|2019-07 Compucon R&D Snapshot|
Compucon New Zealand R&D Profile
Compucon New Zealand (trading name of Modern Technology NZ Limited) was founded in Auckland in May 1992 and obtained ISO-9001 International Quality Management certification in November 1995. The core business has been in x86 compute node design and production of highly reliable computing systems. A secondary business is in digital video surveillance after obtaining 2 government physical security consultant licenses in 2008 without having any prior security business experience (which was and still is a standard condition for licensing) but supported by a written essay on digital technology mastery.
(a) Compucon is a founding member of the New Zealand Alliance for SKA which was the official representative entity set up on the request of MBIE in 2013-11: http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/kiwi-researchers-secure-leading-role-ska-project. SKA stands for the Square Kilometre Array telescope which will be built in South Africa and Western Australia in 2024 timeframe. Compucon was involved in Central Signal Processor (CSP) investigations for SKA Survey Telescope in the first two years and assessed the viability of a new generation of computing technologies including Epiphany non-x86 system-on-chip systems (SOC) from Adapteva, Tegra GPU-based SOC from Nvidia, and FPGA OpenCL from Altera. Compucon shifted attention to CSP and the designs of PowerMX FPGA boards for several months. For the last 3 years, Compucon worked on Science Data Processor (SDP) in operational intensity, compute and scaling efficiency, and compute node designs in collaboration with Oxford University and ASTRON of the Netherlands augmented by regular communication with senior researchers of Cambridge University. Compucon is the lead author of 4 SDP Memos and a co-author of an Oxford led SDP Memo.
(b) Compucon started a machine learning journey in 2016 upon inspiration obtained from a visiting scholar from the University of Warsaw in AUT. The first sign of success appeared in the training of an image captioning neural network model comprising a convolutional component and a recurrent component. Resources have mostly been obtained from the ICT Grad School of the University of Auckland. This is an ongoing project.
(c) To maintain the lead as a compute and storage hardware solution provider, Compucon attends to various developments such as the Radeon Open Compute Platform (a new software ecosystem developed by AMD), Open Compute Platform (open standard hardware designs supported by Facebook), and distributed/parallel computing tools developed by the University of Bordeaux. We have entered the Post Moore Era.
(d) Compucon has been an industry mentor for Information Technology students of the University of Auckland since 2002. Lately TN Chan has been appointed an official adviser for a PhD student (Alec Henderson who is a speaker in MYM) and another distinguished dissertation student in the School of Computer Science who is going onto a PhD journey right now.