Microsoft Parallel Extensions to .NET Framework 3.5, December 2007 Community Technology Preview

Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework is a managed programming model for data parallelism, task parallelism, and coordination on parallel hardware unified by a common work scheduler. Parallel Extensions makes it easier for developers to write programs that scale to take advantage of parallel hardware by providing improved performance as the numbers of cores and processors increase without having to deal with many of the complexities of today’s concurrent programming models.

Parallel Extensions provides library based support for introducing concurrency into applications written with any .NET language, including but not limited to C# and Visual Basic.

ParallelFX runs on .NET FX 3.5, and relies on features available in C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 and includes:

  • Imperative data and task parallelism APIs, including parallel for and foreach loops, to make the transition from sequential to parallel programs simpler.
  • Declarative data parallelism in the form of a data parallel implementation of LINQ-to-Objects.  This allows you to run LINQ queries on multiple processors. (PLINQ)
  • First class tasks that can be used to schedule, wait on, and cancel parallel work.
  • New concurrency runtime used across the library to enable lightweight tasks and effectively map and balance the concurrency expressed in code to available concurrent resources on the execution platform.
  • Several great examples of how to use parallelism in real world problems to obtain impressive speedups, including a raytracer, Sudoku puzzle generator, and other simple puzzle solvers and smaller samples.

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Parallel Extensions Team Blog
MSDN Parallel Computing Developer Center
MSDN Magazine Article: Parallel Performance: Optimize Managed Code for Multi-Core Machines
MSDN Magazine Article: Parallel LINQ: Running Queries on Multi-Core Processors
The Manycore Shift whitepaper
MSDN Forums: Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework
MSDN Forums: Parallel Computing General forum
Parallel Extensions to the .NET Framework Connect Site
Channel9 Parallel Extension Videos