Interview with Joe Wolf of Intel’s Compiler Group

“Joe Wolf has worked with compilers for high-performance computing for the past twenty years. He developed optimizing/parallelizing Ada and Fortran compilers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Cray Research, Inc. before joining Intel in 1996. Since then, he has focused on helping customers in all industries adopt and use the Intel Compilers for all of Intel’s processors and platforms from hand-helds to large clusters,” David Gohara reports for MacResearch.

Gohara: Describe your current position inside Intel and some of the projects you are directly involved with.
Wolf: At Intel, I manage the Intel Compilers Technical Support and Consulting team, responsible for all technical support and training for our compiler products. I’ve been with the Intel compiler team since 1996 working as a compiler developer, support engineer and as a manager. We are currently working to help our Intel Software Development Products for Mac OS X help developers in the marketplace get the best performance.

Gohara: The announcement of a switch was made at WWDC 2005. How, in your opinion, had the mood changed about the transition to Intel between WWDC 2005 and WWDC 2006?
Wolf:At WWDC 2006, it seemed that there was nothing but excitement about the transition. Everyone I met was genuinely enthusiastic about the Intel® processor-based Mac’s, especially for their performance vs. previous generations. People just seemed to want to get their hands on whatever information and software that could help them get their applications transitioned quickly.

Gohara: To many people the switch to Intel came as a big surprise, and for the majority of us, we found out during the WWDC 2005 keynote, including many people within Apple. At what level within Intel was the transition known about prior to the announcement? Can you describe some of your initial thoughts when you first found out about the switch?
Wolf:As I said above, there were just a few people in the company in senior management and key software and hardware technologists that knew about it early on. Personally, I was ecstatic. Apple is such an innovative and creative company; we knew we could learn some interesting things in working with them. It meant that I could lift my self-imposed embargo on buying a Mac for my family because it did not have an Intel processor in it.

The full interview via MacResearch here.

Related articles:
Intel-based Macs running both Mac OS X and Windows will be good for Apple – June 10, 2005


  1. “It meant that I could lift my self-imposed embargo on buying a Mac for my family because it did not have an Intel processor in it.”

    Sort of makes Apple sound like post-Communist Russia.

  2. Thanks! Jeff, great help. I have also tried using ffmpegX and as far as ow it has 70% and has not crashed, but I am using library to encode it, bucause Quicktime is codec for Divx is the one that crahses all apps. I will be looking in the forum that you just sugest me. Thanks a lot.

  3. This is a big deal. You can’t get much advantage from multiple cores on an application without compiler support for parallel programming. I hope that Intel will start supporting Objective C, since that is so crucial to Cocoa.

    But I also think that Intel’s making a profit center out of its Intel specific compilers is a mistake. They should provide these tools for free to drive up the benchmark performance for all applications run on their chips, including those written for use in house and not for sale. Use superior software to drive hardware sales. That is what Apple does. That model works.

  4. Ada is the finest Software Engineering language in the world.

    You can write things more quickly in C/C++, but you can write things properly more quickly in Ada. Finish something in a week in C++, spend 3 weeks debugging (and still have the potential for buffer overruns). Finish something in two weeks in Ada, spend 1 week testing.

    Ada to C is like Mac to PC.

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