Nvidia teams up with Microsoft for HPC

Nvidia is to work with Microsoft to use its Tesla GPUs for high performance parallel computing using the Windows HPC Server 2008 operating system.

Nvidia says it has developed several GPU-enabled applications for Windows HPC Server 2008, including a ray tracing application that can be used for advanced photo-realistic modeling of automobiles. The company is also working with Microsoft to install a large Tesla GPU computing cluster and is investigating applications that can be optimized for the GPU.

The two companies say they are looking at applications such as data mining, machine learning and business intelligence, as well as scientific applications like molecular dynamics, financial computing and seismic processing which can take advantage of the massively parallel CUDA  architecture on which Nvidia’s GPUs are based.

“The coupling of GPUs and CPUs illustrates the enormous power and opportunity of multicore co-processing,” said Dan Reed, corporate vice president of Extreme Computing at Microsoft.

“Nvidia’s work with Microsoft and the Windows HPC Server platform is helping enable scientists and researchers in many fields achieve supercomputer performance on diverse applications.”

“The combination of GPUs and the Windows platform has been a great benefit to our VMD (Visual Molecular Dynamics) user community, bringing advanced molecular visualization and analysis capabilities to thousands of users,” said John Stone, senior research programmer at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“As we move toward even larger biomolecular structures, GPUs will become increasingly important as they bring even more computational power to bear on what will be highly parallelizable computational problems.”

“The scientific community was one of the first to realize the potential of the GPU to transform its work, observing speedups ranging from 20 to 200 times while using a range of compute-intensive applications,” said Andy Keane, general manager of Nvidia’s Tesla business.

“Researchers are increasingly using Windows on workstations and in data centers due to strong development tools like Microsoft Visual Studio, its ease of system management and its lower total cost of ownership.”