Irish software start-up gleans European innovation award

17 Apr 2012

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Prof Richard Kenway, chairman of the PRACE scientific steering committee, presents the award for most innovative HPC application in Europe to Hicham Lahlou, CEO of Xcelerit, in Bologna, Italy, today

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Xcelerit, a new software spin-out from the Science Foundation Ireland CTVR telecommunications research centre at Trinity College Dublin, has today won the PRACE innovation competition in Bologna, Italy.

The start-up, which specialises in cross platform acceleration tools for financial services, engineering and scientific research, is a campus company at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

It was spawned in 2010 from research carried out within the CTVR centre that’s headquartered at the university.

Today, Prof Richard Kenway, chairman of the PRACE scientific steering committee, presented the award for most innovative HPC application in Europe to Hicham Lahlou, CEO of Xcelerit, at a seminar in Bologna, Italy.

PRACE itself stands for Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe. Based in Brussels, it was set up to create a pan-European, high-performance computing (HPC) service for research purposes.

PRACE said it launched the competition to find the "boldest industrial HPC application".

“I hope this prize will be something that not only persists, but becomes very much associated with leading-edge, innovative breakthroughs in the use of HPC by industry – something that we in Europe can take a lead on," said Kenway, as he presented the award to the TCD start-up.

The Xcelerit platform itself has been designed to enable users to take existing software written sequentially and to adapt it quickly to take advantage of the compute power that is now available using multi-core technology, as well as harnessing the power of graphics processing units.

So far, Xcelerit has been targeting the financial services area.

“There are many different application areas out there where huge compute power is needed but the domain specialists don’t have the time to learn about the technicalities of hardware accelerators. Our system lets them focus on the problem, while we take care of the performance," said Lahlou today.

Carmel was a long-time reporter with Siliconrepublic.com

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