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“Collision of Two Worlds”
The FPGA Supercomputing Nexus of Hardware and Software
May 20, 2014
by Kevin Morris
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“Recently, we talked to Allan Cantle (founder of Nallatech) about the state of affairs in FPGA-based computing. Cantle’s team were pioneers in FPGA-based supercomputing more than a decade ago, and both their hardware and software have continued to be among the most effective at putting FPGAs to work in challenging computing problems. Cantle pointed out that, thanks to current language and tool technologies like OpenCL and HLS, we are now arriving at a state where teams can access the benefits of FPGA-based acceleration without having resident hardware experts.
One problem that needed to be addressed, however, was form factor. Software-centric teams are not accustomed to buying chips. In fact, most software-centric teams are uncomfortable even with the idea of boards. While hardware engineers live every day in the land of silicon and FR4, software engineers like their computers to come in nice sturdy boxes – preferably with a built-in power supply. Nallatech is currently attacking that problem as well – building FPGA-based accelerator cards as well as full rack-mounted systems (with partners like HP and IBM) that take advantage of Altera’s FPGAs and OpenCL flow.
These types of platforms have FPGAs knocking on the door of the data center – a land of riches previously off limits to our LUT-laden lads. With the extreme challenges faced by data centers today in terms of computational power efficiency, there is the potential for an explosive invasion of FPGA technology. It all hinges on the success of current efforts at taming the programming model problem for these heterogeneous computing systems, and getting those hardware and software disciplines to meet nicely in the middle.”
Nallatech Demonstrates FPGA-Accelerated Suricata Network Security Monitoring Engine at RSA Conference 2014
Nallatech and LeWiz Communications to Showcase Packet Pattern Search for 10GbE at RSA Conference 2014
Nallatech Delivers OpenCL-Compatible FPGA Accelerator Cards for Military and Government Applications
OpenCL Compatible FPGA Accelerator Cards
PCIe Cards Feature Altera Stratix V FPGAs and Address Latency-critical and Co-processing Requirements for Defense Customers
CAMARILLO, CALIF., – May 6, 2013– Nallatech, a leading supplier of high-performance FPGA solutions, today announced it is officially a member of the Altera Preferred Board Partner Program for OpenCL. By supporting the Altera Software Development Kit (SDK) for OpenCL, Nallatech’s 385 PCIe accelerator boards work in concert with the host processor to deliver higher performance at significantly lower power compared to alternative hardware architectures.
PCIe Accelerator Board with Latest Generation Altera Stratix® V FPGAs Delivers Higher Performance and Improves Productivity
“Nallatech’s accelerator boards are an excellent complement to our Stratix V FPGAs as we work to deliver complete, integrated solutions to customers in the financial, medical, and broadcast markets,” said Alex Grbic, director of software, DSP and IP marketing at Altera. “As a member of our Preferred Board Partner Program, Nallatech’s optimized production boards will help our mutual customers access the high performance capabilities of our FPGAs using OpenCL and get to market faster.”
Third-party production boards meet the strict requirements of the Altera Preferred Board Partner Program for OpenCL. Member boards are optimized for the most current Altera device architectures and design software. Altera works closely with selected partners to ensure that their boards continually meet these standards.
“FPGAs are now clearly established and accepted as a critical component of acceleration infrastructure,” said Allan Cantle, president and founder of Nallatech. “The Altera SDK for OpenCL is a market changing development that allows programmers to build applications that were previously impossible or economically infeasible. Nallatech’s accelerator boards, featuring Altera’s FPGAs, increase performance for our mutual customers while reducing development time and costs.”
Nallatech’s 385 accelerator boards feature a choice of Stratix V FPGA options, multiple independent banks of external memory, plus support for a wide range of network and storage protocols. The 385 boards are also qualified by leading vendors’ high density server and blade platforms and are ready for deployment with pre-integrated software and IP.
Nallatech is now delivering production units of the 385. For more information about this product, please visit www.nallatech.com/OpenCL/nallatech-385.html.