The Risk Management Race Goes To Nvidia GPUs

Jan 6 2014, 11:37am CST | by

A combination of two NVIDIA GPUs and 2 Intel Xeon E5-2660 @ 2.20GHz (SandyBridge) CPUs was six times faster in a risk management benchmark then CPUs alone.

The Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC), presented the results recently at a conference in London to showcase its latest benchmark, STAC-A2, the first benchmark to compare the performance of traditional Intel CPUs with NVIDIA’s K20X GPU accelerators – ultra-high performance processors that dramatically accelerate the processing of massive and complex datasets.  GPUs, (Graphics Processing Unit(s) are a key component in video gaming. They are extremely fast but can often be very difficult to program. Details of the benchmark and the test are on the STAC Web site.

“The independent results show that GPUs deliver considerably higher performance than Intel Xeon CPUs – up to 6x faster,” according to NVIDIA.

Peter Lankford, founder and director of STAC, said that the financial services industry has a lot of workloads where it is not so much about I/O but speed of computation.

“The big banks have supercomputers that rival some of the national labs in terms of size,” he said. “One bank has 100,000 cores to do simulations to understand risk, and that has only become more important in recent years. Another big bank plans to double their compute capacity. It is a major expense for them and a huge resource, so they are all very interested in the latest technologies. One of the drivers is there is a great need to compute risk before a deal is done,” Lankford added. “It used to be that risk was run overnight and trading desks were given guidelines and they’d go along and re-run the risk at night and see how they did. The new focus is on giving the trading desks tools to understand risk before they make a deal.”

Banks want the results, but they are often constrained by space, power and cooling in their data centers. STAC now measures speed alone, but it plans to expand its benchmarks in 2014 to include computing power per unit of power or space. GPUs offer high speeds in a smaller footprint than CPUs.

For now STAC results allow a vendor to either increase the speed of their calculations or increase their scope or accuracy.

“You may want to include more financial instruments in your calculations, or the instruments may be more complicated to price, or run more simulations.”

For a fixed workload, the fewer resources you need to run it is important, Lankford added. It might be important to reduce costs, but is usually a combination of all those things that the banks are looking for. “It is important for them to understand the tradeoffs of different computing architectures.”

STAC A2 is a particular calculation that is pretty common, but not  a trivial one. It takes some real work to make it efficient, he added.

“Like all STAC benchmarks, both user firms and vendors participated in its creation, but only the users can vote. That keeps things focused on real business problems.”

STAC allows anyone to register and log into its site and see much of this information; some material is reserved for members.

“We do benchmarks with a baseline model, and then we also vary the problem size in all three dimensions so people can see how the system scales,” Lankford explained. “This was the first system that could run the baseline problem size in real-time — less than one second.”

That’s important because one of the big trends in the market is the ability to do risk management in real-time. That’s useful when a trader has someone on the phone and needs to price a deal right away.

“With this boost in computational performance,” NVIDIA said in its announcement, “financial firms can quickly run complex risk analysis scenarios and many more of them, leading to better insights and reduced risk at a lower overall IT cost.”

Lankford said that STAC is also planning to run tests with FPGAs.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

4 Steps To Reaching Your Money Goals -- Faster!
By Stella Grizont This post originally appeared on LearnVest. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to managing my finances, I can often come up with a whole list of things I’d much rather do … including cleaning...
 
 
Apple's Analysts Almost Universally Positive On The March Quarter Results
Apple’s shares are up over $40 today driven by its very solid March quarter results and better than expected guidance for the June quarter. I have summarized over a dozen sell-side notes below and many analysts have...
 
 
Can China Lead? Highlights And Thoughts From Harvard China Forum
This past weekend I went back to my alma mater to attend the annual Harvard China Forum, where a handful of the organizers are my personal acquaintances. With 1,200 attendees and a $100,000 budget, it is perhaps the...
 
 
A Secret Of Customer Service Training You Can Learn In The Shower (Or At The Ritz-Carlton)
I remember one time when my hair got really, really dirty–I’d been at camp. When finally under the blissful flow of the shower head, my temptation was to wash my hair eight or nine times in a row. Which didn’t really do...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

4 Steps To Reaching Your Money Goals -- Faster!
By Stella Grizont This post originally appeared on LearnVest. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to managing my finances, I can often come up with a whole list of things I’d much rather do … including cleaning...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple's Analysts Almost Universally Positive On The March Quarter Results
Apple’s shares are up over $40 today driven by its very solid March quarter results and better than expected guidance for the June quarter. I have summarized over a dozen sell-side notes below and many analysts have...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Can China Lead? Highlights And Thoughts From Harvard China Forum
This past weekend I went back to my alma mater to attend the annual Harvard China Forum, where a handful of the organizers are my personal acquaintances. With 1,200 attendees and a $100,000 budget, it is perhaps the...
Read more on Business Balla
 
A Secret Of Customer Service Training You Can Learn In The Shower (Or At The Ritz-Carlton)
I remember one time when my hair got really, really dirty–I’d been at camp. When finally under the blissful flow of the shower head, my temptation was to wash my hair eight or nine times in a row. Which didn’t really do...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Apple Reportedly Releasing Upgraded Versions of 11-Inch and 13-Inch MacBook Airs Next Week
Apple might be releasing two new devices within a few days, as a new report claims that the updated model of 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs are coming out in the upcoming week.Accprding to Apple Insider, the report...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Apple's Sales Figures Prove A Sad Fact: There's Still No PC As Desirable As A Mac
Mac sales make up just a tenth of Apple's revenue, but they’ve received a significant amount of attention following the company’s quarterly report yesterday, both from analysts and from the CEO Tim Cook himself. Cook’s...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Apple's Analysts Almost Universally Positive On The March Quarter Results
Apple’s shares are up over $40 today driven by its very solid March quarter results and better than expected guidance for the June quarter. I have summarized over a dozen sell-side notes below and many analysts have...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Odyne Systems, LLC Partners with Allison Transmission’s Midwest Distributor, Inland Power, to Deliver on $45.4 Million Contract
Waukesha, WI, April 24, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Odyne Systems of Waukesha and Inland Power Group of Butler, Wisconsin have teamed up to deliver on a $45.4 million contract from the Department of Energy, administered through...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Odyne Systems, LLC Partners with Allison Transmission’s Midwest Distributor, Inland Power, to Deliver on $45.4 Million Contract
Waukesha, WI, April 24, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Odyne Systems of Waukesha and Inland Power Group of Butler, Wisconsin have teamed up to deliver on a $45.4 million contract from the Department of Energy, administered through...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Cleared Of Fraud Against SMEs, RBS Eases Rules For Distressed Businesses
Last week, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group was cleared by law firm Clifford Chance over allegations that the U.K.-based banking group deliberately put failing small and medium enterprise customers out of business to...
Read more on Business Balla
 
 
Auto Balla Sexy Balla Sport Balla TV Balla Politics Balla Movie Balla Apple Balla Business Balla Ad Balla Celebrity Balla