Bragging and other news on the company

The Fastest Payroll System Of The World

At StreamHPC we do several very different types of projects, but this project has been very, very different. In the first place, it was nowhere close to scientific simulation or media processing. Our client, Intersoft solutions, asked us to speed up thousands of payroll calculations on a GPU.

They wanted to solve a simple problem, avoiding slow conversations with HR of large companies:

Yes, I can answer your questions.

For that I need to do a test-run.

Please come back tomorrow.

The calculation of 1600 payslips took one hour. This means 10,000 employees would take over 6 hours. Potential customers appreciated the clear advantages of Intersoft’s solution, but told that they were searching for a faster solution in the first place.

Using our accelerated compute engine, a run with 3300 employees (anonymised, real data) now only takes 20 seconds, including loading and writing all data to the database – a speedup of about 250 times. Calculations with 100k employees can get all calculations done under 2 minutes – the above HR department would have liked that.

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Birthday present! Free 1-day Online GPGPU crash course: CUDA / HIP / OpenCL

Stream HPC is 10 years old on 1 April 2020. Therefore we offer our one day GPGPU crash course for free that whole month.

Now Corona (and fear for it) spreads, we had to rethink how to celebrate 10 years. So while there were different plans, we simply had to adapt to the market and world dynamics.

5 years ago…
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Join us at the Dutch eScience Symposium 2019 in Amsterdam

Soon there will be another Dutch eScience Symposium 2019 in Amsterdam. We thought it might be a good place to meet and listen to e-science talks. Stream HPC in the end is just making scientific software, so we’re here at the right place. The eScience Center is a government institute that aims to advance eScience in the Netherlands.

Interested? Read on!

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We accelerated the OpenCL backend of pyPaSWAS sequence aligner

Last year we accelerated the OpenCL-code in PaSWAS, which is open source software to do DNA/RNA/protein sequence alignment and trimming. It has users world-wide in universities, research groups and industry.

Below you’ll find the benchmark results of our acceleration work. You can also test out yourself, as the code is public. In the readme-file you can learn more about the idea of the software. Lots of background information is described in these two papers:

We chose PaSWAS because we really like bio-informatics and computational chemistry – the science is interesting, the problems are complex and the potential GPU-speedup is real. Other examples of such software we worked on are GROMACS and TeraChem.

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Do you have our GPU DNA?

This is the first question to warm up. Python-programmers are often users of GPU-libraries, not the builders of those libraries.

In January 2019 I gave a talk about culture in the company, which I wanted to share with you. It was intended to trigger discussions on what environment fits somebody, and examples were given on other companies. The nice part was that it became more clear that the culture of a company like CodePlay was very alike, except they are working on different things (compilers). Same for departments of larger companies we work with or know well.

Important: all answered are based on what my colleagues answered. So most of us are cat-people, but I wouldn’t say that defines a GPU-developer. I hope it still gives you an understanding of our perspective on what defines a GPU-dev in just a few minutes, while it also gives you more than enough matter to think about.

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Stream Team at ISC

This year we’ll be with 4 people at ISC: Vincent, Adel, Anna and Istvan. You can find us at booth G-812, next to Red Hat.

Booth G-812 is manned&womened by Stream HPC

While we got known in the HPC-world for our expertise on OpenCL, we now have many years of experience in CUDA and OpenMP. To get there, we’ve focused a lot on how to improve code quality of existing software, to reduce bugs and increase speedup-potential. Our main expertise remains full control over algorithms in software – the same data simply processed faster.

Why do we have a booth?

We’ll be mostly talking to (new) customers for development of high performance software for the big machines. Also we’ll have a list of our open job positions with us, and we can do the first introductory interview on the spot.

Our slogan for this year is:

There are a lot of supercomputers. Somebody has to program its software

We’ll be sharing our week on Twitter, so you can also see what we find: posters about HPC-programming on CPU and GPU, booths that have nice demos or interesting talks and ofcourse the surprises.

Let’s meet!

If you don’t have an appointment yet, but would like to chat with us, please contact us or drop by at our booth. As we’re with four people, we have high flexibility.

IWOCL 2019

On Monday May 13, 2019 at 09:30 the latest edition of IWOCL starts, not taking into account any pre-events that might be spontaneously organized. This is the biggest OpenCL-focused event that discusses everything that would make any GPGPU-programmer, DSP-programmer and FPGA-programmer enthusiastic.

What’s new since last year, is that it’s actually also more interesting place for CUDA-developers who like to learn and discuss new GPU-programming techniques. This is because Nvidia’s GTC has moved more to AI, where it used to be mostly GPGPU for years.

Since it’s now the last week of the early-bird pricing, it’s a good time to make you think about buying your ticket and book the trip.

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Question: do we work with CUDA?

Answer: Yes, actually a lot!

The company was built on OpenCL and we are still work with the language a lot – from embedded GPUs and FPGAs to high-end GPUs. Like OpenCL unjustly isn’t associated with clusters full of professional GPUs, we were not associated with CUDA. I can tell many of our customers have found us to build high performance software in CUDA.

Breaking with the past is not easy due to associations that seem to stick. With the name change from StreamComputing to Stream HPC some years ago, we wanted to enforce that break with being “the OpenCL company”. For some time we were much more pragmatic in solving the problems of our customers, which resulted in making software in MPI and CUDA – sometimes an unexpected direction as the customer initially chose OpenCL.

We also started hiring people who only knew CUDA (but expect them to learn OpenCL), as the right algorithm and the right processor is more important. Internships with CUDA, large CUDA-projects, seeking better relations with Nvidia and such – all have been going on for years. And we like it as much as we like OpenCL – both have unique advantages.

So if you have questions about CUDA, don’t be afraid that you hurt us – we’re happy to help you get fast software.

We don’t work for the war-industry

Last week we emphasized that we don’t work for the war-industry. We did talk to a national army some years ago, but even though the project never started, we would have probably said no. Recently we got a new request, got uncomfortable and did not send a quote for the training.

This is because we like to think about the next 100 years, and investment in weapons is not something that would solve things for the long term.

To those, who liked the tweet or wanted to, thank you for your support to show us we’re not standing alone here. Continue reading “We don’t work for the war-industry”

Start your GPU-career here

GPUs have been our mysterious friends and known enemies for years, as they let us run code in expected and unexpected ways. GPUs have solved problems for many of our customers. GPUs have such a high rate of evolvement, that they’ll remain important for the years to come.

Problem is that programming GPUs is not an easy task. Where do you learn to program GPUs? We found these to be the main groups:

  • Universities
  • Research centers
  • GPU vendors (AMD, Nvidia, Intel, Qualcomm, ARM)
  • Self-study

This is far from enough. Add to that, that only a very select group learns the craft at a company. We’d like to change that, and we think now is the time for us to be able to deliver on this.

In January we’ll our internal training program will start with 4 to 8 developers. Focus in on fully understanding recent GPU-architectures, CUDA and OpenCL. It will consist of lectures, workshops, discussions, paper reading and ofcourse coding for one month. The months after that will have guidance, paper presentations, code reviews and time for self-study. The exact form will differ per person.

The hard side

The current measurable requirements are:

  • EU citizen or already having a working permit
  • Great at C/C++
  • High interest in algorithmic optimisations
  • Any performance improvement focus (i.e. Assembly, clean code) is a plus
  • Any GPU experience (i.e. OpenGL, DirectX, self-study) is a plus
  • High interest in performance
  • Willing to move to Amsterdam
  • Willing to work for Stream HPC for at least 2 years

The soft side

We’re looking for people that fit our culture and we think we can train. This means that the selection is based for a large part on “the spark”. Therefore the application starts with a speed date, and we’re sorry for not finding a better wording for this. This is a 20 minute discussion about what we like and what we don’t. This can be done via phone, Skype or in person, during the evening, in the weekends or during your lunch break.

How to apply

Read about our company culture. Look at the jobs we have open. These describe the requirements after the training. Then write us a motivational letter: explain us why this is exactly what you want, why you’re capable and why you’re a cultural fit. If you find it hard to write such letter, then just start with answering the list of requirements. It’s a big bonus to share code (Github, Gitlab, zip-file). Send your email to

Other jobs

Feeling more senior? We have other jobs:

Meet Vincent in Bay Area between 11 and 16 August

Our managing director, Vincent Hindriksen, is in San Francisco’s Bay Area from Saturday 11th up to Thursday 16th of August 2018. He’ll be visiting existing customers, but there is time left.

Current schedule (excluding several unconfirmed meetings):

  • Saturday: social meetups
  • Monday: full
  • Tuesday: all day good availability,
  • Wednesday: all day good availability
  • Thursday: morning good availability

Do you want to learn more about GPUs and how we can help you get there? Get in touch via our contact-page, and tell us address and time when you want to meet.

If you seek a job in GPUs, also get in contact! Stream HPC is growing quickly now, and a good moment to onboard and still make a difference. For job-talks also the evenings are available.

Help us find our future COO

Is this a motto that goes with your personality? Then we want to talk with you.
About 7 years ago we were still dealing with the usual peaks and lows of consultancy.
I’d like to get your help to find our future COO to help streamline this growth.
You might have seen that there are hardly any new blog posts – now you know why. By helping us find that special person, there can be put more time of writing new blog posts again.
If you know the perfect person for this job in Amsterdam, please let them know there is this unique company looking for her or him. Sharing this blog-post would help a lot.
You can find more information in this job-post:

We all know that quality comes with attention to detail, but also that with growth the details are the first to be postponed. We seek help in handling daily operations during our growth. The most important tasks are:

  • Customer contact. You make sure the communication is regular and smooth with all our customers, making them more engaged and happy with us.
  • Sales follow up. You take over to discuss the needs of potential customers pre-sales has had contact with.
  • Team support. You help the development-teams to get even better by helping them to solve their daily and long-term problems.

The job is very broad, but is all around a listening ear and getting things done.

You have studied business administration or alike, and have a can-do attitude. You know how to work with technical people and are a real team-player. You understand how to develop and engage group dynamics.

Do you think this is a job written for you, then we would like to hear more from you! Send an email to with a motivational letter and listing relevant experience.

Thanks for helping out!

If you got sent here, we hope to hear from you!

Call for speakers: IEEE eScience Conference in Amsterdam

We’re in the program committee of the 14th IEEE eScience Conference in Amsterdam, organized by the Netherlands eScience Center. It will be held from 29 October to 1 November 2018, and the deadlines for sending the abstracts is Monday 18 June.

The conference brings together leading international researchers and research software engineers from all disciplines to present and discuss how digital technology impacts scientific practice. eScience promotes innovation in collaborative, computationally- or data-intensive research across all disciplines, throughout the research lifecycle.

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