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OpenMP News

February 2011

Draft of the OpenMP Specification version 3.1 ready for Public Comment

The OpenMP ARB is pleased to announce the release of a draft of the OpenMP specification, version 3.1 for comment by the community.

This draft will serve as the basis of an official 3.1 update of the specification, which is expected to be ratified in time for IWOMP 2011 in Chicago. All interested users and implementers are invited to review the comment draft and to provide feedback through the Draft 3.1 Public Comment section of the OpenMP Forum

The 3.1 version is intended as a minor release that will not break existing, correct OpenMP applications. However, it does include several new features, most notably the addition of predefined min and max operators for C and C++ and extensions to the atomic construct that allow the value of the shared variable that the construct updates to be captured or to be written without being read. It also includes extensions to the OpenMP tasking model that support optimization of its use.

"The release of this comment draft represents the culmination of significant effort on the part the OpenMP Language Committee," stated Language Committee Chair Bronis R. de Supinski. "We have added extensions that handle some of the most frequent user requests while also working to make the specification and its associated examples clearer. We anticipate making other minor changes to the draft as a result not only due to public comment but also to provide additional examples that will clarify the use of new features. We plan to make updates to the comment draft that capture these enhancements available during the comment period, which closes Monday, May 1, 2011."

"Concurrent to our work on version 3.1, we have also been making progress on several significant enhancements to the specification that we expect to serve as the basis for version 4.0," de Supinski continued. "Topics under consideration include support for accelerators such as GPUs, major enhancements to the tasking model, mechanisms to support error handling and user defined reductions. I welcome inquiries from anyone interested in contributing to these directions."

12 May 2008

The OpenMP Architecture Revew Board has approved the 3.0 specifications.

The 3.0 draft specifications were out for public review from October thru January. The final 3.0 specs is now available. It corrects a number of typos, clarifies some issues raised during the review period, and contains completed appendicies and lists of examples and implementation-defined features.
» OpenMP 3.0 API Specifications (May 2008) (PDF)

21 October 2007

    The OpenMP ARB is pleased to announce the release of a draft of Version 3.0 of the OpenMP specification for public comment. This is the first update to the OpenMP specification since 2005.

    This release adds several new features to the OpenMP specification, including:

    •  Tasking: move beyond loops with generalized tasks and support complex and dynamic control flows.

    •  Loop collapse: combine nested loops automatically to expose more concurrency

    •  Enhanced loop schedules: Support aggressive compiler optimizations of loop schedules and give programmers better runtime control over the kind of schedule used.

    •  Nested parallelism support: better definition of and control over nested parallel regions, and new API routines to determine nesting structure

    Larry Meadows, CEO of the OpenMP organization, states: "The creation of OpenMP 3.0 has taken very hard work by a number of people over more than two years. The introduction of a unified tasking model, allowing creation and execution of unstructured work, is a great step forward for OpenMP. It should allow the use of OpenMP on whole new classes of computing problems."
    The draft specification is available in PDF format from the Specifications section of the OpenMP ARB website: (Direct link:, or here)

    Mark Bull has led the effort to expand the applicability of OpenMP while improving it for its current uses as the Chair of the OpenMP Language Committee. He states: "The OpenMP language committee has done a fine job in producing this latest version of OpenMP. It has been difficult to resolve some tricky details and understand how tasks should propagate across the language. But I think we have come up with solid solutions, and the team should be proud of their accomplishment."

    The ARB warmly welcomes any comments, corrections and suggestions you have for Version 3.0. For Version 3.0, we are soliciting comments through an on-line forum, located at The
    forum is entitled Draft 3.0 Public Comment. You can also send email to if you would rather not use the forum. It is most helpful if you can refer to the page number and line number where appropriate.

    The public comment period will close on 31 January 2008.

May 2005

    OpenMP Version 2.5 Specification Released

    The OpenMP ARB has announced the release of the Version 2.5 specification.
    The goal of Version 2.5 was to combine the Fortran and C/C++ specifications into a single one and to fix inconsistencies. No new language features have been added, but substantial rewriting has taken place to improve the clarity of the specification.

    Important changes made in the new version include:

    • New definitions of many of the terms used in the specification
    • The addition of an OpenMP memory model
    • The use of internal control variables to describe how an implementation controls parallelism
    • A redefinition of the rules governing the flush construct
    • A clearer definition of how the sharing attributes of variables are determined
    • A definition of rules governing persistence of threadprivate data
    • A clearer statement of the behaviour of private arrays in C/C++
    • A new definition of the rules governing nesting of regions
    • A clarification of the interaction between lock operations and memory updates
    • A significantly extended set of examples
    • The removal of many minor inconsistencies and inaccuracies
    OpenMP API version 2.5 (PDF format)

Newsletter of the OpenMP ARB





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