updated 05:00 pm EST, Mon November 14, 2011
Supercomputers based on Tegra 3 chips
NVIDIA has introduced a new technology for workstations, known as Maximus, and what it claims to be the first supercomputer with ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid hardware. Maximus enables computers to simultaneously handle interactive graphics and complex computations required to the resulting renderings.
The system utilizes the company's Quadro-series graphics processing units with the Tesla C2075 companion processor. The unified approach automatically assigns GPU computation work to the Tesla processor, while the Quadro hardware can focus on graphics functions.
Aside from the new workstation technology, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is said to be preparing to build the world's first ARM-based CPU/GPU hybrid supercomputer using quad-core Tegra 3 chips and Cuda GPUs. The project, known as Mont-Blanc, aims to achieve a four- to ten-fold improvement in energy efficiency compared to alternative supercomputing technologies.
Engineers working on the Mont-Blanc project will attempt to build a fully-functional prototype, followed by a next-generation supercomputer system. The team will also work to produce a portfolio of applications geared specifically for the new ARM-based hardware.
Workstations equipped with the Maximus technology are said to be available from a range of manufacturers, including HP, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu.