The future of Graphics Processors is impressive - report from GTC2018

Lauren Palmer

Earlier this month, Munich was buzzing with developers, systems integrators and OEMs flocking to the Internationales Congress Center München (ICM) for NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference Europe. Both Rick Maltby, our Technical Consultant, and I were lucky enough to attend, and as the month comes to a close we’re looking back to see just what makes Europe’s premier AI conference so impactful.

NVIDIA welcomed more than 3,500 attendees who were treated to a packed agenda. This year’s event showcased 160 talks exploring how research institutes, start-ups and major enterprises are using GPU computing to transform our world. With 76 hours of hands-on training from NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute, attendees also had the opportunity to solve challenging problems with deep learning and accelerated computing.

If you’ve ever attended one of the GTC conferences, you won’t be surprised to hear that one of this year’s most memorable moments was the keynote from NVIDIA’s Founder and CEO, Jensen Huang. As a sharp, intelligent and witty entrepreneur, Jensen is a born presenter and his keynote was not only engaging but inspiring for those on the cusp of developing tomorrow's powerful graphics applications.

According to Jensen, “if GPUs are time machines, then GTC is where you come see the future.”

Jensen’s future painted the view that Moore’s Law is dead. Whilst CPUs do their job, in today’s data-driven world, you need accelerated computing in one form or another. This is easy to believe given NVIDIA’s impressive growth; from their number of cores, to their performance and the number of people developing on their platform. NVIDIA have taken over where Moore’s Law left off.

Like VMWorld a few years ago, and Microsoft’s Tech Ed before that, NVIDIA is now the nascent technology – it’s NVIDIA’s day.

Gtc 2018 Jensen

Jensen Huang outlining how the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier computer will help shape the future of autonomous vehicles. (Copyright: NVIDIA Corporation)

One of the ground-breaking takeaways from the keynote was the unveiling of Rapids, a new open source software optimised for GPUs. Aimed at data scientists, the GPU-accelerated platform enables even the largest companies to analyse massive amounts of data and make accurate business predictions at unprecedented speed. It has already been widely adopted by industry leaders such as HPE, IBM and Oracle.

Autonomous driving was another key theme of this year’s event, with 21 autonomous vehicles on display from electric trucks that can navigate on forest roads, to sports cars and even street sweepers (remember the Blade Runner street scenes?)

Unsurprisingly, the keynote also outlined the strides NVIDIA is making with automakers. Henrik Green, Head of Research and Development at Volvo, joined Jensen on stage to announce that the Swedish automotive leader has selected the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier computer for its vehicles, with production starting in the early 2020s. Watch the amazing video demo here...

Not to be forgotten, the exhibition hall gave attendees the opportunity to discover the latest breakthroughs in high performance computing, healthcare, big data, and more. Perhaps one of the busiest stands was HPE's, showcasing how they are powering AI from edge to cloud to core through an array of demonstrations including their Deep Learning Cookbook and an open chassis Apollo 6500.

All in all, it was a fantastic event and if you are interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning, GTC is definitely the place to be. To discover more about how to make the most of your next exhibition, give us a call on +44 (0)1373 469270 or email us at [email protected] to see how we can help.

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