Friday, October 20, 2006

Mathworks doesn't announce Matlab release 2006b

Mathworks seem to have somewhat lost interest in their core products.

This week I read a Mathworks news item on another expensive link product (well I think $2000 to connect Matlab more easily to Altium’s TASKING Compiler is expensive). In light of the other links that I discussed recently, this seems like a general strategy.

But I, understandably, managed to miss a new release of their flagship products. This is because Release 2006b of the Matlab/Simulink family has again been slipped out without making it to their news page. Like the 2006a release, the new biannual release cycle has not produced anything too exciting, so perhaps this is the reason.

The headline "New capabilities" for Matlab are listed as
  • Additional support for large data set handling in MATLAB
  • MATLAB application deployment to Java™
  • Distributed computing tools supporting Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003, distributed arrays, and parallel math functions
  • Graphical interface for defining and solving optimization problems
But when you dig down, there is less to it than meets the eye. "Additional support for large data set handling" sounded exciting but the details turn out to be:
  • Elimination of temporary memory copies when calling M-file functions and some built-in functions in-place (i.e., x = myfunction(x)) for easier handling of large data sets and improve performance
  • Ability to read and write MAT-files greater than 2 GB on 64-bit platforms via new switches to the save function
  • Ability to view larger arrays in Array Editor
  • Full JIT/Accelerator support for 64-bit platforms, allowing faster code execution
IE removal of some internal limitations and finishing previous partial implementations of 64 bit addressing. Just maintenance issues really. Read the full lists in minute detail here.

So putting the two topics together it looks like Mathworks are currently focused on finding more things to sell to their user base by solving some system integration problems, than adding new core functionality to their main products.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, *still* no support for Intel-based Macs -- Mathworks now estimates this will not arrive until release 2007a. This was supposed to be in 2006b, no wonder they didn't announce the release.