|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / September 22, 2006|
PeakStream, Inc., a software application platform provider for the high performance computing market, has unveiled the PeakStream Platform. Available immediately, the PeakStream Platform makes it possible to program new high performance processors such as multi-core CPUs, graphics processor units (GPUs) and Cell processors, converting them into powerful computing engines for increased application performance. The company also announced the completion of equity financing totaling $17 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Foundation Capital.
"In the past few years, blazingly fast multi-core processors, like GPUs, have brought the HPC market enormous potential, but it has been difficult to harness their power because there hasn't been an easy way to program them," said Scott Morton, manager of geophysical technology at Hess Corporation. "Using the stream programming approach of the PeakStream Platform, we have been able to dramatically reduce development time for seismic applications on GPUs and have realized substantial performance improvements of GPUs over CPUs. PeakStream is helping us to fully realize the power of multi-core processing."
Founded in February 2005, and inspired by Stanford University's Brook Project on stream programming, PeakStream is led by a team of seasoned executives from Sun, NVIDIA, VMware and Network Appliance. The executive team includes CEO Neil Knox; CTO Matt Papakipos; VP of Engineering Varun Mehta; VP of Sales Philip Nenon; VP of Marketing Michael Mullany; and Chief Scientist Professor Pat Hanrahan.
"During the past four years, we've seen great adoption of AMD Opteron processors and AMD technology in the mainstream commercial and HPC markets due to our memory architecture leadership and multi-core innovations," said Marty Seyer, senior vice president, Commercial Business at AMD. "With our recent Torrenza announcements enabling an open innovation platform, we are seeing high interest in a variety of markets where application-specific processors are in demand. The PeakStream Platform offers interesting potential for enabling further innovation within oil and gas, engineering, medical research and other critical human endeavors."
PeakStream's HPC software platform is designed to exploit the potential of industry-standard multi-core processors. Stream programming is a data parallel approach to HPC programming designed for the distributed, hierarchical memories of the new generation of multi-core processors. The company recognizes the demand from computer engineers and scientists in areas such as energy exploration, finance, defense and research/academia that are looking for new approaches to speed up the design and operation of computationally intense applications. PeakStream created this platform to enable exponential performance gains and reduced development time critical to these data-dependent industries addressing the growing HPC market. According to analyst firm IDC, the high performance and technical computing (HPTC) market grew approximately 24 percent in 2005 to reach a record $9.2 billion (U.S.) in revenue, which is the second consecutive year of 20 percent-plus growth in this market.
"ATI GPUs in concert with the PeakStream software platform are giving companies the ability to process data at speeds they've only dreamt of until now," said Dave Orton, CEO and president of ATI Technologies Inc. "Today's graphics processors are capable of processing far more than just graphics applications - they are fully capable parallel processors ideally suited for a wide range of scientific, business and consumer applications. Using the full-featured PeakStream Platform, companies can now easily program ATI graphics processors for accelerated processing of non-graphics tasks to drive faster and better informed business decisions resulting in real competitive advantages."
"Our vision is to bring the power of today's industry standard multi-core processors to the growing HPC market," said Neil Knox, CEO and president of PeakStream. "By maximizing processor performance, and empowering users with a choice of hardware platforms, our customers can expand their computing capabilities in the most cost-effective and energy-efficient manner. We help reduce computing costs and extend the life and value of their current and future computing clusters."
The PeakStream Platform complements HPC developers' existing skills and tools. After software developers learn the PeakStream API, they can build applications faster with the same development tools they currently use. At the same time, the PeakStream Platform extends debugging and profiling tools with capabilities that allow the user to inspect data resident on the GPU or on the Cell processor.
"By combining an innovative stream programming approach with the next-generation of industry standard data parallel hardware, PeakStream provides a unique value proposition to HPC customers looking to achieve an order of magnitude application speedup and increased development productivity," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.