wrote about Software Transaction Memory (STM), a promising alternative to using locks in parallel programming. As a follow-on to that, I thought I’d mention Intel’s Whatif website, which provides an opportunity to try out technologies that are still in development. The fact that something appears on this website does not necessarily mean it will result in a final product, but if you’d like to experiment with STM, there is a free tool to help you do that. It’s ideal for testing the principles of STM, and delivering the kind of real results we need to underpin future industry discussion.
Intel® C++ STM Compiler, Prototype Edition 3.0 is available for both Windows and Linux and extends C++ for the benefit of those using Intel’s production compiler. It provides new language constructs for STM that will help users to understand and implement the transaction memory programming model, and also provides the runtime libraries required to implement them. The language constructs are still very much in development, so Intel welcomes feedback based on your experience with this prototype release. STM as a concept will benefit from test implementations too, and with this prototype release, Intel is providing some tools that will help to make this possible.
If you’re not already using Intel’s production compiler, you can download a free trial version too so you can still try out the STM Compiler.