Wednesday, 18 April 2012

CTVR- Spinout wins top European HPC Innovator Award Xcelerit wins PRACE Innovation Competition

Professor Richard Kenway, chairman of the PRACE scientific steering committee presenting the award for most innovative HPC application in Europe to Hicham Lahlou, CEO of Xcelerit.

CTVR- Spinout wins top European HPC Innovator Award
Xcelerit wins PRACE Innovation Competition

Xcelerit, a software company spun out of the Science Foundation Ireland CTVR research centre scooped a top European Innovation Award Today.  The company which specializes in cross platform acceleration tools for financial services, engineering and scientific research is a campus company at Trinity College Dublin and arose out of research carried out within the CTVR telecommunications research centre headquartered there.  

The award, from PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) was presented at the organization’s 4th Industrial Seminar in Bologna, Italy on Tuesday in front of an audience of the top University and Industry players in high performance computing (HPC).
PRACE launched the competition to find the “boldest industrial HPC application” and the judges were looking for a mature application that demonstrated novelty and a clear benefit for industry.  The award was presented by Professor Richard Kenway who chairs the organization’s scientific steering committee.  “I decided that my strategy for the sustainability of PRACE was going to be to associate it with scientific excellence”, commented Professor Kenway, “ I hope this prize will be something that not only persists, but becomes very much associated with leading edge, innovative breakthroughs in the use of HPC by industry – something that we in Europe can take a lead on.  I’m very pleased to announce that the company that  wins this first PRACE industry prize is Xcelerit”.

The Xcelerit platform enables users to take existing software written sequentially and very quickly adapt it to take advantage of the compute power that is now available using multi-core technology as well as harnessing the awesome power of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).  Hicham Lahlou, Xcelerit’s CEO, who picked up the prize, claims that their innovation is in ease of use.  “Many of our users have battled with more conventional ways of exploiting the power of these platforms”, he said.  “They can’t believe how straightforward it is to work with our tool”.

So far, Xcelerit have been targeting the financial services area, where quantitative analysts or ‘quants’ are devising new compute-hungry ways to doing risk analysis and pricing of exotic financial instruments, but the techniques have very general applicability. “There are many different application areas out there where huge compute power is needed” said Xcelerit’s Lahlou, “but the domain specialists don’t have the time to learn about the technicalities of hardware accelerators.  Our system lets them focus on the problem, while we take care of the performance”, he said.

About Xcelerit

Xcelerit is the leading software provider of cross-platform acceleration tools for financial services, engineering, and research. Xcelerit solutions allow domain specialists to unlock the performance of high-end processors (multi-core CPUs and GPUs) while preserving productivity. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. 
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