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Nvidia Plans Assault On Supercomputers With Fermi GPU

Nvidia has released the details of its new graphics processor architecture (GPU) called Fermi at its inaugural GPU Technology Conference on Wednesday.

The company believes that Fermi, which shares its name with legendary Italian Physicist Enrico Fermi, will be the basis on which its next generation of GeForce, Quadro and Tesla processors will be designed

It is expected to offer the unique ability of a graphics processor to take up general processing tasks. The GPU architecture is essentially designed for high end general purpose parallel computing.

Fermi can be even scaled up to supercomputing levels and may herald Nvidia’s move into mainstream computing offerings. It is also highly suited for rendering complex images and running multithreaded applications and Fermi also offers extensive software support which ranges from OpenCL, C++ to DirectX.

Nvidia is recognised for its high end graphic processors that typically are used for gaming systems and the firm's latest move points to its continuous effort to improve its offerings and slide in high performance computing (HPC) arena.

It is interesting to note that Nvidia has changed it focus from desktop graphics to low end devices like mobile handsets and netbook computers, while it has also made a focused attempt to reach the high end server market with its Tesla processor range.

Our Comments

It always surprised me that Nvidia, which is essentially a one-horse company with its GPU, is more than twice the size of its arch-rival, ATI/AMD, which have a whole range of processors and GPUs. Nvidia first introduced the GPU more than a decade now and the Geforce range has set the standards for visual excellence.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.