Today’s announcement by NVIDIA is creating a new segment of the PC market dubbed the “personal super computer”.  What actually constitutes a PSC?  Why, lots and lots of GPUs of course!  NVIDIA hopes to make the PSC a common purchase for high performance computing areas like research and education. 

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The NVIDIA-based PSC will be based around their Tesla GPUs that are essentially graphics cards without the video output.  To be sonsidered an official Tesla PSC, the system will have to include at least 3 Tesla cards and can support as many as four – I am not sure why three is the magic number though I imagine it has something to do with not being considered a standard SLI PC.  The system will also have to have at least a quad-core processor.

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NVIDIA is hoping that with the processing power of their Tesla-based PSC they can bridge the gap between the $1M cluster supercomputers and the typical $10k workstations. 

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Just a few examples of opportunities for computing speed up are shown here when these applications are written to take advantage of NVIDIA CUDA technology. 

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Finally, it looks like the PSC will have wide support across the globe right at the outset with systems from Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, Boxx and more to be available for sale this week.
SC08-AUSTIN, TX-NOVEMBER 18 2008- Today, scientific research is carried out on supercomputing clusters, a shared resource that consumes hundreds of kilowatts of power and costs millions of dollars to build and maintain. As a result, researchers must fight for time on these resources, slowing their work and delaying results. NVIDIA and its worldwide partners today announced the availability of the GPU-based Tesla™ Personal Supercomputer, which delivers the equivalent computing power of a cluster, at 1/100th of the price and in a form factor of a standard desktop workstation.

“We’ve all heard ‘desktop supercomputer’ claims in the past, but this time it’s for real,” said Burton Smith, Microsoft Technical Fellow. “NVIDIA and its partners will be delivering outstanding performance and broad applicability to the mainstream marketplace. Heterogeneous computing, where GPUs work in tandem with CPUs, is what makes such a breakthrough possible.”

Priced like a conventional PC workstation, yet delivering 250 times the processing power, researchers now have the horsepower to perform complex, data-intensive computations right at their desk, processing more data faster and cutting time to discovery.

“GPUs have evolved to the point where many real world applications are easily implemented on them and run significantly faster than on multi-core systems,” said Prof. Jack Dongarra, director of the Innovative Computing Laboratory at the University of Tennessee and author of LINPACK. “Future computing architectures will be hybrid systems with parallel-core GPUs working in tandem with multi-core CPUs.”

Leading institutions including MIT, the Max Planck Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cambridge University, and others are already advancing their research using GPU-based personal supercomputers. “GPU based systems enable us to run life science codes in minutes rather than the hours it took earlier. This exceptional speedup has the ability to accelerate the discovery of potentially life-saving anti-cancer drugs,” said Jack Collins, manager of scientific computing and program development at the Advanced Biomedical Computing Center in Frederick Md., operated by SAIC-Frederick, Inc.

At the core of the GPU-based Tesla Personal Supercomputer is the Tesla C1060 GPU Computing Processor which is based on the NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture. CUDA enables developers and researchers to harness the massively parallel computational power of Tesla through industry standard C.

“Dell has led the workstation category for almost a decade and GPU computing represents a massive leap forward in performance that will bring supercomputer power to the masses,” said Antonio Julio, director, Dell Product Group. “The Dell Precision R5400 and T7400 will allow the scientific community to harness the capabilities of the NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU with up to two teraflops of computational power.”

As well as Dell, GPU-based Tesla Personal Supercomputers are available today from the following leading HPC OEMs, Systems Builders and Resellers: AMAX (US), Armari (UK), Asus (WW), Azken Muga (ES), Boxx (US), CAD2 (UK), CADnetwork (DE), Carri (FR), Colfax (US), Comptronic (DE), Concordia (IT), Connoisseur (IN), Dell (WW), Dospara (JP), E-Quattro (IT), JRTI (US), Lenovo (WW), Littlebit (CH), Meijin (RU), Microway (US), Sprinx (CZ), Sysgen (DE), Transtec (DE),Tycrid (US), Unitcom (JP), Ustar (UKR),Viglen (UK), Western Scientific (US)

To learn more about the industry-changing applications benefitting from NVIDIA GPU Computing technology, visit www.nvidia.com/cuda and for more information on the GPU-based NVIDIA Tesla Personal Supercomputer, please visit www.nvidia.com/personal_supercomputing.