Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

SDKs Provide a Wealth of Capabilities

Power, Ease of Use and Flexibility
Horde3D is a small open-source 3-D rendering SDK.
Media Cybernetics' Image-Pro Plus.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.'s MultiCore Plus SDK 1.0, an intuitive programming environment for the Cell Broadband Engine and other multi-core processors.

By Lee J. Nelson
Contributing Editor

Dean Sequera, Media Cybernetics' vice president of marketing and technical services, sees trends in image analysis beginning with "home-made hardware and software ... to address emerging needs." As a market matures, those components are replaced by commercial building blocks which tend to be more stable and better documented; but, users still have to merge those elements. Further on, value-added suppliers enter the fray in what Sequera dubs the "systems integration phase." Finally large and mature enough to allow single vendors to excel, the market exacts vertical solutions. All along the way, some software gets embedded into hardware ("firmware") to confer a particular advantage such as speed. As a software company, Sequera adds, "we must be nimble at each stage and alter our offerings appropriately."

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Chelmsford, Mass.) announces the MultiCore Plus SDK 1.0, an intuitive programming environment for IBM Corporation's (Armonk, N.Y.) Cell Broadband Engine and other multi-core processors.

Combining a robust set of tools into a seamless bundle, the MultiCore Plus SDK takes advantage of a multiple processor's computational power. Since late last year, a pre-release has been undergoing beta-testing with aerospace, defense, seismic, semiconductor, life sciences, digital media and national labs customers. Highly optimized math libraries and a middleware communication framework engender optimal runtimes, while productivity is increased by Mercury's Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) among other plug-ins.

IBM and Mercury Computer formed an alliance in 2005 to engineer and commercialize Cell Broadband Engine processor-centric solutions. Since then, Mercury continues "... enabling customers to achieve unprecedented computational performance (which) is nothing new ... we've been doing it for twenty years," said Craig Lund, a Mercury Computer vice president and CTO. "While programming the Cell Broadband Engine processor requires a different paradigm for many software developers, it's a simple extension of our existing capabilities to the multi-core architecture, which we provide to the user in a comprehensive package."

The MultiCore Plus SDK is part of Mercury's MultiCore Plus Advantage, which fosters programmability of all the firm's products and is supported on the open-source Linux distribution for the Cell Broadband Engine.

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