all you ever wanted to know about Version 3

Version 3 features 2-D phase correction, a QuickLook plug-in, a searchable manual, many minor improvements, new options, etc... but the main focus...

Is All About Performance

There's a more efficient use of RAM and new, faster algorithms.

It's Faster

The following algorithms are at least twice as fast as they used to be in version 2:

  • Weighting
  • Zero-Filling
  • nD Data-Shuffling
  • Transposition
  • Linear Prediction
  • Simulation of Static Spin Systems
  • Simulation of Chemical Exchange

The Fourier Transform is only moderately faster. The standard 2-D processing cycle is more than 50% faster, if compared to version 2, or more than 3 times faster, if compared to version 1. The simulation of large spin systems (with 8 or more nuclei) is more than 10 times faster.

Requires Less Memory

Processing of 3D spectra requires the generation of intermediate matrices that take a substantial amount of RAM. Now the size of these matrices has been reduced at least twice. You can process the same 3D spectrum with less RAM or can process larger spectra with the same amount of RAM.

Has No Special Requirement

The only requirement of version 3 is a computer running Mac OS 10.4 Tiger. Any hardware that supports Tiger automatically supports iNMR too. Mac OS 10.4 shipped in 2005 and is compatible with some older machines. In practice you can build a powerful NMR workstation with iNMR 3 and a second hand Mac, at an incredibly low total cost (near to zero if you opt for iNMR reader).

Is Optimized Everywhere

iNMR is a Universal Binary application, in other words it contains two versions of the compiled program. One version is optimized for the Intel Core Duo, the other is optimized for the PowerPC G4 and G5. If your Mac is an old one, iNMR can bring new life to it. If you have a brand new Mac instead, the velocity of iNMR will simply be breath-taking.

Who Needs It

Being that version 2 was already fast enough, you'll need version 3 only if you are doing 3D NMR or are simulating large spin systems. If you are processing many 2D spectra, you can also appreciate the highest performance of version 3.

Is it the Fastest NMR Program on Earth?

We do think so. We haven't performed, however, a comparative test with all the other existing NMR applications. We hope that some independent expert can do such a thing, because iNMR 3 is a strong candidate for being the fastest and most complete NMR application ever appeared, regardless of the platform.

Who Can Have it for Free

Version 3 is a free upgrade for two classes of customers:
  1. Academic users who purchased a standard license in 2008 (or upgraded to it in 2008).
  2. All users of iNMR reader.

In all other cases version 3 represents a paid upgrade. The academic fee is € 50, the industrial fee is € 100. Discounts will be available for very large quantities.

Can You Become a Tester?

If you are an academic user with a standard license purchased in 2008, you can already ask the key to unlock verson 3. Version 2 and 3 can be installed on the same computer and it's possible to exchange files between them.

iNMR reader 3 (commercial version) has also been upgraded. You will be free to choose between the more tested version 2 or the faster version 3.

Why Isn't It Free

We don't ask annual support fees to our old customers. To keep the program alive it is however necessary to ask an upgrade fee every now and then. The last time we did it was in February 2007 (for version 2). Version 3 will become the official version in January 2009, almost 2 years later. We plan to release many free updates during 2009 and 2010.

Why Couldn't It Be Done Before

In the early days of the iNMR project (2005), Mac OS Classic and the PowerMac G3 were still widely used. We presumed that there would have been an important number of G3 users willing to adopt iNMR, therefore we optimized iNMR for the PowerPC G3, thinking that it was a perfect chip for NMR and that more speed was not necessary. Seen in retrospect, it wasn't a smart strategy, as the much higher velocity of version 3 amply demonstrates. When releasing version 2, we wanted to optimize it for the G4, but there weren't enough users yet to perform an effective beta testing stage; therefore we decided to change a single routine (the FFT routine), which was trivial to test and could already boost the performance by a factor of 2, being the most used and time-critical routine. In 2008 we have finally reached a favorable situation, with time enough for a complete re-writing of iNMR, and enough users for an a effective beta-testing too. The time was ripe for the revolution. Technically speaking, it was certainly possible to release iNMR 3 simultaneusly with Tiger, back in 2005. Anyway, nobody ever complained for iNMR being too slow.

How We Did it

If you remember, in 1999 the PowerPC G4 introduced the “Velocity Engine”, more precisely called the “Altivec” unit. While version 1 of iNMR ignored this unit completely, version 3 leverages it for all the time consuming calculations. To tell the truth, iNMR never invokes the Velocity engine directly, but calls a C library, named the Accelerate framework, first introduced on Mac OS X v10.3 Panther and a stable component of the Mac OS ever since. Apple itself takes care that the Accelerate framework is and will be optimized for each existing and future machine. What this means for you is that iNMR 3 is not only optimized for the PowerPC G4, but also for the G5 and the Intel Core Duo. Magically, iNMR 3 will also be optimized for future Macs as well.

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