Sign In

Communications of the ACM


GPUs Reshape Computing

NVidia Titan X graphics card

NVidia's Titan X graphics card, featuring the company's Pascal-powered graphics processing unit driven by 3,584 CUDA cores running at 1.5GHz.


As researchers continue to push the boundaries of neural networks and deep learning—particularly in speech recognition and natural language processing, image and pattern recognition, text and data analytics, and other complex areas—they are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to extend and expand computing capabilities. For decades, the gold standard has been high-performance computing (HPC) clusters, which toss huge amounts of processing power at problems—albeit at a prohibitively high cost. This approach has helped fuel advances across a wide swath of fields, including weather forecasting, financial services, and energy exploration.

However, in 2012, a new method emerged. Although researchers at the University of Illinois had previously studied the possibility of using graphics processing units (GPUs) in desktop supercomputers to speed processing of tasks such as image reconstruction, a group of computer scientists and engineers at the University of Toronto demonstrated a way to significantly advance computer vision using deep neural nets running on GPUs. By plugging in GPUs, previously used primarily for graphics, it was suddenly possible to achieve huge performance gains on computing neural networks, and these gains were reflected in superior results in computer vision.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.