Tuesday, 22 June 2010



Nexiwave and the Future of Voice Search – Accelerated by CUDA

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 10:00 AM PDT

Recently we had a chance to interview CEO Ben Jiang of speech indexing startup, Nexiwave. Ben aims to help us retrieve spoken words as easily as we google text and images. Ben co-founded Cambridge, Mass.-based Nexiwave in 2008 with Nickolay Shmyrev and graduated from MIT, where he initiated a high-performance computing cluster. Take a look below for an excerpt of the interview.

Nexiwave CEO Ben Jiang

NVIDIA: Ben, what makes speech indexing compelling?

Ben: Ninety percent of human communication is through speech. The amount of spoken words that could potentially be indexed and searched is staggering. Skype callers have logged over 100 billion minutes of talk time. Conference call companies are carrying over a billion minutes of calls per month. There are hundreds of millions of podcasts on the web, with 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

The problem is that today's information retrieval applications, such as internet search, focus on textual content. Information retrieval from speech content still relies primarily on a human's memory. The objective of speech indexing is to enable us to easily extract information from archived audio and video content. Through the Nexiwave system, an end user can easily search the content and locate the exact location of interest, whether it's a word, a phrase or a general topic.

NVIDIA: What are some of the potentially big applications of speech indexing?

Ben: Think about the conference calls that happen 24x7 at companies around the world. We've all had moments where we thought: "Ahh, John said something really useful in the last call. I wish I could remember exactly what he said." In the future, with speech indexing-enabled conference calls, we will be able to easily do that via a quick search to locate the exact audio snippet. Another interesting market is call centers, where the ability to do a deep search (not just time of call and phone number) will enable companies to find out what customers are really telling them. Other markets are e-discovery (in the legal field), recorded educational media, podcasts and audio-centric enterprises.

NVIDIA: What stage is your technology in?

Ben: Nexiwave 1.0 was released in October 2009. Nexiwave 2.0, our NVIDIA GPU-enabled version, was released on June 3, 2010 and is in production. We offer a SaaS (software as a service) and cloud computing solution as well as software licenses.

NVIDIA: What is the connection between Nexiwave and CMU Sphinx, the speech recognition system from Carnegie Mellon?

Ben: CMU Sphinx is a very popular open source speech processing engine. Our system is built on top of it with many of our own proprietary improvements, such as CUDA-based acoustic scoring (a total re-write of the core acoustic scoring code). We are one of the major commercial companies contributing to it through code fixes, developer resources and user forum support.

NVIDIA: Where does the GPU fit into this?

Ben: Speech indexing is computationally intensive and has traditionally been very expensive. Speech indexing can be efficiently processed in parallel which means the GPU is a perfect fit for it. The GPU will solve the cost issue associated with indexing vast amounts of audio content quickly and accurately.

NVIDIA: How did you like programming/porting in the CUDA C environment?

Ben: Our experience with programming in CUDA C has been enjoyable. The CUDA Best Practices Guide provided tons of help in performance tuning.

NVIDIA: How does CUDA help you?

Ben: Nexiwave has been able to move 75% of our computing processes (or 11 million computation loops per audio minute) to CUDA C. This directly translates into cost reduction (we have released a large number of CPU machines back to our computing provider). The exciting thing about this speedup is that it enables us to move into markets where speech indexing has not been possible before.

Top Start-Ups Taking the Stage at the Emerging Companies Summit

Posted: 22 Jun 2010 06:00 AM PDT

Interested in new GPU applications? Then come check out the start-ups presenting at the upcoming Emerging Companies Summit (ECS). ECS 2010 will be held September 21-23 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California and is a part of the GPU Technology Conference. The ECS start-ups are showcasing innovative applications and technologies that leverage GPUs to solve visual and high-performance computing challenges.

Fireside Chat with Jen-Hsun Huang at GPU Technology Conference 2009

At this year's ECS we'll have a "CEO on Stage" session, where a select group of start-up CEOs will have an opportunity to present their companies and interact with a panel of industry analysts, investors and technology leaders. CEOs will be selected by an advisory committee that includes Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, and Drew Lanza, partner at Morgenthaler Ventures. If you'd like to participate in the "CEO on Stage," submit your applications by Aug. 1. We'll announce selected speakers by Sept. 15.

In addition to presentations from exciting new companies, ECS 2010 will feature several panel discussions. They include:

  • "Computer Vision on GPUs," covering facial, gesture, human motion, and biometrics recognition; augmented reality; and robotic computing.
  • "Creating Businesses Through Disruptive Industry Changes," featuring Morgenthaler Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank Venture Capital Group.
  • Also being held is a "fireside chat" with Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's president and CEO, to be moderated by Quentin Hardy, national editor at Forbes magazine.

If you'd like to attend GTC, register here and take advantage early bird rates now.

To participate as a startup:

  1. Submit your proposal for the "CEO on Stage" showcase, deadline is 8/1

GPU Technology Conference 2009 - ECS

GPU Technology Conference (GTC) takes place Sept. 20-23, 2010 at the San Jose Convention. You can stay up to date by following the GTC blog RSS feed, signing up for our email list or joining our GTC Facebook fan page.

Flash Forward: Flash Player 10.1 Now Available for Mobile Devices

Posted: 21 Jun 2010 09:02 PM PDT

As consumers, we enjoy rich Web content on our PCs, and we really want to enjoy that same content on our mobile devices, wherever we go. But today's mobile devices often steer you to text heavy, limited content sites, because they don't have the processing power to serve up the full web experience in all its glory.

Today Adobe announced the general availability of Flash Player 10.1, which is a major advancement in enabling mobile devices to display hundreds of millions of web pages with rich Flash content - closing the gap between the web experience on high-end PCs and mobile devices.

We're proud of the work we've done together with Adobe over the past year, often on-site at Adobe side by side with their engineers, to enable full hardware GPU acceleration for Flash Player 10.1. This includes using Tegra's GPU to significantly boost both Flash animation and video performance while simultaneously extending the battery life of your mobile device.

We've taken the NVIDIA user experiences that people love on PCs and applied that same technology in our work with Adobe to create the ultimate media experience on your smartphone or tablet.

We're looking forward to launching mobile devices with breakthrough performance using Tegra, Flash Player 10.1 and Android 2.2 so stay tuned!

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