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January 1993


The High Performance Fortran Forum (HPFF) is a coalition of industry, academic, and laboratory representatives working to define extensions to Fortran 90 to provide support for portable data-parallel programming. This year, the forum has embarked on new directions for the High Performance Fortran (HPF) language and monitored its use in a series of five meetings. Several additional meetings will be held in 1996 to wrap up work in these new areas.

HPFF was founded by CRPC leaders Ken Kennedy and Geoffrey Fox in 1992, and has been chaired by Kennedy since that time. In early 1993, the group released HPF 1.0, a standard used by many companies for product development and other commercial efforts. In 1995, HPFF's goals have focused on the development of HPF 2.0, an extension of HPF 1.0 into the areas of irregular computations, task parallelism, interfacing with other languages, and parallel I/O operations.

Throughout the year, HPFF members have prepared and reviewed language proposals written to address the technical development of HPF 2.0. In the recent September 20-22 meeting, 27 HPFF members from 24 industrial, academic, and government organizations took part in this process. Among those CRPC researchers present were Ken Kennedy, Alok Choudhary, Ian Foster, Tomasz Haupt, Chuck Koelbel, and Joel Saltz.

Two examples of proposals made by CRPC researchers at the meeting were "ON and RESIDENT Directives," and "Out of Core (OCC) Arrays." Rice University Research Scientist Chuck Koelbel presented the "ON" proposal, which described tools that give programmers more control over processor operations and the movement of data. Alok Choudhary of Syracuse made a preliminary presentation for Out of Core (OOC) arrays, which support large data sets that do not fit in a computer's main memory. Both proposals were tentatively accepted by the HPFF for further development.

HPFF wrapped up its 1995 meeting schedule November 1-3, during which participants continued with intensive proposal processing.

HPFF will begin 1996 with an open workshop on January 9-12, and continue its efforts in language development and evaluation during the year. The forum expects to complete the HPF 2.0 specification by SUPERCOMPUTING '96. This will provide scientists with an improved, portable, efficient parallel language for their computations, helping make parallel computation truly usable.

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