GPU computing momentum is off to a strong start as new GPU Meetups spring up across the globe, from Paris to India to New Zealand. A year ago, the GPU Meetups were a fledgling effort. As we begin 2012, there are now 20+ groups around the world.
The Silicon Valley GPU Meetup, founded a year ago, recently held its first meeting of the year at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Here's our first-hand account:
It’s Monday evening. The room is packed with 50+ people. Stacks of warm pizza boxes line the tables. Jike Chong, adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, welcomes old and new members alike to the Meetup.
“We’ve got some exciting topics for you tonight!” he says.
Jike (pronounced “gee-ka”) is one of a growing number of organizers around the world leading GPU Meetups – a collection of enthusiast/user groups focused on GPU computing.
Jike introduces the evening’s first speaker, XOTAR founder Robert Rossi. XOTAR, based in Saratoga, Calif., is developing a platform for autonomous robots with an emphasis on vision and “perception action” systems.
Robert explains that his company’s platform will “remote” a portion of the robot’s computation abilities into a cloud-based GPU system, which will interact with the robot’s embedded sensors and controls.
Robert adds that “simulation-based reasoning” will be performed in the cloud, enabling offline learning of optimal environment adaptations.
He mentions that XOTAR is hiring across a range of areas, including computer vision, image analysis and multi-body dynamics/control. The company is also looking for people with experience in game development, simulation and virtual/augmented reality.
Next up is Dan Cyca, CTO of Acceleware, a Canada-based high-performance computing firm (and the gracious sponsor of the evening’s pizzas and drinks). Dan delivers a short presentation on SIMULIA Abaqus, a popular simulation solution, and discusses how Acceleware integrated GPU acceleration capabilities into the software.
At 8:30, the thought-provoking evening comes to an end. Discussions continue around the room as Jike encourages everyone to come back next month for a panel on “Big Compute. Big Data.” The panel will feature Steve Scott, NVIDIA’s Tesla CTO; Aaron Kimball, co-founder of WibiData; Tim Kaldeway of IBM; and others.
Note: Check out the list below to see if there’s a GPU Meetup in your area. If there is, plan to drop in on one. If not, consider starting one. You will be in good company!