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XtremeData gives Xeon chips another math lesson with FPGAs

Front-side bus snuggling included

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XtremeData is shipping its newest set of FPGAs made for giving Intel's Xeon chips a helping hand with math work.

The XD200i lineup uses Altera's Stratix III FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) that plug into Xeon sockets, providing a massive speed boost to certain high performance computing applications. Their typical customers are crunching numbers for military, financial, medical and bioscience applications.

The module uses three FPGAs: one acts as a bridge to system resources in Xeon-based servers, and the remaining two are free to run HPC applications across a 1,066MHz FSB.

“For Monte Carlo applications, the XD2000i with Altera’s Stratix III EP3S260 FPGA in full double-precision floating point achieves approximately a 16X improvement, when measured on the performance/watt metric, of a high-end single-precision GPU,” said XtremeData CEO, Ravi Chandran.

The company says placing a XD2000i in Xeon sockets gives the coprocessor a high-speed link to memory as well as a speedy connection to the host processor — without a need to modify the board.

The module runs below 60 watts and can be packed nicely into a blade form factor.

The XD200i line for Xeon dual-processor platforms is available now. A version for Xeon multiprocessors will be available in the third quarter of 2008.

XtremeData has been selling a similar product for Opteron-based systems and competes against other accelerator types dabbling with GPGPUs and Cell chips.®

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