A multicore processor is defined as any chip with more than one processing core. Today, almost all Intel chips that go into laptops, desktops, and servers have at least two cores. The challenge for Intel is to make sure that applications take advantage of all the cores--so-called parallelism. This has historically presented a challenge for software programmers.
"The operating system does stuff for applications in parallel," Reinders said, referring to operating systems such as Windows. "But considering that we can produce more and more cores every year, to truly get the benefit of what the future holds, applications need to change. And most applications haven't changed," he said.
The goal is to facilitate the development of parallel programming. "How do we help software developers tackle parallel programming? Both companies had teams of experts that had been focused on this problem. So, they're kindred spirits," he said.
Writing about Cilk in a blog, Reinders said Intel sees "great opportunities for Cilk to integrate with our parallel tools...including Intel Parallel Studio." The firm's technology enables "mainstream programmers to develop multithreaded (or parallel) applications...Providing a smooth path to multicore for legacy (older) applications that otherwise cannot easily leverage the performance capabilities of multicore processors," according to Cilk's Web site. Original Cilk research was done at MIT.