|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / October 24, 2007|
Australian software startup, Guardsoft, has entered into an agreement with Cray Inc. to license Guardsoft's novel "Guard" debugging technology for use in Cray's Cascade program. Partially funded by $250 million from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cray will develop a revolutionary new supercomputer based on the company's Adaptive Supercomputing vision aimed at integrating a range of processing technologies into a single scalable platform.
Guardsoft is based on innovative research and development led by Monash University's Professor David Abramson in the Faculty of Information Technology. It uses a new technique called "relative" debugging, which allows programmers to trace errors introduced into software as it is modified, or ported from one system to another. Unlike traditional debugging techniques, relative debugging compares the execution of a new program with a reference version that is known to work.
"Relative debugging is orders of magnitude faster than existing approaches because the programmer doesn't have to understand all the details of the code," said Prof. Abramson. "This is particularly valuable when the person performing the debugging is not the original developer."
Cray selected the new technology as a tool to aid application developers in porting existing programs to Cray supercomputers.
"This approach will allow our users to locate errors quickly when existing sequential programs are parallelised, or when they are changed during code development," said Steve Scott, chief technology officer for Cray. "This new technology has the potential to enhance programmer productivity substantially, and complements the other tools we are developing in the Cascade program."
About DARPA and the HPCS Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD). The agency manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions. The High Productivity Computing Systems program aims at providing a new generation of cost-effective, scalable, productive systems for national security and industrial users. The first two phases of HPCS were devoted to critical concept studies and assessments, preliminary research and development, and risk reduction engineering activities. Phase III involves a development and demonstration effort over four years. Go to www.darpa.mil for more information.
About Cray Inc.
As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing vision will result in innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.
Guardsoft is a privately owned and operated company in Melbourne, Australia (ACN 096 853 093). Its core intellectual property was developed as a result of research conducted at Australian universities Griffith University in Brisbane and Monash University in Melbourne. Guardsoft's products use a novel data comparison mechanism that is protected by patent, and flows from projects funded from a variety of public and private sources, including Australian Research Council Discovery grants. It currently produces versions of the software for a range of platforms, including Linux, IBM's Eclipse platform and Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET. For more information, contact Guardsoft on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.guardsoft.com.