Maxeler and Stanford present latest seismic acceleration results at SEG

Maxeler Technologies and the Stanford Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES) will present the latest work on acceleration of seismic processing using FPGAs this week at the 77th Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. SEG is the premier geoscience event in the world, featuring more than 300 exhibiting international companies as well as comprehensive technical program.

The work to be presented concentrates on improving the performance of Shot Profile Migration. By implementing offset gathers for the migration on a Maxeler MAX-1 FPGA processing card equipped with a single Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA a speed-up of up to 48x has been achieved compared to an AMD Opteron-based compute node.

This was achieved by combining FPGA expertise from Maxeler with seismic processing expertise from CEES. The result is exhibited in session SPMI P1 at SEG in San Antonio, titled “Accelerating subsurface offset gathers for 3D seismic applications using FPGAs”. A briefing note summarising these results is available on the publications page.

A wide range of advanced seismic algorithms are currently beyond reach of even very large computer systems. For example some of today’s high end imaging algorithms has been shown to produce 3-D images that lead to greatly improved results but they incur prohibitive computational costs.

Research to make advanced algorithms computationally tractable is imperative for the seismic industry. Many of today’s and tomorrow’s applications rely on a relatively small subset of core routines. By accelerating these routines exciting new research opportunities are opened up for both academic and industrial researchers.

Maxeler’s partnership with CEES explores the opportunity of accelerate seismic computations – a critical advance in the quest to expand capacity for new interdisciplinary Earth science research.

Maxeler Technologies Inc. is a provider of acceleration solutions for geophysics, financial modelling and aerospace applications.

The Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science at Stanford University, directed by Professor Jerry Harris, brings a partnership between the Earth sciences community and the computer sciences community, each driving development of the other. The computational research at CEES utilizes state-of-the-art hardware and modern computational methods to address complex Earth science problems and the analysis of massive datasets.