SAN FRANCISCO A group of technology companies led by programmable logic giant Altera Corp. is developing a university program to support academic research into high-performance computing, with a goal of driving the adoption of FPGA co-processing for high-performance computing applications.
According to a statement issued by Altera Monday, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Sun Microsystems Inc. and XtremeData Inc. are each participating in the program and will donate $1 million in workstations and development software to universities.
"Supporting academic research into new applications and architectures is a clear demonstration of the benefits of the open and collaborative model of Torrenza, AMD's extensible system bus program," said Doug O'Flaherty of AMD's advanced technologies group. "This program is exactly what we envisioned when we developed the open-architecture project, giving developers the freedom to take high-performance computing to the next level."
Twenty Sun Ultra 40 workstations, each powered by single or dual-core AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture and an XtremeData XD1000 FPGA co-processor module, are being made available under the program, the firms said.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the first university to receive workstations through the program, the companies said.
"This combined effort creates a valuable new program that we can immediately begin leveraging for our high-performance secure computing research," said Professor Wen-mei Hwu, holder of the Jerry Sanders-AMD Endowed Chair in electrical and computer engineering, and leader of the embedded and enterprise systems theme of Illinois' Information Trust Institute. "Research results derived from the donated systems will aid the commercial adoption of FPGA co-processing."
Applications to this university program can be made through the XtremeData and Altera Web sites, the firms said. Upon selection, complete development systems will be made available to research recipients, the companies added, and multiple system donations to individual research teams are planned.
Earlier this month, Intel Corp., the world's No. 1 chip maker, announced plans to support 45 universities with expertise, funding, development tools, educational materials, on-site training to incorporate multi-core and multi-threading concepts into computer science curricula.