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Mathematica for Intel® Itanium® 2 Platform Unites High-Performance Technologies

Published October 14, 2003

October 14, 2003–A close collaboration between Wolfram Research, Inc. and Intel Corporation has fused Intel Itanium 2 architecture with Wolfram Research’s industry-leading software for high performance technical and scientific computation. The result is Mathematica 5 for Linux on the Intel Itanium processor family, which is now immediately downloadable upon purchase from the Wolfram Research web store. This makes Mathematica the first technical computing system to be made available for the Intel Itanium 2-based platform, which Intel has cast as the future of high-end computing environments.

“We are very pleased to see Mathematica supporting the Intel Itanium processor family,” said Richard Wirt, Intel Senior Fellow and General Manager of Intel’s Software and Solutions Group. “Mathematica is very popular among users in the high performance computing market segment. Using the Intel C++ compiler and our highly optimized Math Kernel Library, Wolfram has produced a release of Mathematica that demonstrates the benefits of using the Intel Itanium 2 processor for high performance computing.”

Mathematica–and Version 5, in particular, with its unparalleled speed, scope, and scalability for computationally intensive tasks–is an ideal fit for Intel Itanium 2-based platforms. “One of the key features of Mathematica 5 is the use of fast, advanced algorithms for dense linear algebra and arbitrary-precision computation, and we made sure that those algorithms take full advantage of the Intel Itanium 2’s microprocessor architecture,” said Peter Overmann, Director of Software Technology at Wolfram Research.

Mathematica‘s implementation of arbitrary-precision numerics makes Mathematica unique among technical computing systems in its ability to truly gain performance on 64-bit platforms. “With Mathematica 5, a whole range of calculations runs faster, and at a higher precision if desired, in a 64-bit environment. Other computing systems, including programming languages like Fortran, do not offer this advantage. Combined with the obvious benefits of the increased address space, 64-bit Mathematica is the ideal system for large-scale scientific and technical computations,” continued Overmann, whose team has invested months of serious effort into the optimization of Mathematica for the Intel Itanium 2 processor. “The completion of the Itanium port means that there is now a native 64-bit version of Mathematica for all major Linux and Unix platforms.”

Wolfram Research has also released an update to gridMathematica, its high performance parallel version of Mathematica, which is fully compatible with the Itanium platform. Version 1.1 of gridMathematica is equally suited for clusters of Intel Itanium 2-based servers and large multiprocessor configurations such as Hewlett-Packard’s Integrity servers, which currently can consist of up to 64 parallel Intel Itanium 2 CPUs. Typical uses of gridMathematica include bioinformatics applications, processing and analysis of large data sets, data mining, and large computations in physics, mathematics, and the life sciences.

Powerhouse applications such as Mathematica and gridMathematica are a strong draw for users who have intensive computing demands and need to be able to solve ever larger problems. “The outstanding performance of the Itanium technology in HP Integrity servers plays an important role in our strategy for offering high performance computing environments,” says Winston Prather, Vice President of the HP High Performance Technical Computing Division. “Mathematica on Integrity servers is the kind of solution our users rely on for their high-level computing operations.”

More information about Mathematica 5 is available.