The research has been prompted by the fact that signifcant performance increases can be gained when compilers are developed to take advantage of the underlying processor architecture. Compilers take program code written in languages such as C++ and turn it into machine code. The ability for a compiler to take the code and tune it to run on processors like the Itanium that have multiple instructions units and which can perform multiple tasks in parallel has a significant impact on application performance.
Demonstrations by Louis Burns, Intel's General Manager Desktop Platforms Group, during his keynote speech at last week's Beijing Intel Developers forum, displayed visibly noticeable performance gains by identical systems executing identical tasks with the only difference being the compiler optimisation.
Professor Zhaoqing Zhang leads the Institute of Computing Technology team while the Intel Labs team is lead by Dr. Jesse Fang. Both have worked in research and development of high-performance compilers for more than 10 years.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the release of the 1.7GHz Pentium 4 and recent news of the soon to be released 2GHz Intel processor.