Nvidia Launches Pascal GPUs for Deep Learning Inferencing

By Tiffany Trader

September 12, 2016

Already entrenched in the deep learning community for neural net training, Nvidia wants to secure its place as the go-to chipmaker for datacenter inferencing. At the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Beijing today (Tuesday), Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled the latest additions to the Tesla line, Pascal-based P4 and P40 GPU accelerators, as well as new software all aimed at improving performance for inferencing workloads that undergird applications like voice-activated assistants, spam filters, and recommendation engines.

Employing the same form factor as the Maxwell-based M4 and M40 GPUs, the new Pascal cards were designed to accelerate inferencing workloads. Most significantly, the GPUs feature specialized inference instructions based on 8-bit (INT8) operations. Using the VGG image recognition model as a benchmark, Nvidia reports that the P40 achieved a 45x faster response than a E5-2690v4 Xeon (with the latest Intel Math Kernel Library) and a 4x improvement over the M40, which debuted last November at Supercomputing. In both cases, the P40 was running INT8 instructions, while the comparison hardware was employing FP32.

For the test, Nvidia paired the Tesla P40 with an internal version of the company’s TensorRT library, which is also being announced today. TensorRT, formerly known as GIE (GPU Inference Engine), enables the trained neural net to run well on Pascal GPUs, says Nvidia. The library takes neural nets, typically built with 32-bit or 16-bit operations, and tunes them for the specific GPU to be used for deployment.

“If there’s a GPU in the datacenter like the P4 or P40 then TensorRT will automatically recognize that and transform that neural net into 8 bit,” said Roy Kim, a product manager in Nvidia’s Tesla HPC business unit. “And TensorRT will take neural net and deploy it anywhere – it could deploy it in an embedded Jetson program for example.”

On the training side, models need the higher accuracy of at least 16-bit floating point (FP16), but once the models are trained, this dynamic range can be reduced down to an 8-bit range without a loss of accuracy. The upshot of INT8, is that it enables four times as much throughput compared to single-precision floating point (FP32).

nvidia-tesla-p4-specs

nvidia-tesla-p40-specs

The P4 is designed for the scale-out datacenter server and prioritizes energy efficiency whereas the P40 emphasizes high throughput for deep learning workloads. The P40 is for customers who want to deploy lots of GPUs in a box in batch mode for overnight processing of video data, for example, said Kim. A single Tesla P4 provides 22 Tera-Operations per second (TOPS) while the P40 offers 47 Tera-Operations per second (TOPS) — both figures are with boost clock enabled.

Nvidia also unveiled a new software development kit to help speed video analytics workloads. DeepStream SDK has APIs for transcoding video onto various formats, it has SDK to preprocess those videos, and it has the APIs and support for deep learning frameworks, the company said. With DeepStream, a single Tesla P4 server (with two E5-2650 v4 CPUs) can simultaneously decode and analyze up to 93 HD video streams in real time compared with seven streams on a GPU-less Broadwell-based box, according to Nvidia.

Nvidia continues to count Baidu as a key partner and confirmed that the Chinese search giant still uses Nvidia GPUs for training and inferencing its Deep Speech 2 system. Hyperscalers like Baidu are increasingly concerned with minimizing the time it takes for their systems to recognize speech, images or text in response to queries from users and devices.

“Delivering simple and responsive experiences to each of our users is very important to us,” said Greg Diamos, senior researcher at Baidu. “At Baidu, we have deployed NVIDIA GPUs in production to provide AI-powered services such as our Deep Speech 2 system and the use of GPUs enables a level of responsiveness that would not be possible on un-accelerated servers.”

“The complexity of that Deep Speech 2 model has increased by 10x in just one year,” said Nvidia’s Kim. “So it makes sense from the training side why they need GPUs. But on the inferencing side, they are seeing a problem. Whereas it used to be okay to deploy on CPU servers, it isn’t tenable anymore. With hyperscalers every millisecond matters. Baidu believes that after 500 milliseconds, user engagement goes down. With the Pascal GPU the response is almost immediate, about 100 milliseconds.”

Nvidia said it went through pains to ensure it used the latest Intel hardware and software for its comparison testing. The graphics chipmaker’s message is that even the latest Broadwell CPUs are challenged by today’s complex inferencing workloads. To Intel’s mind, however, the star of its deep learning portfolio is its Xeon Phi manycore processor. We imagine a fuller picture of the comparative performance advantages of Nvidia and Intel silicon will emerge when Pascal GPUs go head to head against Knights Landing on a range of workloads. Things will get even more interesting next year with the debut of the next-generation Phi processor, Knights Mill, which will support lower-precision computations.

The Tesla P40 is expected to be available next month and the P4 the month after. The cards will be available from all major OEMs and ODMs, including Dell Technologies, HPE, Inspur, Inventec, Lenovo, QCT, Quanta Computer and Wistron.

The DeepStream SDK will be available to early users as part of an invite-only closed beta program.

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!

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and increase the vehicle’s speed and efficiency. These fluid dyn Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios Adds DoD Research & Engineering Title

July 13, 2020

Michael Kratsios, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed acting Undersecretary of Defense for research and engineering. He replaces Mike Griffin, who along with his deputy Lis Porter, stepped down last wee Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer Research Reveals Star Cluster Born Outside Our Galaxy

July 11, 2020

The Milky Way is our galactic home, containing our solar system and continuing into a giant band of densely packed stars that stretches across clear night skies around the world – but, it turns out, not all of those st Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprised of Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia A100 GPUs, and featuri Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Xilinx Announces First Adaptive Computing Challenge

July 9, 2020

A new contest is challenging the computing world. Xilinx has announced the first Xilinx Adaptive Computing Challenge, a competition that will task developers and startups with finding creative workload acceleration solutions. Xilinx is running the Adaptive Computing Challenge in partnership with Hackster.io, a developing community... Read more…

By Staff report

AWS Solution Channel

INEOS TEAM UK Accelerates Boat Design for America’s Cup Using HPC on AWS

The America’s Cup Dream

The 36th America’s Cup race will be decided in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021. Like all the teams, INEOS TEAM UK will compete in a boat whose design will have followed guidelines set by race organizers to ensure the crew’s sailing skills are fully tested. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Reviving Moore’s Law? LBNL Researchers See Promise in Heterostructure Oxides

July 9, 2020

The reality of Moore’s law’s decline is no longer doubted for good empirical reasons. That said, never say never. Recent work by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers suggests heterostructure oxides may b Read more…

By John Russell

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprise Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

In this exclusive interview for HPCwire – sadly not face to face – Steve Conway, senior advisor for Hyperion Research, talks with Dr.-Ing Bastian Koller about the state of HPC and its collaboration with Industry in Europe. Koller is a familiar figure in HPC. He is the managing director at High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and also serves... Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

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