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Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Microsoft Create Joint Research Centre in Barcelona for Parallel Computing

During a press conference at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC) and Microsoft Corp today announced the creation of the BSC-Microsoft Research Centre, which will focus on the way microprocessors and software for the mobile and desktop market segments will be designed and interact over the next 10 years and beyond.

The advent of many- and multi-core processor computing architectures will make it possible to deliver enormous computational power on a single chip, with profound implications for the way software is developed. Optimizing the design and interaction of hardware and software architectures to take advantage of the new computing power will require tight integration across the industry.

Computer architecture experts at BSC have teamed up with computer scientists at Microsoft Research Cambridge (MSRC) in the United Kingdom to look for innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities that massively parallel processing represents. The vision of the centre is of a top-down computer architecture in which software requirements drive the hardware innovation forward rather than letting the hardware design condition software development. In addition to fundamental and applied research in transactional memories, a promising technology that facilitates writing of parallel programs for multi-core processors, hardware support for managed runtimes will be conducted in the initial research projects.

The official inauguration of the centre was attended by Josep Huguet, counsellor of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Prof Antoni Giró, acting rector of the Technical University of Catalonia; Prof Mateo Valero, BSC’s director; Dr Andrew Herbert, managing director of the Microsoft Research Laboratory in Cambridge; Tony Hey, corporate vice president of External Research in Microsoft Research; and Rosa Garcia, president of Microsoft Spain.

“Two years after the initial agreement, we are reaffirming our research commitment by establishing a research centre in Barcelona, building upon the successful collaboration of a group of researchers from the Computer Architecture team in BSC and Microsoft Research. To optimize the designs and interactions of multi-core processors and software, we need to start from parallel programming. The way to deal with this multi-core architecture challenge is to bring together computer architects and programming language experts,” stressed Mateo Valero, director of BSC.

“We are pleased to partner with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to create this new research centre,” said Tony Hey, corporate vice president of External Research in Microsoft Research. “Partnerships like this help us to reach our goal of supporting the global research community and ultimately assisting researchers and scientists to address some of the toughest, most urgent societal and technological challenges worldwide. Microsoft Research has a strong track record of collaboration with public research centres and academic institutes to advance the state of the art in computing. The BSC-Microsoft Research Centre is our most recent step, combining our respective areas of expertise to address the challenges of writing trustworthy software for multi-core processors.”

“At Microsoft we are committed to joining and building partnerships between businesses, research centres, education institutions and governments to promote Knowledge Society across Europe and to seeing Spain and Catalonia’s excellence in research and innovation achieve the worldwide recognition it deserves through increased investment and commercial collaboration,” explained Rosa García, president of Microsoft Spain.

Renata Giménez Binder | alfa
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