Unigroup's September 2014 Meeting Announcements


FPGA Hardware Acceleration using OpenCL

Ron Huizen, Vice President of Systems & Solutions,
BittWare Inc.

Nick Finamore, Product Marketing Manager - High Level Design Tools,
Altera Corporation.

TUESDAY, 24-SEP-2014      (** SPECIAL 4th TUESDAY **)

The Cooper Union
School of Engineering   (*** NEW BUILDING ***)
41 Cooper Square    (3rd Avenue @ 7th Street, between 6th & 7th Streets)
East Village, Manhattan
New York City, 10003
Meeting Room: 101_CS   (1st Floor, Note: Room Changes Month-to-Month)
** Please RSVP **

6:15 - 6:30 PM Registration
6:30 - 6:45 PM Ask the Wizard - Questions, Answers and Current Events
6:45 - 7:00 PM Unigroup Business
7:00 - 9:30 PM Main Presentation

Please see the Fee Schedule below.


Reminder: Unigroup's September 2014 meeting is on a Special Date, on the 4th TUESDAY of the month.

Unigroup's September 2014 meeting will be on how to implement Hardware Acceleration using FPGA devices/boards through the use of the OpenCL Software Suite. FPGAs, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, are hardware devices which can be used to literally implement software into/onto hardware. FPGAs are programmable, and they can be programmed to such an extent that they can be used to implement entire CPUs, or multiple CPUs, inside a single FPGA device, each having concurrent parallel I/O abilities.

FPGA add-on boards can help implement tasks such as: Low Latency Computing/Networking, High Performance Computing (HPC), and Communications/Radar Processing, by providing both a faster hardware throughput/pipeline (ie. faster than "normal" PCI-E cards), as well as a higher speed parallel computational ability (ie. faster than what a Xeon/Opteron/SPARC/POWER CPU may provide). However, the use of FPGAs requires special techniques, since they must be "programmed". Note that other devices such as GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) and DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) also can provide an increased computational ability. Also, ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) can provide dedicated application-specific (usually non-programmable) high-speed abilities similar to FPGAs.

Our speakers are from: Altera Corporation, a leading manufacturer of FPGA Devices/Chips/Technology, and BittWare Inc. who integrates those FPGAs into commodity products such as PCI-E plug-in boards for standard PCs.

Our speakers are in town for the HPC Wall Street Show at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC on Monday 22-SEP-2014. If you get to the show, do stop by and say hello to them and do let them know you are a Unigroup member/attendee.

New for 2013+: Regarding credit card payment methods, Unigroup now has the ability to accept all major credit cards: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, Discover.


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      The Cooper Union  (http://www.cooper.edu)
      School of Engineering  (*** New Building ***)
      41 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue @ 7th Street, between 6th & 7th Streets)
      East Village, Manhattan
      New York City, 10003
      Meeting Room: ** (See Above, Room May Change Month-to-Month)

   Located on the East side of Cooper Square.  Look for the
   new building with the non-traditional appearance.
   Entrance is at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 7th Street.

   Building lobby sign-in is required at the guard's desk.
   Enter the building, check in with the guard at the lobby for
     directions to the Unigroup Meeting Room.

   Nearest mass transit stations are:
     '6'           to Astor Place (stops right at The Cooper Union),
                   then walk 1 block East and 1 block South.
     'R'           to 8th Street, then walk about 2 blocks East
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     '4/5/N/Q'     to Union Square, then walk South and East.
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     'B/D/F/V'     to Broadway-Lafayette, then walk North and East.
                   or transfer to the uptown '6' to Astor Place.

   Free street parking in the area becomes available at 6pm.

   There are parking lots on Broadway, at (or just South of) 8th
   Street, across from the West side of Cooper Square, as well
   as various others in the area.


Topic: FPGA Hardware Acceleration using OpenCL

Introduction & Description of Talk:

The OpenCL (Open Computing Language) standard is the first royalty-free, open standard framework that enables users to write programs that execute across heterogeneous systems including CPUs (Central Processing Units), GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), DSPs (Digital Signal Processors), and FPGAs. It allows the use of a C-based language for developing code across these different platforms. Developed by the Khronos Group, OpenCL greatly improves speed and responsiveness for many applications.

The Open Computing Language (OpenCL) programming model is supported on Altera's Stratix V FPGA architecture and BittWare's Stratix V FPGA COTS (Common Off The Shelf) hardware, providing an incredibly powerful solution for system acceleration.

Presentation Outline:

References & Web Resources:

  BittWare OpenCL Information Page:

  RTC Magazine: Bringing FPGAs to the (Relative) Masses - OpenCL for FPGA - Part 1:

  RTC Magazine: Bringing FPGAs to the (Relative) Masses - OpenCL for FPGA - Part 2:

  Altera SDK for OpenCL:

  BittWare Inc.:

  Altera Corporation:

  Wikipedia on FPGA Hardware:

  Wikipedia on OpenCL Software:


  Wikipedia on ASIC Hardware:

  Wikipedia on DSP Hardware:

  Wikipedia on GPU Hardware:

  Wikipedia on GPGPU Hardware:

  Wikipedia on CUDA Software for GPUs:

  Wikipedia on OpenACC Software:

  Wikipedia on OpenMP Software:


Ron Huizen, Vice President of Systems & Solutions, BittWare Inc.

Ron. Huizen focuses on technology directions for BittWare, defining new product concepts and working with Sales & Marketing to ensure that customer's future needs will be met. Before joining BittWare, Mr. Huizen held various roles in electronic product development at Amirix Systems, including Product Manager Electronic Systems and Product Manager Embedded Software. Prior to Amirix, Mr. Huizen worked at Nortel Networks for several years on SS7 switching systems. Mr. Huizen holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia) and a Master of Computer Science from Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario).

Nick Finamore, Product Marketing Manager - High Level Design Tools, Altera Corporation

Nick currently leads the marketing effort for Altera's high level design tools. Nick has over 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry focused on computing and networking. During his 18 year career at Intel he held several leadership positions including general manager of the Network Processor Business Unit, overseeing the IXP product line. He also held executive positions at early stage companies include CEO of Engim Corp (acquired by Edgewater Computing), VP of Sales and Marketing at Ember Corp (acquired by Silicon Labs) and VP of Sales at Netronome Inc.


BittWare, Inc

For 25 years, BittWare has designed and deployed board-level solutions for network packet processing, high performance computing and signal processing applications that significantly reduce technology risk and time-to revenue for our OEM customers. Our products are based on the latest FPGA technology from Altera and industry-standard COTS form factors including PCIe, VPX / OpenVPX, AMC, XMC and FMC (VITA 57). When customer requirements make it difficult to use industry-standard boards, BittWare can provide modified solutions, and/or licensed designs for applications in the financial, instrumentation, military/aerospace/government and compute & storage markets. For further information visit the: BittWare Web Site.

Altera Corp.

Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) is the pioneer of programmable logic solutions, enabling system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost effectively innovate, differentiate, and win in their markets. Altera offers FPGAs, SoCs with embedded processor systems, CPLDs in combination with software tools, intellectual property, embedded processors and customer support to provide high-value programmable solutions to over 12,000 customers worldwide. Altera was founded in 1983 and had annual revenues in 2013 of US$1.7 billion. Altera is headquartered in San Jose, California, and employs more than 3,000 people in over 20 countries. For further information visit the: Altera Web Site.


Addison-Wesley Professional/Prentice Hall PTR/Pearson, and O'Reilly have been kind enough to provide us with review copies of some of their books, which we will continue to raffle off as giveaways at our meetings. The publishers always ask that the persons receiving the books provide a review and/or feedback about their books.

Unigroup would like to thank both publishing companies for the support provided by their User Group programs.

As always, all of the books will be available for review at the start of the meeting.


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Complimentary Food and Refreshments will be served. This includes "wraps" such as turkey, roast beef, chicken, tuna and grilled vegetables as well as assorted salads (potato, tossed, pasta, etc), cookies, brownies, bottled water and assorted beverages.

Our thanks go to BittWare for sponsoring the food service for this meeting!

Please join us for this meeting, you won't want to miss it!

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