HP Workstation Comes with Nvidia Tesla GPUs

HP is offering configurations of its Z800 workstation with Nvidia's Tesla graphics processors. The move comes at a time when Nvidia is aggressively pushing GPUs into the HPC field, and other chip makers-in particular, AMD and Intel-are looking to expand their graphics chips capabilities. In addition, hardware makers such as Appro are offering CPU and GPU technologies in their systems aimed at the HPC space.

Nvidia continues to find new homes for its Tesla GPUs.

The graphics chip maker Aug. 3 announced that Hewlett-Packard is now offering its Z800 Workstation with up to two Tesla GPUs aimed at the HPC (high-performance computing) space.

Nvidia officials see the embrace by HP as the latest indication of the growing demand for GPUs in the HPC field.

"The adoption of Tesla GPUs is the fastest of any new processor technology in the history of HPC," Andy Keane, general manager of the Tesla business, said in a statement.

Nvidia officials noted that a supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, called Tsubame, is the 41st fastest computer in the world, according to compilers of the Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers, released in June. Tsubame includes GT200 GPUs from Nvidia.

HPC hardware vendors are looking to find ways to get graphics technology into their offerings. For example, Appro in May rolled out its HyperPower Cluster, an HPC offering that combines Intel's new quad-core Xeon 5500 Series "Nehalem EP" and Nvidia's Tesla processor.

Appro officials credited Nvidia's aggressive marketing of its GPU offerings for growing the market for graphics chips in mainstream systems. GPUs offer the promise of enabling businesses to run their code faster than traditional x86 processors.

Other vendors also are pushing graphics chips. Advanced Micro Devices bought GPU maker ATI for $5.4 billion in 2006. AMD officials announced May 6 that they were merging its chips and graphics businesses. President and CEO Dirk Meyer has said combining AMD's CPU and GPU businesses is a key differentiator for the company.

AMD rival Intel will offer integrated graphics in its upcoming CPUs, and is working on its own GP-GPU chip, codenamed "Larrabee."

Nvidia officials, pointing to the HP workstation deal, said the Tesla GPUs will enable businesses to run high computational workloads on their desktop systems.