014_EETE-VF

EETE APRIL 2013

From extreme value to extreme performance. Infiniium 90000 Q-Series InfiniiVision 2000 & 3000 X-Series Oscilloscopes Redefined From 20 MHz to 90 GHz Whether you need the fastest real-time oscilloscope on earth with the highest measurement accuracy anywhere, or something a little more basic, Agilent oscilloscopes outperform in every category. That’s why discerning engineers have made Agilent the fastest growing oscilloscope company in the world since 1997. Like you, we’re working on what’s next. That’s thinking ahead. That’s Agilent. See new scopes videos and the latest offers www.agilent.com/find/nextoscilloscope © Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2013 Scan the QR code or visit goo.gl/9Mnav to view videos and demos of Agilent scopes Nvidia’s vice president of R&D, William Dally. www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe April 2013 13 ScopeFamilyArc_PE_EETE_93x277.indd 1 20/02/2013 16:52 its Cuda programming environment a virtual memory capability. It will use pointers and page table exceptions to create a pool of virtual memory shared by graphics chips and host CPUs. Maxwell, its nextgeneration graphics chip shipping in 2014, will be the first to implement the approach. The technique will become a key capability for Nvidia’s SoCs that use ARM cores as well as Cuda-enabled GPUs starting with Tegra 5 expected to sample this year. AMD’s approach will be used in future SoCs that build in its x86 and Radeon graphics cores using OpenCL. “I have trouble thinking of any app that needs cache coherency,” Dally said. The approach “generates additional traffic on some interfaces that can become a bottleneck,” he added. On supers, mobile and Xeon Phi Graphics are crucial both for next-generation supercomputers and smartphones, said Dally, taking a swipe at his newest competitor, Intel’s Xeon Phi. “The real challenges for the next five to ten years for supercomputers are equally divided between energy efficiency and programmability,” Dally said. To get to tomorrow’s exascale systems, chips need to slim down from about 100 picojoules per flop today to about 20, and they need to migrate from programming millions to billions of nodes, he said. Nvidia’s graphics are now used in about 50 of the world’s top supers, thanks in part to the maturity of Cuda. Intel is quickly starting to get design wins of its own in supercomputers for its Xeon Pi, a co-processor made up of an array of x86 cores. Dally said the chip lacks “a day job” as a viable graphics processor to provide the volumes needed to support its road map. He also criticized Phi as lacking the energy efficiency of Nvidia’s graphics cores and being based on a Pentium-era x86 core. “I would worry about the long-term viability of Phi if I was a supercomputer designer,” he said. In terms of investments, “China has a road map to get to exascale before anyone else and it’s putting piles of money on it,” Dally said. “Europe’s exascale program has not been scaled back” despite its economic woes, but funding for the U.S. initiative “is getting pushed back,” he said. In handsets, graphics are now being used for computational photography, a laundry list of techniques for making consumer snapshots look good. Nvidia and its competitors are rolling chips that support high dynamic range, averaging out poor lighting conditions and blurs that dog amateur shutterbugs. “The ultimate goal is to make the average person an expert photographer,” he said. “We have a pile of stuff we are working on - computer vision in general is a major area of focus a tremendous number of apps for cameras in and outside the car, for example,” he added.


EETE APRIL 2013
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