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The C++ compiler comes with a set of thread building blocks aimed at shielding programmers from the still-evolving details of Intel's multicore processors. The building blocks automate some of the low-level decisions about how to make particular tasks parallel. We encourage people to use these abstractions,” said Reinders. People need to express parallelism at a high level so they don't have to go back and readjust their assumptions when the system changes.”

The acquisition price includes a cash payment of $28.2 million and the assumption of $5.7 million in debt. The companies expect the transaction to close within 90 days, following the customary regulatory and shareholder approvals. Menlo (San Mateo, Calif.) plans to finance the deal with cash on hand.

But the spec, which started out with the less snappy name Mu-Card, might easily have been another has-been. A break came in mid-2005, when the de- velopers in Taiwan pitched the idea of the card to the MMCA. The organization liked it. Later that year, it formed a technical committee to adopt the spec and shepherd it through the long process of adoption, which ended in May.