Friday, 19 November 2010



GPUs on the Path to 1000x More Science

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 03:59 PM PST

At the SC10 Show in New Orleans on Wednesday morning I found myself as one of many conference attendees hustling down the uneven sidewalks on a surprisingly windy and cool day.  Coffees in hand, we all managed to navigate the seemingly endless expanse of the convention center before the 8:30am start of the keynote session, featuring NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally's insights on GPUs and the path to exascale.

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Exascale supercomputers (those with roughly 1000x more computing capability than today's fastest) will be critical to the advancement of science and industrial innovation this decade.   But unless supercomputing architectures are designed more intelligently, these systems will require their own dedicated nuclear power plant to run them.   Enter the GPU.

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In order to reach exascale with a reasonable power budget a system must reach 50GFlops/Watt.   Today GPU supercomputers can deliver 10% of this goal and CPU-only supercomputers just 1%.   Assuming similar architectural and process advances occur for both GPUs and CPUs, GPUs will reach the exaflop goal by 2018.   CPU systems will be only at 1/6th of the way to the exaflop finish line at that time.

Bill envisions that by 2018, GPU exascale systems could be housed in about 400 server cabinets (comparable to the largest supercomputers today) and will solve incredibly complex problems in computational research.

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Check out Steve Keckler's blog about this on the site.

Or some press coverage of Bill's SC'10 talk.

Get Inspired on December 11

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 12:00 PM PST

Updated: 11/19/10 8:30am PT

Each year we host a series of charitable events at NVIDIA offices around the world, called Project Inspire. These events are a chance for employees to give back to their local communities through a day of volunteerism. Some recent examples include:

  • Our Beaverton, Ore., and Durham, N.C., employees worked with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for low-income families.
  • Bedford, Mass., employees built new bikes to give to kids from the local Woburn Boys & Girls Club.
  • In Würselen, Germany, employees raised money and worked side-by-side with kids from a homeless youth shelter to build a recreational space and make other improvements.

WurselenWürselen employees work with youth to plant vegetable seedlings and herbs at the shelter.

At NVIDIA HQ in Santa Clara, we call Project Inspire a "party with a purpose" because we take the money might have spent on a holiday party and instead apply it to our philanthropic project. This year, we're going to History Park in San Jose, Calif., on December 11 to revitalize the grounds of this educational site through carpentry, painting, landscaping and mural design. We're also going to design and build a large community garden area, so neighborhood residents can benefit from fresh produce. As part of our donation, we'll help educate neighbors on how to plant, harvest and prepare nutritious food they can grow themselves. Lastly, we're going to construct a greenhouse so the 2,500 students that visit History Park each year can use it as a hands-on science lab.

Project InspireEmployees use Project Inspire as an opportunity to teach their kids about giving back.

Previous Project Inspires include renovating an elementary school campus and community center, and partnering with students at a San Jose high school to turn their campus into a college-like setting complete with a state-of-the-art multimedia studio, which is now used to train 100 youth per day. And in 2007 we helped revitalize an East Palo Alto charter school with murals and a teaching garden, which has become a science education destination for thousands of youth throughout Silicon Valley.

Epacs garden AFTER Overfelt Multimedia Studio
The teaching garden on the left is used by thousands of kids each year. Overfelt has used the multimedia studio on the right as an opportunity to build a vocational program in multimedia.

December 11 is fast approaching, and we are already looking forward to sharing with you the results and smiles from the day!

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