ARM Buys HPC Software Toolmaker Allinea

Dec. 16, 2016

By: Michael Feldman

ARM Limited has purchased Allinea Software, a maker of application development tools for high performance computing, for an undisclosed sum of money. The acquisition gives ARM a leg up in expanding its reach into the HPC ecosystem.

Allinea is best known for its DDT debugger and MAP code profiler, two tools used by software developers writing parallel applications in C, C++, and Fortran. The company also offers an admin tool called Performance Reports, which provides performance analysis on HPC applications. According to the press release announcing the acquisition, Allinea tools are currently used on 20 of the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world. Its customers include the DOE, NASA, and a range of universities and private firms.

According to Javier Orensanz, general manager of ARM’s Development Solutions Group, the acquisition will help HPC developers port their applications to ARM-based systems. ARM thinks it can take a slice out of the HPC and high-end analytics market, which is currently dominated by x86-based systems. “Integrating Allinea’s tools and expertise into the development solutions group here at ARM extends our product portfolio for development tools to address HPC and these new emerging markets,” he writes in a blog posted on Friday.

Orensanz goes on to say that they intend to continue to support Allinea tools on non-ARM platforms, noting that “ARM cares deeply about its partners and has built its long-term success on a success sharing model. Therefore it is perfectly natural for us to continue supporting Allinea’s tools customers, whether they are using ARM or not.”

Currently DDT and MAP support x86 (including Xeon Phi), IBM Power, and ARM v8 (64-bit ARM). DDT also provides debug support for NVIDIA GPUs. Orensanz says he has made assurances to Allinea’s key customers that they will maintain support across multiple processor architectures.

He also says ARM intends to retain all Allinea employees, including CEO David Lecomber, who will head the Allinea unit under Orensanz’s Development Solutions Group. The group already maintains support for HPC ARM compilers and libraries, which Orensanz says will be folded into this new unit run by Lecomber. This will form the basis of a complete HPC tool suite for ARM-based systems, which is scheduled to be launched in 2017.