ELS Editions

4th European Lisp Symposium

Special Focus on Parallelism & Efficiency

March 31st - April 1st, 2011
TUHH, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg, Germany

Marc Battyani


Marc Battyani, 47 year old, is one of two co-founders of NovaSparks, a global provider of end-to-end low-latency solutions.

A specialist in hard real time high performance computing and networking with FPGAs Marc Battyani brings 25 years of experience in the design of electronics systems as well as the design of the associated application domain specific cores and compilers leveraging the computing power of FPGAs and enabling their uses outside of their traditional markets.

Prior to founding NovaSparks, Marc was the founder of Fractal Concept a contract research company developing products like CT scanners, ultrasound echographic systems or various smart sensors for the industrial, medical and military markets.

Marc Battyani holds an MSc in electronics from Supelec (France) and another one in Computer Science from Paris XI / UDM (Canada). He is also known for several open sources projects for the Common Lisp programming language.

Talk — Reconfigurable Computing on Steroids: Using Common Lisp to Generate Domain Specific Hardware

General purpose CPUs have been hitting the frequency wall but as the number of transistors in electronic chips continues to steadily increase, there is a tremendous need for other computing paradigms. One of them is the use of reconfigurable hardware (FPGA) to accelerate specific kinds of computations. Even though the performance gain can be huge, FPGAs are notoriously very difficult to program, which has been one of the major drawbacks in their adoption. There have been several attempts to solve this problem using C to VHDL/Verilog compilers. Though this can be useful at times, our opinion is that it is not a good approach. In this talk, we will explain how and why we use domain specific languages that enable us to generate high performance Domain Specific Hardware optimized for the final tasks being implemented. We will also present our experience at NovaSparks where we have been using Common Lisp to successfully define and implement those DSL->DSH compilers in financial applications since 2007.

Back to the symposium programme.