Supporting large Catapult FPGAs - Hastlayer v1.1 is here!


Supporting large Catapult FPGAs - Hastlayer v1.1 is here!

Zoltán Lehóczky's avatar

Tags: Release, Catapult, Monte Carlo simulation, F#

It's been a long time without a release, but now we're finally there: Hastlayer v1.1 is out with a lot of improvements! The biggest one is the support for the large FPGAs of Microsoft's Catapult platform. Hastlayer is now ready for complex high-performance applications!

At one point a small and brave team at Microsoft thought about using FPGAs to accelerate Bing searches. This experiment proved to be a success, and thus the Project Catapult was born. Later these Catapult FPGAs found their way into all Microsoft datacenters, being used first for networking tasks and then also to build a Machine Learning accelerator, Project Brainwave.

Due to its availability on Windows Catapult picked our interest and we started to make Hastlayer compatible with it. After the small development board that Hastlayer initially supported this was promising to be a huge leap in performance - but also a much harder task to complete than we initially thought. With the help of Andrew Putnam and others from Microsoft Research, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center, where Catapult nodes are available, we eventually got it done: Now it's ready and you can use these powerful FPGAs too! Everything you need to know is written in the getting started guide of the SDK.

Catapult is not the only thing that ships with this release, however: there are a wealth of other shiny new parts of Hastlayer for you to check out. There are several new examples (also a Monte Carlo simulation and one written in F#), new pseudo-random number generators, tons of performance improvements and bugfixes. Check out the full release notes on GitHub.

What are you gonna build if you have the power of bare metal hardware?

No Comments

Add a Comment