Nvidia GPU Conference Taipei 2011: History of the GPU

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19 May, 2011 9:59 pm

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Sanford Russel Director of CUDA Marketing gives us the history of the GPU at Nvidia’s GPU Conference 2011 in Taipei Taiwan, May 19th, 2011.

A GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is a processor attached to a graphics card which is dedicated to calculating floating point operations. A graphics accelerator incorporates custom microchips which contain special mathematicaloperations commonly used in graphics rendering. The efficiency of the microchips therefore determines the effectiveness of the graphics accelerator.

We find them most commonly used for playing 3D games or high-end 3D rendering but are turning up in academia and enterprise more and more. A GPU implements a number of graphics primitive operations in a way that makes running them much faster than drawing directly to the screen with the host CPU.

With the advent of the OpenGL API and similar functionality in DirectX, GPUs added programmable shading to their capabilities. Each pixel could now be processed by a short program that could include additional image textures as inputs, and each geometric vertex could likewise be processed by a short program before it was projected onto the screen. NVIDIA was first to produce a chip capable of programmable shading, the GeForce 3 (code named NV20).

As the processing power of GPUs has increased, so has their demand for electrical power. High performance GPUs often consume more energy than current CPUs.

Today, parallel GPUs have begun making computational inroads against the CPU, and a subfield of research, dubbed GPGPU for General Purpose Computing on GPU, has found its way into fields as diverse as oil exploration, scientific image processing, linear algebra, 3D reconstruction and even stock options pricing determination.

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Later on in his opening remarks he discussion the work of Professor Ting-Wei Hsu of National Taiwan University who has achieved 100 times performance increase through very economical means. His work was around Simulating Quarks & Lattice QDC Simulations.

Nvidia GPU Conference Taipei 2011: How National Taiwan University uses GPUs
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Via Nvidia


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