Chevron backs OpenSPL standard

New standard addresses ‘spatial computing’ with support from Maxeler, Stanford and Imperial

Chevron has backed a new consortium that sets out to promote ‘OpenSPL,’ a new standard for ‘spatial computing.’ In a spatial computer, programs ‘execute in space rather than in a time sequence.’ Application data is laid out on a chip and operations execute in parallel. The new paradigm promises ‘dramatic increases’ in performance per watt and per cubic foot compared to conventional machines.

Maxeler Technologies’ presence in OpenSPL suggests that its ‘multiscale dataflow computing’ is a model for the new initiative. Maxeler’s hardware accelerators minimize data movement through the use of ‘large scale spatial computing.’ Analyst Frost & Sullivan awarded its 2014 European technology innovation leadership award to Maxeler, inter alia for its work on seismic processing and reservoir modelling. Oil IT Journal has been reporting on Maxeler’s field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology since 2007.

OpenSPL has application in other verticals as witnessed by the presence of the CME Group derivatives marketplace that handles ‘3 billion contracts worth $1 quadrillion annually.’ CME CIO Kevin Kometer said, ‘CME Group has long been a supporter of open efforts including the FIX Protocol and the Linux foundation. We will leverage spatial computing for our critical high performance computing needs.’ Other OpenSPL members are Juniper Networks, Imperial College London, Stanford University, University of Tokyo and Tsinghua University. More from OpenSPL and Maxeler.

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