NVIDIA's Full CUDA Software Stack Arrives For Arm Exascale Computing

Computex and E3 are both in the rear view mirror, but that does not mean the usual participants have nothing left to announce. NVIDIA proved otherwise on Monday by announcing support for ARM processors. This, according to NVIDIA, provides a new path to build extremely energy-efficient, AI-enabled exascale supercomputers.

"Supercomputers are the essential instruments of scientific discovery, and achieving exascale supercomputing will dramatically expand the frontier of human knowledge," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "As traditional compute scaling ends, power will limit all supercomputers. The combination of NVIDIA’s CUDA-accelerated computing and ARM’s energy-efficient CPU architecture will give the HPC community a boost to exascale."

NVIDIA's full stack of AI and HPC software is being made available to the ARM ecosystem. That includes all of its CUDA X AI and HPC libraries, GPU-accelerated AI frameworks, and software development tools, such as PGI compilers with OpenACC support.

"ARM is working with our ecosystem to deliver unprecedented compute performance gains and exascale-class capabilities to ARM-based SoCs," said Simon Segars, CEO of ARM. "Collaborating with NVIDIA to bring CUDA acceleration to the ARM architecture is a key milestone for the HPC community, which is already deploying Arm technology to address some of the world’s most complex research challenges."

This is a big move for both NVIDIA and ARM. As it pertains to the former, once stack optimization is complete, the company can boast support for every major CPU platform, including ARM, IBM Power, and of course x86. And for ARM, access to NVIDIA's CUDA stack is a major boost in GPU horsepower, and a selling point to clients.

NVIDIA's interest in the supercomputing market is well documented. The company's GPUs power 22 of the world's 25 most energy efficient supercomputers. It also has a long history of collaborating with ARM, so this announcement is not surprising, even if a bit overdue.