Like the US, Japan, and Europe, China still has plans to build giant HPC systems like Tianhe. However, increasingly these systems are being looked at to support commercial HPC workloads like machine vision in a cloud environment in addition to just scientific data processing. As one large HPC customer told me, “There are a lot of processors that we could use for future scientific data processing, but Nvidia is unique in being able to address our entire spectrum of commercial HPC and big data workloads.” After all, what other processor is equally good at computing discrete spatial derivatives in 3D by doing 1D convolutions for an oil company’s seismic processing reverse time migration algorithm in the morning and then running a convolution to simulate depth of field in a video game streamed from the same supercomputer in the evening. Not to mention running some convolution neural networks in between.
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