November 14, 2005

Gelato Spotlights Linux Itanium at Brazil Meeting

Nan Holda writes "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (November 11, 2005)--Ninety scientists, developers, and engineers convened from all around the globe for the October 2005 meeting of the Gelato Federation ( an international technical organization dedicated to advancing Linux on the Intel® Itanium® processor. In attendance were delegates from more than 25 research and enterprise institutions, including Gelato members and sponsors, HP, Intel, and SGI. The event was hosted by the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) at their campus in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

"We were delighted at the turnout of the Linux-Itanium community and industry representatives from around the world," stated Mark K. Smith, Gelato managing director. "It is very gratifying to see the range of presentation topics, especially those addressing Itanium tool chain improvement and presentations of interest to enterprise developers."

Details of the meeting are available at: .

Technical Highlights

Themed "The Itanium ERA: Education, Research, Application," the meeting delivered an exceptional speaker line-up and technical program with over two dozen presentations. In addition to Gelato members and sponsors, speakers from BEA Systems, Secure64 Software, and Red Hat presented their current Itanium-related work. In addition, the Itanium Solutions Alliance presented details on their newly formed organization and received a tremendously positive endorsement from the attendees. Gelato is looking forward to working with the Alliance to meet the mutual objective of advancing the Linux-Itanium platform.

A popular session was led by the Gelato GCC on Itanium workgroup, which aims to produce the best GCC for Itanium possible. The group—including representatives from HP, Intel, Red Hat, the Gelato Federation, and the GCC community—presented recent accomplishments and goals. Gelato member the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has implemented a high-level Superblock formation pass, which will provide larger code sequences to the optimizers, giving it more freedom to improve code performance. The UIUC team plans to further adjust Superblock formation to generate code sequences that optimized well, verify that optimizers can take advantage of larger code sequences, and tune formation heuristics to optimize performance. Gelato member the Institute for System Programming (ISP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) has implemented framework for data speculation, an alias propagation mechanism, region formation, and evaluation of probabilities. In the future, RAS will implement a new aggressive scheduler and enhancements for software pipelining.

Another hot subject is the trend for the Itanium processor market to grow beyond high-performance computing into the information technology sector. Several presentations at the Gelato meeting demonstrated this theme. Mark Davis examined some options on the Intel C++ Compiler for Linux (icc) for compiling transaction-intensive software, including optimizations known to perform well on database applications. An area of particular interest is virtualization, a process that can consolidate under-utilized servers to reduce capital/operating expenses, avoid downtime, and dynamically rebalance workloads to guarantee application service level agreements. Dan Magenheimer, senior scientist for HP Labs, presented on Xen-virtualized machines and a community effort to port Xen to the Itanium. Peter Chubb, senior research engineer at National ICT Australia and research officer at the University of New South Wales, detailed his work on automatic para-virtualization of Linux on the Itanium platform. Automatic para-virtualization massively reduces the engineering effort to convert an operating system to run on a virtual machine.

The Gelato Scalability in a Box focus group sessions continue to be well received. This group concentrates on making Linux perform and scale better in a single, multi-processor system. Lee Schermerhorn, HP software engineer, presented an overview of work done by the HP Open Source and Linux Organization (OSLO) Performance and Scalability team. Avelino F. Zorzo, senior lecturer at PUCRS, outlined work on the IA-64 NUMA platform done as part of the PeSO project. As a result of the presentation, HP and the Ohio Supercomputer Center plan to provide the PeSO project with access to multi-level NUMA platforms. Peter Chubb focused his talk on file system scalability, one of the many areas of Itanium processor research at UNSW. His team will continue to collaborate with SGI and HP to measure the scalability of Linux on large configurations.

Presentations are available at .

With the tremendous amount of high-quality technical information delivered, Gelato's October 2005 meeting was a major success. At the end of 2-1/2 days of presentations, project updates, knowledge sharing, and brainstorming ideas for improving and expanding the platform, there was a palpable level of excitement as attendees were filled with a new vigor and determination to advance Linux on Itanium. The momentum will carry through to the Gelato Conference planned for April 24-26, 2006, in San Jose, California. Plans are already in place to expand to three full days of technical presentations and add an exposition area. Registration will begin early February 2006.

About Gelato

The Gelato Federation is the international user community dedicated to advancing the Linux-Itanium platform. Gelato members are suppliers and users of Linux-Itanium technology with a shared goal of improving the platform for academia, government, and industry use. Details about Gelato members’ software and solutions can be found at All are welcome to participate and contribute.

For more information, please contact:
Nan Holda

Intel and Itanium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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