NVIDIA's Tegra CPUs And CUDA GPUs Hit Barcelona Supercomputing Center - HotHardware
NVIDIA's Tegra CPUs And CUDA GPUs Hit Barcelona Supercomputing Center

NVIDIA's Tegra CPUs And CUDA GPUs Hit Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Wondering if ARM-based chips are powerful enough for the real world? Here's your answer. NVIDIA has just unveiled a new prototype system with Tegra ARM CPUs and CUDA GPUs, and that system just so happens to be a supercomputer. The company has announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM CPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs.

BSC is planning to develop the first large scale system based on this technology, with a near term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems. BSC's ultimate research goal is to deliver exascale-level performance while using 15 to 30 times less power than current supercomputer architectures. This so-called EU Mont-Blanc Project will explore next-generation HPC architectures and develop a portfolio of exascale applications that run efficiently on these kinds of energy-efficient, embedded mobile technologies.


"In most current systems, CPUs alone consume the lion's share of the energy, often 40 percent or more," said Alex Ramirez, leader of the Mont-Blanc Project. "By comparison, the Mont-Blanc architecture will rely on energy-efficient compute accelerators and ARM processors used in embedded and mobile devices to achieve a four- to 10-times increase in energy-efficiency by 2014." To support growing demand for similar ARM-based initiatives around the world, NVIDIA also announced plans to develop a new hardware and software development kit. The kit, with hardware developed by SECO, will feature a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM CPU accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA GPU. It is expected to be available in the first half of 2012, and will be supported by the NVIDIA CUDA parallel programming toolkit.

Good enough for a supercomputer = good enough for you?
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Very cool. This has the potential to save a lot of energy not only in what will run the processors but in the cooling infrastructure as well. I will be very interesting to see how this turns out.

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@omegadraco: I agree... I remember at least one supercomputer being powered by NVIDIA technology. The fact that it received the newer ones that consume less power then the previous generation just goes to show NVIDIA is working hard when it comes to adapting to the 28nm craze that will commence next year.

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"Nvidia keeps on innovating, they never cease to amaze me. I think that Nvidia's dominance will move further ahead with Wayne and WIn 8. They are going to potentially put a deep hole in Intel's profit in the mobile sector. Apart from the obvious Tablets and smartphone, I see a full range of Laptops powered by Wayne. Late 2012/ early 2013 is going to be a very interesting time in technology."

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