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JP Morgan expands deployment of FPGA-based supercomputer

Award-winning technology helps investment bank understand risk profile better

JP Morgan is expanding its use of supercomputers to speed up more of its fixed income trading operations.

Earlier this year, the bank revealed how it reduced the time it took to run an end-of-day risk calculation from eight hours down to just 238 seconds.

It recently won an award for this deployment, which was based on an application-led, High Performance Computing (HPC) system running on Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology.

The supercomputer solution was developed with HPC solutions provider Maxeler Technologies, which is also providing JP Morgan with the new, upgraded supercomputer for additional areas of the business.

The new dataflow supercomputer - where the computer chips are tailored to perform specific, bespoke tasks - will be equivalent to more than 12,000 conventional x86 cores, providing 128 Teraflops of performance.

Although the performance measurements are dependent on the application, Maxeler claims that the new version of the machine is more than three times more powerful.

Peter Cherasia, head of markets strategies at JP Morgan, said: "With the new Maxeler technology, JP Morgan's trading businesses can now compute orders of magnitude more quickly, making it possible to improve our understanding and control of the profile of our complex trading risk."

Meanwhile, analysts said that the technology will help JP Morgan to become more competitive.

"The Maxeler dataflow supercomputer enables JP Morgan to minimise its risk and respond more effectively than its competitors to rapidly changing marketing conditions, particularly the financial turmoil in Europe," said John Barr, research director of financial markets and head of EU research at the 451 Group.

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