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24-04-2014

Euranova @GTC14

The GPU Technology Conference is one of those events where cutting-edge technology meets industrial players who are either see an opportunity to invest in the future trends or are able to match actual problems with the new abilities enabled by the technology. It is the place where the recent developments in the domain of GPU computing get presented, along with a showcase of all the challenges that the GPU technology has resolved so far. For a company such as EURA NOVA, this is the place where existing solutions meets new challenges that require innovation.

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I heard you liked the Titan, so I put a Titan in your Titan so you can compute/game while you game/compute.

What appeared nearly thirty years ago as a luxury piece of hardware has now become a widely available and essential equipement available on nearly all consumer devices. GPUs are now used not only for processing graphics but have evolved to become a general multi-purpose hardware for massively parallel computations. The GTC14 has been the showcase of all the new domains of applications which can efficiently make use of GPUs. More, this trend also goes both ways, and innovations in the field of GPUs now mostly come from these domain applications.

The academic world seems also to have embraced the trend as many of the talks that were produced were inspired by scientific publications. This is in response to the critics over the past years that have often flagged the GTC as a purely commercial and marketing-oriented event.

GPU computing seems to have grown mature enough to build a community of scientists developing and using the technology in specific use cases going beyond image processing. Many of the talks did not concern image processing at all. Most of the projects targeting the GPU computation now sport exclusive development tailored for the GPU use cases and do not simply consist in porting existing applications to the GPU anymore, this is an additional sign of maturity in for this technology.

Going further, the annual Emerging Companies Summit is an event held at the GTC14 that aims at funding innovative startups that make use of the GPU to leverage their business. The companies present their innovations in front of the audience and are then questioned by a panel of venture capitalists. At the end of the day, the best startup goes home with a massive check as a way to boost their development.

The numerous interesting projects that I have had the opportunity to attend is a good sign that a genuine ecosystem of companies is developing around the GPU, a technology in which EURA NOVA has now invested a lot of effort. In the months to come many posts on this blog will report on our various research projects using this technology, involving machine learning, graph processing and databases. Stay tuned.

 

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