PeakStream, a startup company featuring former executives from Sun Microsystems and VMware, on Monday is set to launch its high-performance application platform that leverages multicore processors.
The PeakStream Platform features an application server and attendant developer tools for programming of multicore processors, graphics processor units and cell processors. Through PeakStream's platform, these systems are deployed as powerful mathematical computing engines for exponentially increased application performance, the company said. PeakStream is gearing its technology to markets such as oil and gas exploration, financial services, defense, and life sciences.
Unlike other application servers, based on Java, the PeakStream server utilizes C and C++, which are common languages for high-performance computing, said Mark Mullany, vice president of marketing at PeakStream and a former VMware official. The application server features a runtime technology and a virtual machine model.
The company's technology leverages multicore processors from Intel and AMD as well as the ATI R580 graphics processor, turning it into a math engine, PeakStream said. PeakStream is boasting of 10- to 20-times boost in performance on some algorithms. An API is featured for parallelism.
"What our application API allows you to do is express your data objects and your functions as parallel objects," which can then be distributed across multiple cores, Mullany said. Developers do not need to learn a new method of programming to leverage multicore systems.
A participant in PeakStream's beta test program cited a five- to six-fold increase in performance in early testing. "That's not comparing apples to apples but it shows a lot of promise," said Scott Morton, manager of geophysical technology at Hess in Houston. The company is applying PeakStream's software to seismic imaging for oil exploration and is including the ATI graphics processor as part of its solution.
PeakStream's technology was inspired by Stanford University's Brook Project on stream programming. The company's CEO is former Sun executive Neil Knox. PeakStream has $17 million in equity financing.
PeakStream Platform will be available in fourth quarter 2006. Pricing starts at $2,000 per node.