The opening keynote address of NVISION 2008 was no less than visually exciting. Set in the San Jose Center for Performing Arts and framed by three HD displays, Jen-Hsun Huang ran us through the full gambit of what NVIDIA considers to be their key focus areas of technology. Interestingly enough, his slide aptly titled “Visual Computing Ecosystem” was dominated by HPC-centric problems. One-half of NVIDIA’s technical focus from that slide was clearly directed toward non-graphical, technically challenging problems. A sign of forthcoming products from NVIDIA…. too early to tell.
Regardless of their focus, I found several of Huang’s data points and slides somewhat troubling. In order to emphasize the relative [single precision] floating point performance of the latest GTX280 silicon, Huang compared it to a Cray X-MP. For those of you who don’t know, this was a mid-1980’s era 1-Gflop supercomputer. Well, of course the latest GPUs are going to look fast compared an X-MP! He also went on to misquote the current leader on the Top500 list as the BlueGene/L machine at Livermore. Not the last time I checked bub.
Despite the data flaws, the keynote was actually quite enjoyable. Huang brought several key NVIDIA technology partners in to showcase their latest and greatest gear. We bore witness to stereoscopic movies, games and giant interactive touch displays from the brains behind the iPhone screen.
All in all, this should be an interesting conference. Now back to the LAN party… err… tech sessions.