LegUp Computing Inc. provides a platform that enables software developers to program, deploy, scale, and manage FPGA devices for accelerating high-performance applications. Originally developed at the labs of Professors Jason Anderson and Stephen Brown at the University of Toronto, the LegUp platform offers a novel programming model that allows threaded C/C++ software to target FPGA devices connected to high-bandwidth networks for efficient processing of low-latency database, real-time analytics, and machine learning workloads. The company was founded by Dr. Andrew Canis, Dr. Jongsok Choi, Ruolong Lian, and Professor Jason Anderson in 2015 to commercialize the award-winning open-source LegUp high-level synthesis tool.
LegUp's core technology offers a programming model for software developers to achieve 10X better throughput and latency using FPGAs available on leading cloud service providers. We manage the infrastructure required to deploy and scale the FPGA servers and we provide a runtime platform that includes a high-performance network stack and abstracts away the hardware. LegUp allows users to quickly accelerate cloud applications like NoSQL databases to achieve sub-millisecond latencies that can handle millions of requests per second. LegUp offers compression, encryption and machine learning libraries for processing high-velocity data in the cloud. Other applications include real-time decision-making systems, data analytics, video processing, genomics, deep packet inspection and financial trading.
Co-FounderChief Executive Officer
Andrew Canis is a leading expert in high-level synthesis for FPGAs, the task of compiling software into digital hardware. During his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, he helped lead the effort to build LegUp, an open-source academic high-level synthesis tool that has become the de facto standard for state-of-the-art HLS research. He has co-authored over 10 peer-reviewed research papers focusing on high-level synthesis for FPGAs. After completing his Ph.D. in 2015, he has been CEO and co-founder at LegUp Computing with the aim to commercialize LegUp and make FPGAs easier to program. He has previously worked on circuit EDA research at Altera, Sun Microsystems Labs, and Oracle Labs.
Co-FounderChief Technology Officer
Jongsok (James) Choi is an expert in high-level synthesis and hardware/software co-design. He has been working with FPGAs since 2008, where he has co-authored 15 top-tier conference/journal publications and a book chapter in the area of high-level synthesis, automatic System-on-Chip (SoC) design, and automatic synthesis of multi-threaded software to parallel hardware. He received his Ph.D degree in Computer Engineering in 2016 and his M.A.Sc. degree in 2012, both from the University of Toronto. Jongsok has previously worked at Intel, Qualcomm, Marvell Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, and Blackberry.
Co-FounderChief Operating Officer
Ruo Long (Lanny) Lian received the M.A.Sc degree in computer engineering in 2016 from the University of Toronto, where his research centered on streaming circuit synthesis and FPGA-based acceleration of neural network computation. Ruolong has interned at Altera, implementing high-speed ethernet transceiver IPs, and also at Google, working on large-scale data processing solutions. He received the Bell Graduate Scholarship during his M.A.Sc study.
Co-FounderChief Scientific Advisor
Jason Anderson is a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, U of T, and holds the Jeffrey Skoll Endowed Chair. He joined the Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) Implementation Tools Group, Xilinx, Inc., San Jose, CA, USA, in 1997, where he was involved in placement, routing, and synthesis. He became a Principal Engineer at Xilinx in 2007 and joined the university in 2008. His research interests are all aspects of tools, architectures, and circuits for FPGAs. He has co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed research publications, holds 27 U.S. patents and is Program Co-Chair for FPL 2016 and Program Chair for ACM FPGA 2017.
Head of Systems Engineering
Zhi Li received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 2013 from University of Toronto. He joined Altera (currently known as Intel PSG) after his graduation and worked there for 4 years, where he contributed to driver development, compiler optimization, and FPGA virtualization on the cloud. Prior to joining LegUp Computing, he also worked in Waratah Capital Advisors, developing quantitative trading strategies and building the corresponding system for execution.
Omar Ragheb received his bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in 2016 and his M.Eng degree in computer engineering from University of Toronto in 2018. His M.Eng research focused on high level synthesis of clock-domain-crossing circuitry. Omar has interned at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Mobiserve.
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The UTEST Program is part of U of T’s growing ecosystem of incubators and commercialization support services. In partnership with MaRS Innovation and with the financial support of the Connaught Fund, it provides companies with start-up funding, mentoring, business strategy and office space at the Banting Building at the University of Toronto St. George Campus.
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