Nvidia Launches CUDA Support for ARM Server Chips
Nvidia officials are looking to fuel the use of GPU accelerators in servers for HPC and supercomputing environments.Nvidia officials for five years have been promoting the use of their graphics technology to help speed up systems being used in high-performance computing environments. At the 2013 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Germany June 18, Nvidia outlined efforts that officials say not only validate what the company has done up to this point, but also will help drive further adoption of GPU accelerators in supercomputers. Nvidia announced that version 5.5 of CUDA, its parallel computing platform, will support the ARM chip architecture. ARM officials, whose low-power chip designs can be found in the bulk of smartphones and tablets, are turning their focus to the data center. ARM and its partners believe that the performance and power efficiency of their systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) can address the demands around low power and density coming from Web hosting and cloud computing environments, as well as from some high-performance computing (HPC) organizations. They expect demand for ARM SoCs for servers to take off next year, when ARM releases its ARMv8 designs, which includes such server features as 64-bit computing, more memory and greater virtualization support.
For Nvidia, having CUDA support ARM not only will make it easier for ARM processors to coexist in HPC systems with Nvidia's GPU accelerators and for programmers to port applications from ARM to the GPUs, but it also means that HPC systems can be powered exclusively by technology from Nvidia, which licenses ARM's SoC designs for its Tegra chips.