Commercially available in Q3 of 2005, the Mitrion Development Platform allows FPGAs to be programmed in days versus taking months or years with other solutions. Using the Mitrion C Programming Language, a mere 180 lines of code can generate 150,000 lines of VHDL (Very high speed integrated circuits -- Hardware Description Language). FPGA-based high performance computing generally provides an application acceleration of 10x - 100x.
"Time, complexity and cost; three critical show-stoppers for FPGA-based acceleration when developing high performance computing applications. With this latest platform, Mitrion has vastly expanded the role that FPGAs can play in HPC environments," said David Alexander, director of engineering, system architecture, at SGI. "The Mitrion platform gives SGI RASC customers a simplified and easy-to-use programming environment for accelerating their C/C++ software algorithms using the parallel processing capabilities of FPGA, eliminating the need to obtain skills typically required for hardware design based methods."
"While other FPGA-based programming tools claim to shave days, weeks, or months off of programming an FPGA, Mitrionics completes the task from start to finish in a matter of days or weeks," stated Anders Dellson, CEO of Mitrionics, Inc. "But beyond the technological achievement, we're most excited because now a significantly greater number of scientists and developers can begin developing HPC applications to make discoveries and solve real problems in life sciences, geosciences, and other industries."
Challenge for FPGA-Based HPC: Reducing Programming Complexity & Time
FPGAs are hardware devices that can be used to accelerate computers 10-100 times for critical applications. They are very flexible chips that allow for very complex designs, including advanced computation. However, most HPC users do not have the hardware design skills to utilize FPGAs. Additionally, current FPGA design tools do not provide an efficient method for programming computation, since the level of abstraction is too low. Using current tools, implementing even simple computational algorithms takes months or years, and results in very inflexible designs.
The Mitrion Platform -- Making HPC Accessible to the Masses
The Mitrion Virtual Processor and Mitrion Software Development Kit provide a unique solution that makes it possible to program FPGAs for high performance computing on a true software level. This dramatically reduces the total cost for FPGA programming, and more importantly, enables the whole general purpose HPC market to benefit from FPGAs.
Fastest Programming Tool for FPGAs: Mitrionics technology allows FPGAs to be programmed in days or weeks rather than months or years. This enables applications to be developed quicker and solutions implemented sooner.
Lowest Total Development Cost: Because of its comparably low licensing cost for its development tools and platform, combined with the reduced number hours spent programming, the Mitrionics solution makes HPC accessible and affordable for many companies not able to utilize other solutions.
Portability: Migrating your Mitrion application across different FPGA-based computers is very easy. This is also the case when upgrading to new FPGA generations: with the Mitrion Software Development Kit, it is simply a matter of push-button re-compilation to take advantage of the features of the new FPGA. Other tools would require a complete re-write of the application.
Mitrionics Virtual Processor -- Revolutionary Enabling Technology
The Mitrionics Virtual Processor is an abstract machine that resides between the program and the hardware. This makes programming FPGAs quick, easy, and flexible by enabling developers to implement and test algorithms strictly using a high level software approach. The development tools then automatically take care of building a Mitrion Virtual Processor optimized for the application and mapping it onto the FPGA chip.
The Mitrion Virtual Processor performs thousands of operations simultaneously by allocating multiple computation units for each instruction. This massive parallelism comes from the fine-grain nature of the processing elements, allowing every individual operation in the program to be run in parallel.
Another important feature of the Mitrion Virtual Processor over regular microprocessors is its low power consumption which is typically less than 2% of a CPU based solution. Additionally, the developer does not need to consider hardware specific issues, such as timing achievements and system design, which is taken care of by the programming tools.
The Mitrion Software Development Kit -- Includes a compiler, graphical debugger and code simulator, and processor configurator. A c/C++ library is included for easy integration with the application running on the host CPU. The debugger gives the programmer a hierarchical view of all the parallel processes and their interactions making it easy to find programming errors, performance bottlenecks and inefficient code. All the common debugging tools, such as watchpoints, breakpoints, and call-dependencies are included. The Mitrion Software Development Kit runs under all major operating systems including Linux and Windows.
Performance Acceleration of 10x to 100x -- The exceptional application acceleration achieved through Mitrionics is because massively parallel execution at the most fine-grain level of the algorithm is made possible by the unique features of the Mitrion Virtual Processor architecture. The Mitrion compiler and debugger help the programmer in revealing parallelism inherent to the algorithm. The processor is then adapted to optimally utilize the FPGA surface, utilizing processing resources where they are best needed for the specific algorithm.
Target Industries -- Virtually any industry that currently utilizes HPC applications are targets of the Mitrion Platform. Industries where application development or implementation is required in weeks, rather than many months, will benefit from the Mitrionics solution. Key application areas include genomics, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, manufacturing, aerospace, and financial.
Mitrionics, Inc. is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Mitrionics AB based in Lund, Sweden. The company was founded in 2000 and forged key industry relationships in 2004 with Silicon Graphics, Nallatech, and others as its first pre-release software technology was demonstrated to select partners and customers. The Mitrion Platform includes the Mitrion Virtual Processor and Mitrion Software Development Kit which enable FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) to be programmed easier and faster than ever before possible, thereby providing customers with revolutionary computer power for their most critical applications. The Mitrionics technology makes high performance computing accessible to an entire new market of scientists and developers previously unable to benefit from HPC because of high prices, complex design skills needed, and extremely long development times. For more information, visit the company Web site at www.mitrionics.com, or call 310-558-9495, or email: Email Contact.
Company Contact Anders Dellson Mitrionics, Inc. Ph: 310-558-9495 Email: Email Contact Media Contact Joe Waldygo TopSpin Communications, Inc. Ph: 480-632-5050 Email: Email Contact