Nvidia and Microsoft engineers are working together to promote Nvidia's Tesla GPUs in HPC environments that use Microsoft's Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system. The move is part of a push by Nvidia to expand the reach of its Tesla GPUs into mainstream computing. Others, including AMD, are making similar efforts.
Nvidia is working with Microsoft to expand the reach of its graphics
processing technologies into high-performance computing space.
Nvidia officials announced Sept. 28 that their engineers are
collaborating with their Microsoft counterparts to tout the use of
their Tesla GPUs in HPC environments
that use Microsoft's Windows HPC Server 2008 OS.
The move is part of Nvidia's aggressive campaign to bring its GPUs
into more mainstream, general-purpose computing environments as
co-processors with traditional CPUs from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices
AMD, with its ATI graphics business, also is pushing its graphics
technologies into common computing environments, and Intel is beginning
to ramp up the graphics capabilities in its products.
Click here to see how GPUs can boost mainstream computing.
Nvidia's CUDA architecture
developers a way of using both CPUs and GPUs at the same time in a
co-processing fashion. The result has been rapid growth in the number
of applications in a wide range of disciplines-such as business
intelligence, data mining and scientific software-that can take
advantage of the CUDA-based Tesla GPUs, according to Nvidia.
"The coupling of GPUs and CPUs illustrates the enormous power and
opportunity of multicore co-processing," Dan Reed, corporate vice
president of extreme computing at Microsoft, said in a statement.
Andy Keane, general manager of Nvidia's Tesla business, said
researchers in HPC environments are looking at such technologies as
Microsoft operating systems and GPUs as ways to improve their work.
"The scientific community was one of the first to realize the
potential of the GPU to transform its work," Keane said in a statement.
Scientists are seeing speed improvements in their compute-intensive
applications of 20 to 200 times, he said. In addition, researchers also
are using Windows on workstations and in data centers more, thanks to
such development tools as Microsoft Visual Studio and the operating
system's ease of use and lower costs, Keane said.
Nvidia's Tesla GPUs support Windows XP and Vista in workstations and Windows Server 2003 and 2008 in the data center.
In addition to touting the work they've done with Microsoft in the
data center, Nvidia officials also announced that it has released GPU
drivers for Windows and Linux that conform to the OpenCL specification.
The company introduced the beta drivers in April. The newest drivers
support the OpenCL v1.0 specification, including the OpenCL Images
Like CUDA, OpenCL enables GPUs to be programmed like CPUs. The spec
has wide support from such companies as AMD, Intel Apple and IBM, as
well as Nvidia.
One of the features of the new Nvidia drivers is the support for all CUDA-enabled GPUs.