Nov 22, 2008

Tech - Desktops to turn 'supercomputers'

India was once denied American supercomputers as well as the technology to make them. Now, Santa Clara, California-headquartered Nvidia Corporation is determined to put supercomputing powers into every desktop in the country. What's more, each of these PCs, the company claims, will be 1,000 times more powerful than the supercomputer that the country was denied.

Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder, president and CEO of Nvidia, is presently in the country to launch the machine: a GPU-based Tesla personal supercomputer. Other Nvidia officials are engaged in launching Tesla GPU computing solutions across the US, Europe and Japan.

Incidentally, Nvidia has used GPU processors, which generate interactive graphics on PCs, game consoles and mobile devices, for high-performance computing applications. This has been done using its CUDA technology, a general purpose parallel computing architecture.

"The personal computing industry is saturated. The internet no longer surprises us. The new wow factor will come from GPU processors. GPU is going to be the processor of the 21st century," said Huang.

Flipping over an anecdote, he said that when his company talked about the technology three years ago, nobody took notice. "Now all processor companies are playing the catching up game," he commented.

The Vishwakarma Institute of Technology in Pune will host an Nvidia Lab, which will conduct advanced research on visual computing using CUDA technologies, which runs the GPU-based Tesla personal supercomputer.

Some IITs, along with IISc Bangalore, are already working on this technology, Huang pointed out.

He is keen to bring supercomputing prowess on mobile devices as well.

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