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April 26, 2012

NVIDIA Launches Petaflop App Contest

Michael Feldman

Want to be the first one on your block to own a Kepler Tesla GPU? NVIDIA will be giving three of them away as prizes for a petaflop application contest they are hosting. According to a blog post by Nvidian Sumit Gupta, they are looking for “proposals from researchers around the world on what you would do if you had access to a dedicated petaflop supercomputer.”

Of course, a single Tesla Kepler card won’t get you to a petaflop. Although NVIDIA hasn’t talked about absolute performance numbers for the upcoming Tesla parts, the new GPU should deliver well north of one teraflop (double precision), which means you’d only need several hundred of the devices to join the petaflop club.

Given that, Gupta says that the new Tesla GPUs will enable “any university in the world” to build and host a petaflop supercomputer. Today virtually all of those systems (currently around 20, worldwide) are sitting in national labs or large federally funded research facilities. The implication is that Kepler will bring petascale computing to the local level.

So if you think you have a killer app for petaflop computing, follow the link to the blog and have at it. NVIDIA will announce the top three entries at the company’s upcoming GPU Technology Conference in May.