Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nvidia Details ‘Personal Supercomputer` Design Based on Tesla GPU - November 18, 2008, by Scott Ferguson

Nvidia is preparing to roll out a new high-performance computing design that will allow OEMs to create what the graphics maker calls a “personal supercomputer.” This HPC design from Nvidia will allow OEMs to build workstations that contain between two and four of Nvidia’s general purpose Tesla GPUs and allow researchers to run scientific and other massive workloads at their desks. Lenovo, Asus and Dell are three of several OEMs that will use this design to build these Nvidia HPC workstations.

Nvidia is looking to bring the power of a supercomputer cluster to the desktop.

At the 2008 Supercomputing Conference in Austin, Texas, Nvidia will demonstrate a new HPC (high-performance computer) design that will allow OEMs to pack between two and four Nvidia GP-GPUs (general purpose graphics processing units) with a workstation form factor.

Nvidia executives are scheduled to discuss the new HPC design Nov. 18.

This new HPC design, which Nvidia is calling the “Personal Supercomputer,” is the latest effort by Nvidia to bring its graphics technology into the supercomputing and high-performance computing markets. While most HPC clusters and supercomputers are powered by conventional CPUs, Nvidia is betting that its GP-GPUs can offer the types of performance that scientists, researchers and other workers in the HPC market need now to run these types of massive workloads.

Unlike a traditional CPU, a GP-GPU contains hundreds of smaller stream processing cores, which then allow an application’s instructional threads to run in parallel. Once the data is broken down into smaller and smaller pieces, the GP-GPU allows for higher throughput and better performance without relying on cranking up the clock speed to make the application run faster.

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