Nvidia has claimed that its new processor allows the company to put affordable supercomputer power on the desktop.
The chipmaker, best known for its 3D graphics products, has unveiled the Tesla Personal Supercomputer, which is comparable in price to a typical PC workstation but delivers 250 times the processing power, Nvidia said.
Designed to give researchers the horsepower to perform complex, data-intensive computations at their desk, the Tesla is more of a reference design than an end product. Actual systems will be built and supported by hardware vendors rather than Nvidia.
At the core of the Tesla is Nvidia's C1060 GPU Computing Processor, a single chip with an impressive 240 scalar processor cores capable of 933 GFlops floating-point performance.
The C1060 GPU is combined with 4Gb of memory in a dual-slot PCI Express card, and up to four of these cards can be fitted into a PC-based workstation running Windows or Linux to make up a Tesla Personal Supercomputer.
Nvidia said that it worked with its partners to provide suggested reference designs and guidance on minimum specifications.
Systems are available now in the UK from Viglen, Armari and Cad2. Viglen's CL2000 PSC-2 system is based on an Intel quad-core processor with 8Gb memory and two Tesla C1060 GPU processors for a starting price of £3,999.
This is the fraction of the price of a comparable cluster solution, which would typically cost millions of pounds, according to Nvidia.
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