NVIDIA donates graphics cards

NVIDIA Corporation has generously donated two GeForce GTX 480 graphic processing units (GPU) to the Computer Science department to support student efforts in High Performance Computing (HPC). These cards have 480 CUDA cores each and are capable of sustaining thousands of simultaneous calculations.

HPC students are writing programs to do physics simulations, such as the rotation of galaxies and black hole phenomena. Other interest areas include traffic simulation and protein folding.

Graphics cards such as these are commonly used in high-end gaming and video production systems to provide 2D and 3D rendering. In a typical HPC environment, however, the GPU cards are not attached to any monitors at all; instead, they are computation engines that work in concert with the CPU to process tremendous amounts of data in parallel.