NVIDIA called in the big guns to help promote its Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs), announcing new efforts this week with Microsoft to explore applications for high performance parallel computing using Windows HPC Server 2008. In that vein, NVIDIA Research developed several GPU-enabled applications on the Windows HPC Server 2008 platform, including a ray tracing application that can be tapped to do advanced photo-realistic modeling of automobiles. NVIDIA also collaborated with Microsoft’s research arm to install a large Tesla GPU computing cluster with the intention of studying new applications optimized for the GPU. NVIDIA’s Tesla GPUs support Windows XP and Windows Vista on the workstation, and Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 in the data center. A number of large workstation OEMs, including Cray, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo offer personal workstation platforms built on the Tesla C1060 and S1070 GPUs. Andy Keane, general manager of NVIDIA’s Tesla business, maintains that scientific and engineering communities leveraging the GPU platform are achieving performance boosts of between 20 to 200 times, depending on their application.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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