Emerging Companies Ride Wave of GPU Computing

By Nicole Hemsoth

December 15, 2011

During the NVIDIA’s GTC Asia event this week in Beijing, the company put a set of emerging companies under the spotlight to showcase their use of innovative high performance computing and GPU-driven technologies.

While there are any number of startups or small but deserving companies that crop up each year to aim for the HPC market, we wanted to point to NVIDIA’s selection of emerging companies this week as they reflect some of the broader trends in the GPU computing space—namely, advancement of GPU acceleration into a wider set of markets and aimed at emerging industries that straddle the borders of traditional HPC or offer new capabilities to existing HPC industries, especially the rendering and entertainment sectors.

What is most interesting about the selections for GTC Asia’s Emerging Companies Summit is not necessarily the company status as a startup with a unique take on GPU use. In fact, many of those picked are established, fully operational companies with years under their belts.

The theme this year seems to be that all selections are companies that have been holding onto important technologies for a few years, but are only now able to find a high-value market for those technologies. This is because of a rapid convergence in many areas NVIDIA touches; namely, mobile, cloud and to a lesser extent (sorry, folks) HPC.

At the top of the summit list this week, however, was a company that has relatively deep roots in HPC verticals, particularly in oil and gas. Acceleware was featured as an emerging company, even though they do not necessarily define “emerging” in the traditional startup sense. The Canadian company has an established history beginning in 2005 with their first foray into the electromagnetic simulation market, a focus that later extended to include providing hardware acceleration to the seismic migration market (fitting due to their location in the heart of Canadian oil and gas country). They now serve a number of areas in engineering, finance and other HPC verticals.

In addition to their roots in a few key HPC verticals from inception, the company went public back in 2006, followed by a $3 million boost from NVIDIA the next year.  While the small company may not be “emerging” in the bootstrapped sense one might expect, they are being led out of the shadows because the technologies they’ve been honing over the recent decade are in line to finally meet a market mature enough to adopt software-based acceleration in far larger numbers. In short, as GPU clusters find their way into more enterprise shops, the demand for their offerings could subsequently increase.

As an emerging company, some might suggest that they are poised to meet to the multicore era and age of massively parallel GPU architectures in a way few companies are, a key driver behind their position as a featured company this year. 

Acceleware is not a one-trick pony when it comes to HPC. In addition to offering CUDA and OpenCL training, GPU cluster solutions (with NVIDIA GPUs), and general consulting for the core industries they serve, their range of ISV partnerships allows them to offer accelerated solvers for oil and gas and beyond.

While Acceleware might represent the emerging company to suit oil and gas and engineering markets, many of NVIDIA’s other choices catered directly to the rendering and video-driven end of their GPU business. For instance, both ZANQI Technology Development Co. Ltd, which provides a 3D internet-based and GPU-boosted rendering software as a service offering and GPU code transplanting service as well as video delivery company QIYI tap into the emerging markets driven forth by the convergence of mobile and cloud and the need for sophisticated rendering capabilities delivered rapidly across a range of devices.

Design and engineering, a key bread and butter maker for NVIDIA, had its own star this week in the form of RTP startup GeoMagic. This emerging companies selection provides 3D software for reverse engineering digital models out of physical objects for the likes of Ford, Harley Davidson, Fisher Price and a number of other household name product manufacturers across the automotive, aerospace, medical device and entertainment markets. The company’s Geomagic Studio, Qualify and Wrap packages allow companies to reverse engineer everything from archeological artifacts to auto parts so realistic, accurate digital models can be quickly simulated, tested, inspected and shared.

Aside from the Chinese majority in attendance at the show, many of the local press from around Beijing seemed present to tune in for news about the consumer GPU market. Even Jen-Hsun Huang’s keynote indicated an emphasis not just on GPUs for HPC, but their application in entertainment, consoles, media and a range of devices. While GPUs for HPC tend to take center stage at GTC events, this year offered plenty for attendees with keen eyes on the next steps NVIDIA will take in the consumer market related to GPU computing.

A handful of emerging companies picks this year echoes other angles of the consumer side of the NVIDIA business. And interestingly enough, the GPU maker can’t seem to get enough of mentioning two companies in this domain. Both Ubitus and MirriAd were featured during the Emerging Companies Summit in 2009, but it might be that like Acceleware, their technologies were ripe—but the market was not quite ready to pick them up yet. As mobile and cloud have evolved together, the time might be right for technologies like London-based MirriAd’s seamless advertising directly into video content, for instance, to find their way to the masses.

Startup Ubitus, Inc., which is based in Taipei, reflected the mobile-cloud convergence back in 2009 but the time might not have been right for users to take advantage of their fixed-mobile convergence applications until more recently with the explosion of mobile devices and smartphones that required more computing smarts. In essence, the company enables rich media across almost all types of devices with emphasis on high definition video delivery across several platforms.

If the criteria for being selected as an emerging company is morphing into a list of “companies with great technologies no one could use en masse until Trend X emerged” then NVIDIA has been scoring well. A number of its picks from as far back as 2009 were directly foretelling new directions in high performance computing applications, the rise of cloud computing, and for that matter, the mobile cloud with its need for rapid video and content delivery.

It will be interesting to see what the next summit brings; a handful of fresh-faced startups that will foretell of trends no one sees yet—or a list of the same set we saw this year with minor variations. We’ll find out in May during the next GTC event, this time in San Jose, California.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

At Long Last, Supercomputing Helps to Map the Poles

August 22, 2019

“For years,” Paul Morin wrote, “those of us that made maps of the Poles apologized. We apologized for the blank spaces on maps, we apologized for mountains being in the wrong place and out-of-date information.” Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Xilinx Says Its New FPGA is World’s Largest

August 21, 2019

In this age of exploding “technology disaggregation” – in which the Big Bang emanating from the Intel x86 CPU has produced significant advances in CPU chips and a raft of alternative, accelerated architectures... Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputers Generate Universes to Illuminate Galactic Formation

August 20, 2019

With advanced imaging and satellite technologies, it’s easier than ever to see a galaxy – but understanding how they form (a process that can take billions of years) is a different story. Now, a team of researchers f Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Efficiency and Cost-Optimization for HPC Workloads – AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

High Performance Computing on AWS leverages the power of cloud computing and the extreme scale it offers to achieve optimal HPC price/performance. With AWS you can right size your services to meet exactly the capacity requirements you need without having to overprovision or compromise capacity. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the combined power of HPC and AI to your business transformation

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Keys to Attracting the Newest HPC Talent – Post-Millennials

[Connect with HPC users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

For engineers and scientists growing up in the 80s, the current state of HPC makes perfect sense. Read more…

Singularity Moves Up the Container Value Chain

August 20, 2019

The enterprise version of the Singularity HPC container platform released this week by Sylabs is designed to allow users to create, secure and share the high-end containers in self-hosted production deployments. The e Read more…

By George Leopold

At Long Last, Supercomputing Helps to Map the Poles

August 22, 2019

“For years,” Paul Morin wrote, “those of us that made maps of the Poles apologized. We apologized for the blank spaces on maps, we apologized for mountains being in the wrong place and out-of-date information.” Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM Deepens Plunge into Open Source; OpenPOWER to Join Linux Foundation

August 20, 2019

IBM today announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Inter Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Scientists to Tap Exascale Computing to Unlock the Mystery of our Accelerating Universe

August 14, 2019

The universe and everything in it roared to life with the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. It has continued expanding ever since. While we have a Read more…

By Rob Johnson

AI is the Next Exascale – Rick Stevens on What that Means and Why It’s Important

August 13, 2019

Twelve years ago the Department of Energy (DOE) was just beginning to explore what an exascale computing program might look like and what it might accomplish. Today, DOE is repeating that process for AI, once again starting with science community town halls to gather input and stimulate conversation. The town hall program... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader and John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Drives Single-Socket Servers with AMD Epyc Rome CPUs

August 7, 2019

No summer doldrums here. As part of the AMD Epyc Rome launch event in San Francisco today, Lenovo announced two new single-socket servers, the ThinkSystem SR635 Read more…

By Doug Black

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This