Nallatech, Mitrionics Showcase High Performance FPGA Computing on PowerPC

6/16/2005 - FPGA Computing system experts Nallatech and FPGA programming specialists Mitrionics jointly demonstrated an FPGA based HPC system hosted on a PowerPC at the Community conference held at the MareNostrum in Barcelona on the 8th of June 2005. The demonstration showed the 10 to 30x improvement in performance achieved, at a lower size weight and power than a conventional system. This was achieved by using Mitrionics’ Mitrion software to port a protein analysis algorithm to Nallatech’s FPGA hardware platform hosted in a PowerPC computer running Linux.

The demonstration system, based around the Xilinx Virtex 2VP70 FPGA, is scalable and each FPGA added to the system delivers an order of magnitude increase in processing throughput to the system, reducing runtime for analysis from days to hours for large data sets.

The protein analysis algorithm demonstrated is used to compare images of markers on 2D Gels which show the protein content of samples. The cross-referencing of differences in the positions and composition of the markers can be used to detect the presence of a disease or disorder. This process is computationally intensive and presents a major bottleneck to life science research.

Commenting on the demonstration, Allan Cantle, President and CEO of Nallatech, said, “From the viewpoint of the electronics engineering community desktop machines with supercomputing like power is a reality, we have delivered this sort of power for several years. However, for the scientific user community to be able to harness the power of FPGA computing, we in the industry need to provide equipment and tools that will integrate with normal workflows. Our demonstration showed how an FPGA hardware platform can augment the capabilities of the type of PowerPC based equipment used in labs all over the world and how that hardware can be programmed by algorithm designers using Mitrion software.”

Anders Dellson, CEO of Mitrionics AB, said, “Programmability is the key to adoption of FPGA computing in scientific research applications. Researchers in life sciences for example, don’t want to learn how low level hardware design skills make their analysis algorithm run faster on a particular hardware platform; they just want to be able to use their existing computing skills and access the computing power available from FPGAs. Our solution completely abstracts the FPGA platform, in this case generating the 150,000 lines of VHDL code needed to programme the FPGA system from 180 lines of Mitrion-C to deliver a speed up of 10-30x per FPGA.”

More details of the Community Conference can be found at:

About Mitrion
Mitrion programmes FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) faster than anyone else on the market, thereby providing customers with revolutionary computer power for their most critical applications. The Mitrion technology makes high performance computing accessible and powerful on a whole new level and this helps customers become successful. Mitrion was developed by Mitrionics AB.

Mitrionics was founded in 2000 and is located at Ideon Research Park in Lund, Sweden, and in Culver City, California. For more information please visit:

About Nallatech
Nallatech is the world’s leading supplier of high performance FPGA solutions. A comprehensive product range delivers the highest performance-density, maximum scalability and most complete solutions available on the market today. Nallatech offers a unique high-speed architecture, combined with support for industry standard PCI, cPCI, PC/104 and VME, along with software support for the most popular operating systems and programming languages. Nallatech provides flexible, easy to implement solutions for Data Communications, Digital Signal and Image Processing. Customers benefit from lower costs, reduced power consumption and improved performance in end markets including Telecommunications Infrastructure, Aerospace and Defence, Imaging and Scientific Computing. For more information, please visit:

Contact Information:
Nallatech, Boolean House, One Napier Park, Cumbernauld, Glasgow, G68 0BH, United Kingdom.

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