Technology

How BIG is Big Data?

In recent years, Big Data has become the latest rage. Big data involves both structured and unstructured data that comes from a variety of sources. Structured data is well-defined and categorized information usually stored in conventional relational databases, which allows the data to be accessed very easily. In contract, unstructured data is uncategorized information pouring in from widely varied sources, such as data files, internet text, blogs, financial data, mobile devices, social media, audio, video, and sensors. The sheer velocity at which new volumes of data are being created every minute is remarkable. So how big is Big Data? By 2015 the digital universe is expected to hit 8 zettabytes (ZB), or 8 x 1021 bytes.

Organizations that are making extensive use of data analytics to process Big Data have experienced up to twice the revenue growth compared to their peers. Data analytics is a way of peering into large sets of data to spot business trends, identify patterns, and gauge audience behavior. As the size of Big Data explodes in the coming years, it will become increasingly difficult to process it using standard database management tools, requiring instead massively parallel software running on hundreds or even thousands of servers.

Even more importantly, the drive to stay relevant has pushed internet marketing in new directions. Static content is no longer an option if you want to stay competitive. Websites are now updating content daily, hourly, or even sooner. Social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are producing new content at incredible rates. In this data revolution, the old ways of analyzing cached data from a week ago, or even yesterday is soon becoming obsolete. Processing this immense amount of new data in real-time will become a greater challenge in the coming years.

The Need for Speed

Many of today’s high-performance applications that operate on real-time data, such as data analytics, wireless and network communications, audio and video processing, and financial computing analysis consist of computationally intensive algorithms. These applications are pushing the computational limits of software processors, creating a widening gap between performance requirements and attainability by software processors. This widening gap is driving the need for acceleration of these computationally intensive algorithms in hardware logic to achieve optimal performance.

In high-performance computing, hardware acceleration is a term that refers to the use of computer hardware to perform some function or algorithm faster than is possible in software running on general-purpose processors. Software instructions are instead implemented as circuits on programmable logic platforms, such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). Depending upon granularity, hardware acceleration can vary from a small functional unit to a large, complex hierarchical function design. Examples of hardware acceleration include graphics processing units (GPUs), network routers, and floating-point instructions in CPUs.

The main difference between hardware and software is concurrency, which allows hardware to be much faster than software. Normally, processors are sequential in nature, and instructions are therefore executed one by one in sequence. Various techniques are used to improve performance using pipelining, multi-threading, and other methods. Hardware acceleration, however, is by far the most effective optimization to achieve the greatest performance boost. Hardware acceleration utilizes a combination of function-level and instruction-level parallel processing, pipelining, and streaming architectures to increase performance by as much as 100x faster than software alone.

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QuickStream's mission is to offer strategic and innovative high-performance hardware acceleration solutions that boost performance and deliver realizable value to customers. We solves real-world challenges through state-of-the-art technology platforms. Our hardware acceleration solutions deliver 50x-100x faster performance over traditional software solutions, which enable companies to monetize their data at the speed and scale they need to thrive in the constant evolution of today’s economic climate. We accomplished just that by building a new system from the ground up. The QuickStream solutions are truly built for technology born of the modern age.

Vertical Markets

The benefits of hardware acceleration have vast impact on applications in many different industries. Some of the many different industries we serve include:

  • Aerospace and Defense Technologies
  • Audio and Video Processing
  • Automotive and Transportation
  • Biomedical Computing
  • Communication Systems
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Control Systems Applications
  • Disruption Tolerant Networks
  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Error Detection and Mitigation
  • Financial Computing and Analysis
  • Health Performance Monitoring
  • Network Packet Processing and Protocols
  • Remote Reconfigurable Technologies

What can QuickStream do for you?

Today's successful companies understand the value of superior products and services for supporting and growing their business. QuickStream hardware acceleration solutions provide our customers with the technology to achieve true real-time performance, and a competitive advantage over their competitors. To enhance our client's success, QuickStream offers a complete range of advanced technology engineering services. We provide superior design consulting services, education and training services, and technical support to improve design productivity and help you realize the potential that our solutions have to offer.

For more information about QuickStream and our technology solutions, please contact us.