Data Analytics And Supercomputer Partnership Announced Between NVIDIA And IBM
Gabriel Roşu / 3 years ago
NVIDIA and IBM have announced a partnership, in which NVIDIA will add GPU acceleration to IBM’s data analytic software and NVIDIA GPUs to the IBM Power supercomputers running the previously mentioned software.
In terms of software, IBM and NVIDIA are announcing that the two are collaborating on adding GPU acceleration to IBM’s various enterprise software packages, most notably IBM’s data analytic packages, such as InfoSphere and others. Data analytics can be at times a significantly compute-bound task, making it a potential growth market for NVIDIA’s Tesla business.
IBM is a vertically integrated company, offering mixes of software, hardware, and services to their customers. So any announcement of GPU acceleration for IBM’s software would go hand in hand with a hardware announcement, and that’s what’s happening here. NVIDIA is still in the phase of business development where they’re looking to vastly grow their customer base, and IBM in turn has no shortage of potential customers.
The two are announcing that IBM will begin building Tesla equipped Power computers in 2014. IBM announced POWER8 back at Hot Chips 2013, and along with a suite of architectural improvements to the processor itself, it’s the first Power chip to be specifically designed for use with external processors via its CAPI port, and as such it’s the first POWER chip well suited for being used alongside a Tesla card.
Up until now, NVIDIA and IBM are primarily talking about their hardware partnership as a way to provide hardware for the data analytic software collaboration to use in data centers and open a new market for Tesla. There are however longer term implications for the supercomputer market, such as the combination of POWER CPUs and Tesla GPUs which could be a very powerful combination in the right hands. NVIDIA is also threatened by the x86 market, where there are a number of Power users and other less common architectures which is beyond the company’s grasp. Being able to get their GPUs inside an IBM supercomputer is a huge achievement for NVIDIA.