Needless to say, it's been a number of years since NVIDIA realised they could have another significant business opportunity based around more generalised GPU computing. What they needed, then, was a way to extend the market, while also simplifying the programming model and improving efficiency. They got a small team of hardware and software engineers dedicated specifically to that problem, and implemented both new hardware features and a new API to expose them: CUDA.
Today, NVIDIA is making the CUDA beta SDK available to the public, which means the fruits of their labour are about to leave the areas of mildly restrictive NDAs and arcane secrets. Of course, we've had access to CUDA for a certain amount of time now, and we've got the full scoop on how it all works and what it all means. So read on!