By Kathleen Maher at GfxSpeak
Although Nvidia’s Grid was announced over a year ago at GTC 2012 and has seen some customer adoption and important partnerships with HP and Dell, among others, Nvidia put more meat on the bone with the Kepler rolled out last spring.
At Nvidia’s GTC developer conference this year, the company introduced the Visual Computing Appliance (VCA), a compact, low-cost 2U appliance that enables small companies to take advantage of Nvidia’s Grid technology. And Amazon has put the icing on the cake by providing access to Nvidia’s GPUs via its EC2, Elastic Compute Cloud web service available through Amazon Web Services (AWS).
So far, GPU resources are available in two instance types, G2 and CG1; both include Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia GPUs, which can be used for graphics applications or GPGPU compute applications. The G2 includes access to Nvidia Grid GPUs via the Kepler GK104 including 4 GB of video memory and the GPU’s on-board hardware video encoder. The CG1 instances offer Nvidia’s Tesla M2050 GPUs (Fermi GF100).
Amazon says the initial driver release for the G2 includes support for OpenGL 4.3, DirectX 11, CUDA 5.5, and OpenCL 1.1. The CG1 drivers offer support for CUDA 5.5, OpenCL 1.1, and DirectCompute. Both options provide access to the Grid SDK. Amazon says the popular use cases for G2 will be service-side graphics applications including game streaming and 3D application streaming. The CG1 offers capabilities on the GPGPU compute side including massively parallel tasks like computational chemistry, rendering, financial modeling, and engineering design.
Find more on NVIDIA Grid for design and CAD professionals here.