The GPU Technology Conference: NVIDIA's New Focus in a Changing Market

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     October 9, 2009

The GPU Technology Conference: NVIDIA's New Focus in a Changing Market

Last year, NVIDIA held NVISION for a large cross-section of the industry. Despite the obvious success of that show, this year they tried something different with some out-of-the-box thinking by hosting their first annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC).

Even though you and I are most familiar with the GPU being used predominantly for graphics processing, NVIDIA has been marketing what was a predominantly graphics-pushing architecture for massively parallel computing. Discrete low-power GPUs have also been making their way into other markets such as cell phones, media players, netbooks and even GPS devices. Every aspect of programming for and harnessing the potential of these emerging markets is a challenge considering just a few years ago, many of them didn’t exist. The lofty goal of this conference was to bring the development community together to discuss the present-day advances and future possibilities that can be achieved when programming for the GPU.

The actual conference itself was broken into a number of separate summits that each focused on a different aspect of the industry. The Emerging Companies Summit showcased some 60 new companies who have been harnessing the power of the GPU to deliver innovative solutions in a number of areas. Meanwhile, the GPU Developer’s Summit concentrated on presentations discussing techniques and solutions for harnessing the full potential of the GPU in parallel computing situations. Last but not least was the NVIDIA Research Summit that would be a primer for industry professionals who wanted to learn how they could use GPUs to drastically increase their productivity while possibly decreasing costs.

Over the course of three days, companies from around the world would come together to participate in over 250 sessions, keynotes and tutorials. Hardware Canucks was on hand to cover it all but considering there was over 500 hours of information being presented, it was impossible to catch it all. As such, will endeavor to give you as complete of a cross-section as possible regarding what went on and take a quick look at a number of new technologies and upcoming programs which were presented.

To many of you reading this article, the focus of this conference may sound a bit dry and may lack that whisper of excitement that you have come to expect from anything GPU related but let me tell you, interesting things are happening in the GPU computing industry. As you progress through the article, I hope that you too will begin to share some of my newfound excitement for the possibilities that GPUs bring to the table.


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