Nvidia touts GPUs for Big Data analytics

Nvidia has confirmed that a number of top enterprise and mobile application companies are using high-end GPUs to process big data analytics and advanced search for both consumer and commercial applications.

“Shazam, Salesforce.com and Cortexica are at the forefront of companies expanding the use of GPUs beyond their traditional role of processing massive data sets and complex algorithms for high performance computing science and engineering applications,” Nvidia exec Sumit Gupta said at a keynote speech at GTC 2013 in San Jose today.

“They rely on our Tesla GPU accelerators for areas as diverse as audio search, big data analytics and image recognition.”

According to Gupta, GPU accelerators provide value to applications with massive amounts of data or computations.

“A growing number of applications that provide mobile service and social media analysis have both. And that’s prompting their providers to turn to GPU accelerators as they scale up their infrastructure to meet growing demand,” he added.

As noted above, Shazam – one of the top five music applications in the Apple App Store and Google Play store – employs GPU accelerators to rapidly search and identify songs from its 27 million track database.

“Using a mobile phone or tablet, the app’s 300 million-plus users capture brief samples of music, which are then matched with an acoustic fingerprint,” said Jason Titus, chief technology officer of Shazam Entertainment.

“By accelerating the search and matching process, Tesla GPUs enable Shazam to maintain a low-cost server infrastructure that scales with the company’s dramatic growth.”

Titus also noted that GPUs enable Shazam to handle the company’s tremendous processing needs at a substantial cost savings, delivering twice the performance per dollar compared to a CPU-based system.

Meanwhile, Salesforce.com uses GPU accelerators to help major international brands, including Cisco, Dell and Gatorade, monitor and analyze more than 500 million daily tweets for brand, product, and service and support issues.

“Nvidia CUDA GPUs enable Salesforce.com to deliver insights almost 10 minutes faster than with a comparable CPU-based system,” said a Salesforce.com spokesperson.

“In addition, GPUs provide enough headroom for the company to scale with the exponential growth of Twitter and the increasing demand for advanced social media by business customers.”