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Steve Lionel on Why Fortran Still Matters

Fortran keyboard

Credit: Courtesy of

For Intel technical staff member Steve Lionel there is no question about the continued relevance of the 54-year-old Fortran programming language.

In an interview, he notes that the Fortran standard has been updated five times since its creation. Fortran 2008 features built-in parallel programming capabilities, and Lionel says that "there is an incredible body of well-written and well-debugged routines in Fortran that are out there for reuse."

Many new applications are being written in Fortran, and Lionel cites most of the modern models of hurricane forecasting apps as an example. The PAM-CRASH automobile crash simulator also is written in Fortran.

"Fortran remains the pre-eminent language in high-performance computing," Lionel says. He notes that it is a particularly outstanding language for number crunching, working with sizable floating-point data, or parallel processing. "Its strengths in array operations--its wide variety of routines--make it attractive, and there is a huge library of freely available high-performance routines written over 40 years that still work together," Lionel says.

From Intelligence in Software
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