Issue 55, 6 July 2006

In this issue:

  • Top Story - New release of NAG SMP Library offers greater performance and expanded functionality
  • Product News - Join the Maple-NAG Connector beta test program
  • NAG Partner - NAG components add statistical advantage to global retailers
  • People News - NAG Technical Advisor elected as President of ACM
  • Company News - NAG attains prestigious Investors in People accreditation
  • Tips & Hints - Replacing NAG Fortran Library routines with their SMP equivalents
  • Events - USA
  • Product News - New Implementations

Top Story - New release of NAG SMP Library offers greater performance and expanded functionality

With the introduction of cost-effective multi-core processors by AMD, Intel, Sun and IBM, high performance computing (HPC) is becoming increasingly accessible to both researchers and commercial users. The NAG SMP Library helps unleash the power of these new processors by making available tuned and enhanced routines which automatically take advantage of multiple processors while maintaining NAG's standards for accuracy and robustness.

Officially launched at Europe's largest conference for High Performance Computing, SC2006 in Germany, the latest release of the NAG SMP Library (Mark 21) has been extensively enlarged to include over 1500 user-callable mathematical and statistical routines for high performance computing.

During recent benchmark studies the SMP Library, Mark 21 outperformed many comparable products, often showing vast improvements in terms of performance, crucial for programmers in today's highly competitive high-performance computing environment. Read the entire SMP Library press release.


Product News - Join the Maple-NAG Connector beta test program

For the past two years NAG's R&D group has been working on a series of projects to make our mathematical and statistical software more easily accessible. Our customers have told us that many of their prototype models and applications don't require the full flexibility and power of Fortran, C, Java or one of the .Net languages. The first fruit of this effort is a product we have developed in collaboration with our longtime partner Maplesoft, the creators of Maple 10. In conjunction with Maplesoft we are beginning a beta test program and we invite you to be part of the beta test group.

The product we will be testing is the Maple-NAG Connector. This new product from NAG and Maplesoft will permit the use of virtually any function contained in Mark 7 of the NAG C Library from within Maple 10. Imagine having the full functionality of NAG with integrated documentation available inside an interactive environment for data analyses, financial models and engineering calculations.

If you are interested in participating in this beta test program, please go to http://www.nag.co.uk/maplenagbeta.asp to answer a few questions and confirm your interest. We expect that those best suited to test will have familiarity with the NAG Library and with Maple but we would like to hear from you if you have experience with either Maple or the NAG Library.

If you are selected for the beta test program we will send you credentials and a link to the beta test site where you can download test materials, file reports on your experience and interact with Maple and NAG developers as well as fellow testers.


NAG Partner - NAG components add statistical advantage to global retailers

In today's highly competitive retail market businesses need the most advanced and up to date software capabilities to gain advantage over their competitors and to maximize profits. DemandTec provides retail and consumer product industries with consumer-centric merchandising software, which enables the planning, optimization and execution of merchandising and marketing programs based on a holistic understanding of consumer demand.

Fierce competition and the availability of massive amounts of data have driven even regional retailers to optimize supply chains, pricing and other critical aspects of their businesses. To meet these needs, DemandTec, Inc., recognized the need to deliver, to retail clients, modeling and analytical capabilities that would have seemed like science fiction just a few years earlier.

To realize its vision for a software architecture that could meet these demands, DemandTec knew that it needed an advanced analytics partner that could meet its current requirements and work with its science team to rapidly create new functionality as customer requirements evolved. After an intensive evaluation process DemandTec turned to NAG because of their longstanding reputation for quality and a track record of supplying code for dozens of ISV applications to supply the mathematical and statistical components needed in their software.

To read the entire article visit DemandTec Partner Profile.


People News - NAG Technical Advisor elected as President of ACM

NAG congratulates Stuart I. Feldman, Vice President of Computer Science Research at IBM and Technical Advisor to NAG, on his recent election as President of The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Stuart begins his two-year term as President of the ACM on 1st July 2006 and pledged to expand ACM's influence into the broader information technology fields worldwide. As part of his vision for ACM over his two-year term, Feldman cited the need to expand service to members around the world, including countries with rapidly growing populations of computing professionals. He also noted his interest in increasing ACM's influence on policy makers whose actions affect the broad computing community as well as society at large. Read more about this appointment from the ACM web site.


Company News - NAG attains prestigious Investors in People accreditation

NAG was recently awarded the UK's Investors in People (IIP) standard after a stringent review process. NAG has always prided itself on its ethos of investing in its most precious asset, its employees, and so it made perfect sense to try to obtain formal acknowledgement of this via IIP. After a year-long process NAG's Oxford office was awarded the prestigious accreditation in April 2006 in recognition of its best practice employee policy, and procedures for employee care and development.

Investors in People is a national quality standard which defines good practice for improving an organization's performance through its people. Developed in 1990 by a partnership of leading businesses and national organizations in the UK, the standard helps organizations to improve performance and realize objectives through the management and development of their people. Since it was developed the standard has been reviewed every three years to ensure that it remains relevant, accessible and attractive to all. The most recent review was completed in November 2004.

During the assessment conducted by IIP representatives, all areas of NAG's policy and procedures came under intense scrutiny including their appraisal system, personal development and training, and management styles and techniques.

NAG operates an open communication system ensuring that employees are aware of business strategy, company targets and objectives, and product development. This openness promotes a healthy atmosphere where new ideas are welcomed and positively encouraged.


Tips & Hints - Replacing NAG Fortran Library routines with their SMP equivalents

The NAG SMP Library is based on, and includes, the full functionality of the NAG Fortran Library so the argument list and routines names are identical. This provides an easy upgrade path because the same code can call a routine that performs the same function, in either the Fortran Library or the SMP Library. The distinction between the two is only made when the final code is linked to a library. Applications that reference a NAG Library routine can therefore take advantage of the performance improvement simply by recompiling and linking your code on an SMP system.

No specialist parallel programming knowledge is required to apply the SMP techniques to your code. The parallelism is carried out automatically and transparently in certain distinct regions within the routines.

All previous Tips & Hints can be found in the NAG Tips & Hints Repository.


Events - USA
  • Quant Congress USA - 12 - 13 July 2006, New York City

    Join NAG at Quant Congress USA 2006, the leading showcase for the latest innovations in derivatives pricing, trading and risk management. The congress brings together specialists in innovative new research and cutting-edge practical applications. The Quant Congress is developed specifically to answer the most urgent questions facing the quantitative analysis and trading desks of major banks, investment houses, asset management firms and insurance companies, and to highlight best practices in the quantitative finance community worldwide. Learn more about this event by visiting the event organizer's website.

Product News - New Implementations

NAG is committed to offering new implementations of its broad range of numerical and statistical software, compilers and tools. Since the last edition of NAGNews, platform availability has increased as detailed below.

The NAG C Library, Mark 8 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • SGI MIPS IRIX 6 using the MIPSpro cc 7.41 Compiler
  • x86-32 Linux using the Intel C v8.1 Compiler
  • x86-32 Solaris

The NAG Fortran Library, Mark 21 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • Fujitsu VPP5000 using the UXP/V Fortran V20 Compiler
  • Apple Power Mac OS X using the NAGWare f95 Compiler
  • IBM Power 4+ AIX 64-bit using the XLF v9.1 Compiler

The NAG SMP Library, Mark 21 is now available for the following platforms:

  • IBM Power 5 AIX 32-bit using the XLF v9.1 Compiler
  • IBM Power 5 AIX 64-bit using the XLF v9.1 Compiler
  • Intel EM64T Linux 64 using the Intel Fortran v8.1 Compiler

The NAG Parallel Library, Mark 3 is now also available for the following platform:

  • IBM Power 4+ AIX 64-bit using the XLF v9.1 Compiler

The NAGWare f95 Compiler, Release 5.1 is now also available for the following platforms:

  • AMD-64 Linux64
  • x86-32 Linux

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