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Overcoming the Learning Curve of New Processor Architectures


The financial services industry (FSI) is arguably one of the most rapidly evolving business landscapes that exist today. In an environment easily disrupted by the health of the economy and advancements in technology, agility has become a prerequisite for survival.

The aftermath of the financial crisis has brought heightened financial regulatory pressures and an increasing focus on costs. To grow revenue, improve margins, and maintain customer loyalty, today’s financial services firms understand they must continually modernize their technology infrastructure in order to remain relevant.

Overcoming the Learning Curve of New Processor Architectures - HPE.jpg

High-performance computing (HPC) tools are helping financial firms survive and thrive in this highly demanding and data-intensive industry. As financial models grow in complexity and greater amounts of data must be processed and analyzed on a daily basis, firms are increasingly turning to HPC solutions to exploit the latest technology performance improvements.

Recent research by IDC found that HPC usage in the financial sector experienced a period of hyper growth over the last few years, so much that the firm had to restate their forecasts for this sector at least 50 percent higher as compared to initial estimates.

The advent of multi-core processors has forever changed the HPC landscape, and today these types of processors are the norm. The processor ecosystem now evolves at a rapid and unpredictable rate in order to address the increasing demands of HPC users. For example, the Intel® Xeon Phi™ product line evolved from a coprocessor to an autonomous CPU in a single generation.

However, this rapid evolution is leaving users struggling to overcome a steep learning curve in order to fully exploit the latest hardware innovations and make computing as efficient as possible. Specifically for software developers, here is the challenge: How to quickly gain an understanding of the latest multi-core, multi-threaded, accelerated processor architectures in order to adapt source code assets at a similar pace?

The fact is, source code assets simply cannot evolve at the same rate, especially when a new processor architecture is introduced every two to three years. Code modernization is required in order to succeed, however it’s a process that involves expert technical skills and tools. Data practitioners specialize in developing algorithms and applications, and typically do not have a keen understanding of the latest processor architectures or the desire to become experts in their own right. Quantitative analysts, or quants, want to benefit from accelerated compute power without entering the learning curve of the latest processor architecture.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is making this possible with a set of new application code modernization tools that can perform as well as hand-written code.

The newly-announced HPE Quantitative Finance Library solution can help developers modernize application software by generating highly parallelized source code for multi-core, multi-thread platforms. By outsourcing non-core code optimization activities, quants can devote more attention to improving algorithms and save the time and costs associated with learning the latest processor architecture.

New HPC tools like this are purpose-built for the needs of financial services and can allow coders to focus on innovations that drive revenue, instead of modifying existing code. Cost-effective and simply-to-deploy solutions can help financial firms achieve business growth, enhance employee productivity, and increase agility through HPC innovation.

Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Mannel for more tips on accelerating quantitative analysis and news on our latest HPC solutions for the financial services industry.

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About the Author


As the Vice President and General Manager of HPC and AI Segment Solutions in the Data Center Infrastructure Group, I lead worldwide business and portfolio strategy and execution for the fastest growing market segments in HPE’s Data Center Infrastructure Group which includes the recent SGI acquisition and the HPE Apollo portfolio.