A Start-Up’s Success Story
Bull’s application expertise is well recognized in academics and research, but our experts also help start-ups and small businesses. One of the most striking examples is the case of EZBiometrics.
EZ Biometrics is a French start-up that develops and provides fingerprint biometrics solutions (AFIS) for integrators. They propose hardware integration as well as expertise and service in biometrics for both civilian and police usage. The strength of this company lies in an accurate coder algorithm as well as a fast matcher algorithm. The proposed solution is able to perform high speed matching of a fingerprint against potentially hundreds of millions of fingerprints. The current software solution compares one specific fingerprint to all fingerprints in the database and returns the records that present the highest matching probability. To get the most efficient algorithm (the performance of which is measured in millions of matches per second) and to define the most suitable hardware solution, EZ Biometrics relied on Bull’s application engineers.
Based on the fact that one fingerprint is matched one after the other with all fingerprints of the database, the fit with a parallel computing process is obvious. Therefore, the most efficient solution to reach the highest speed would be to use as many computing cores as possible. With a hardware cluster architecture, there is virtually no limit to the performance of the matcher. However, large, cumbersome cluster architecture can be an issue especially if portability is required and if the hardware implementation cost must be kept affordable.
Bull and EZ Biometrics worked together on the porting of the algorithm onto a hybrid architecture made of standard CPU servers and Intel® Xeon Phi™ co-processors. Here, the word “co-processor” takes on its full meaning. The Xeon Phi co-processors are based on the “Many Integrated Core” architecture offering in a PCI-e board form factor up to 250 x86 cores. Although the working frequency of the co-processor cores is limited compared to standard Xeon processors, the high number of them allows to dramatically increase the number of matches within a single server.
Bull brought its expertise in porting the algorithm onto the Xeon Phi architecture by taking advantage of the available computing resources. This was done by combining and balancing the workload over standard processors and Xeon Phi co-processors. This joint effort with Bull allowed EZ Biometrics to offer an innovative solution in terms of integration and performance.
TESTIMONY: ”EZ Biometrics develops and sells biometric solutions. We are specialised in developing innovative software products for coding and matching fingerprints. We develop a high performance AFIS system for integrators that need biometric technologies. The Bull CEPP’s has allowed us to access remotely to their ROBIN cluster. The access was made through an internet secure connection. Our development team could appreciate this very easy way to get access to huge computation resources. Moreover an application expert and a system administrator have supported us all along our project; this help has been a key element in our project success. The ROBIN cluster is a great solution to speed up development process with no need to provide integration effort and resource. It has allowed us to save a lot of money and time. Thank again to the Bull CEPP ROBIN cluster solution “ Jean Henaff, CEO, EZ Biometrics
EZ Biometrics is a French start-up that develops and provides fingerprint biometrics solutions (AFIS) for integrators. They propose hardware integration as well as expertise and service in biometrics for both civilian and police usage. The strength of this company lies in an accurate coder algorithm as well as a fast matcher algorithm.