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Celoxica teams with AMD, HP, Cray on acceleration

Posted by iNext - 2006-03-22

LONDON — Celoxica Holdings plc, a developer of C language hardware design entry tools, has formed partnerships on accelerated computing with processor vendor Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and with computer makers Hewlett-Packard, Cray and Silicon Graphics Inc.

The business approach was so successful for Celoxica (Abingdon, England) in 2005 that the company now regards the application as a second strand of its business. Celoxica was previously predominantly only a vendor of EDA tools.

Celoxica’s technology is based on research conducted at Oxford University in the early 1990s and it allows a C-like high-level language to be used as the starting point for the synthesis of hardware that is then implemented either in a field-programmable gate array or an ASIC.

Although the Celoxica’s technology for system-level design has been on offer for more than decade, company executives said it’s EDA tools are beginning to gain traction as chip designers are compelled to move up in abstraction to the systems level. At the same time, the executives said, Celoxica is experiencing great demand for its services to turn algorithms into hardware that can accelerate the running of those algorithms when supplied to computer makers or computer customers in the form of “blades” or single-board computers.

The executives, speaking on the announcement of Celoxica’s maiden financial results since being admitted to the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2005, said 20 percent of Celoxica’s orders in 2005 and 15 percent of sales came from the accelerated computing market.

In addition, most of that work was in North America where, led by the partnership approach, Celoxica’s 2005 sales increased 71 percent compared with 2004.

Celoxica is set to team up with AMD and FPGA vendor Xilinx to demonstrate solutions for accelerated computing at the upcoming Embedded Systems Conference in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The three companies plan to link an Opteron processor with Xilinx FPGAs under the Celoxica programming environment.

"AMD64’s Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport technology, can provide a tightly coupled co-processor expansion capability and address the communications bottleneck that has negatively impacted compute off-load to coprocessors in other solutions," said Doug O’Flaherty, division manager for Acceleration Strategy at AMD, in a statement issued by Celoxica.

Cray announced that it plans to develop supercomputers that extend heterogeneous computing by adapting processing to the requirements of each application. Cray said that over the next few years Cray supercomputers would combine standard microprocessors (scalar processing), vector processing, multithreading and hardware accelerators in one high-performance computing (HPC) platform that uses the industry-standard Linux operating system. Powerful compilers and other software would automatically match an application to the processor blade best suited for it.

“Different applications run best on different types of processors, but high-performance computers typically offer only one type of processor,” said Steve Scott chief technology officer of Cray in a statement. “Cray will build supercomputers that can adapt to the applications, instead of forcing the applications to adapt to the supercomputers.”

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