NVIDIA CUDA - GPU computing technology

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 08 2006 @ 21:20 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA today unveiled NVIDIA CUDA technology, a fundamentally new architecture for computing on NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), and the industry's first C-compiler development environment for the GPU.

GPU computing with CUDA is a new approach to computing where hundreds of on-chip processor cores simultaneously communicate and cooperate to solve complex computing problems up to 100 times faster than traditional approaches. This breakthrough architecture is complemented by another first-the NVIDIA C-compiler for the GPU. This complete development environment gives developers the tools they need to solve new problems in computation-intensive applications such as product design, data analysis, technical computing, and game physics.

Available today on the new GeForce 8800 graphics card and future NVIDIA Quadro Professional Graphics solutions, computing with CUDA transcends the limitations of traditional GPU stream computing by enabling GPU processor cores to communicate, synchronize, and share data.

CUDA-enabled GPUs offer dedicated features for computing, including the Parallel Data Cache, which allows 128, 1.35GHz processor cores in newest generation NVIDIA GPUs to cooperate with each other while performing intricate computations. Developers access these new features through a separate computing driver that communicates with DirectX and OpenGL, and the new NVIDIA C compiler for the GPU, which obsoletes streaming languages for GPU computing.

A CUDA-enabled GPU operates as either a flexible thread processor, where thousands of computing programs called threads work together to solve complex problems, or as a streaming processor in specific applications such as imaging where threads do not communicate. CUDA-enabled applications use the GPU for fine grained data-intensive processing, and the multi-core CPUs for complicated coarse grained tasks such as control and data management.

"CUDA gives us a whole new level of computing capability and enables closer access to the hardware," said Ryan Schneider, CTO of Acceleware Corp. "CUDA makes it possible for Acceleware's electromagnetic simulation and geophysical processing products to continue to double in speed each year, and, with our OEM partners like SPEAG, will enable us to address the needs of new markets such as biomedical imaging and reservoir modeling. The latest advancements from NVIDIA are helping to quickly push the boundaries of product development and commercial science."

"CUDA opens the door for new ways to analyze and interpret seismic data, allowing for interaction with multi-terabyte prestack surveys," says Alex Krueger, president of Headwave, Inc. "With this compelling new GPU architecture from NVIDIA, we can accelerate some of the most computationally intensive algorithms in oil and gas exploration-far beyond the performance CPUs are capable of delivering."

The CUDA Software Developers Kit (SDK) is currently available to developers and researchers through the NVIDIA registered developer program.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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