Nvidia has unveiled a new technology that is set to mark a breakthrough in the exclusive world of supercomputers.
Tesla - as it is known - is a high performance computer (or HPC) platform and is based on Nvidia's popular gaming Graphics Processing Unit or GPU.
And users, other than scientists and universities, could soon have access to a brand new range of super computers that can run more than 250x faster than the average computer, all for around £4000. The computer achieves this performance by harnessing the power of up to 960 parallel processing cores.
Computer builder Dell has already announced that it would soon be mass producing Tesla based computers for the "general consumer market" with a Dell senior executive saying that they could soon become as indispensable as mobile phones. Although prices have yet to be announced, the first Tesla workstations should be launched soon as the technology is mature enough,
AMD, which merged with the Graphics giant ATI back in 2006, is the other actor in the field and produces its own super Computer class of products, the FireStream which is based on its Radeon HD 4000 series GPUs. A single Ati Radeon nHD 4870 X2 graphic card can crunch data at 2.4 Teraflops, a universally accepted method of measuring computational power. In comparison, the fastest CPU, which are commonly used in everyday computing, can barely reach 50 Gigaflops.
Over the past few years, the price of computational power has dropped to less than 20p per Gigaflop. 25 years ago, that was around £11 million.