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Ncsa Director: Gpu Is Future of Supercomputing

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Thom Dunning, NCSA

Thom Dunning directs the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies and the NCSA.


The director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications has seen the future of supercomputing and it can be summed up in three letters: GPU.

Thom Dunning, who directs the NCSA and the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the famed supercomputing facilities on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says high-performance computing will begin to move toward graphics processing units or GPUs. Not coincidentally, this is exactly what China has done to achieve the world's fastest speeds with its "Tianhe-1A" supercomputer. That computer combines about 7,000 Nvidia GPUs with 14,000 Intel CPUs: the only hybrid CPU-GPU system in the world of that scale.

"What we're really seeing in the efforts in China as well as the ones we have in the U.S. is that GPUs are what the future will look like," said Dunning in a phone interview last Thursday. "What we're seeing is the beginning of something that's going to be happening all over the world."

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