Graphics processing technology key to unlocking potential of major industries in Middle East

Published November 17th, 2009 - 03:15 GMT

Graphics processing units (GPUs) are now becoming instrumental in transforming key industries in the Middle East, as GPUs are poised to unlock groundbreaking capabilities in areas such as oil and gas exploration, health, finance, digital content creation, and even climate change research, according to NVIDIA, the world-leading technology company.


Discussing his vision for the future of computing, Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder, President and CEO of NVIDIA, explained to students, professors and experts at the American University in Dubai (AUD) that GPU technology has evolved beyond the realm of graphics and now touches mainstream applications, establishing new norms in the way people work and interact with each other. While its products are best known among video gamers who depend on NVIDIA to power their favourite entertainment and gaming systems, the company has realigned its direction to focus on new ways of using graphics processors to revolutionise scientific and commercial computing.


"GPU technology is now being used to develop advanced techniques to simulate real-world environments much faster and in greater detail. This has benefited scientists and researchers working in areas that are more relevant to the greater society such as oil and gas exploration, breast cancer detection, climate modelling and cloud computing to name a few. GPUs are also redefining the way we view computing; the development of NVIDIA Tegra for instance is making it possible for smartphones, automobiles, internet TVs and other mobile devices to be equipped with notebook computer functionality without sacrificing power efficiency," said Huang.


Huang's visit to Dubai has been aimed at forging closer relationships with academic institutions in the Middle East and extending NVIDIA’s university partnership program in the region. Huang also took the opportunity to shed light on NVIDIA’s range of initiatives aimed at advancing visual, parallel and mobile computing. In view of this, he invited Ph.D.-level students in computer architecture, computer science, electrical engineering, high-performance computing, scientific computing and other related areas to send applications for the ninth annual NVIDIA Fellowship Program, which will award a USD 25,000 fund to research projects that have great potential to make significant advances in graphics and high-performance computing industries.


"The Middle East represents a new frontier in our long-term growth as environmental and industrial challenges in the region can greatly benefit from NVIDIA's computing technology. There are increasing and evolving requirements for high-performance IT solutions in the Middle East and NVIDIA aims to meet this demand by offering our latest product innovations and collaborating with developers to address the critical challenges of the region," added Huang.


After revolutionising the graphics industry with its invention of the GPU in 1999, NVIDIA continues to develop GPU technology as a versatile tool that supports a much wider range of applications in scientific, industrial and commercial fields. One of the company's most important recent breakthroughs is the development of NVIDIA Tegra, a ‘computer on a chip’ design that brings the functionality of a notebook computer to devices such as smartphones, smartbooks, automobiles and internet TVs at one hundred thousand times less power consumption.


Other NVIDIA products that are revolutionising various industries include NVIDIA Tesla and NVIDIA Quadro. NVIDIA Tesla represents the evolution of graphics processing technology beyond the realm of graphics and into more complex tasks such as computational fluid dynamics, financial modelling, medical imaging and weather forecasting. NVIDIA Quadro offers a complete range of professional solutions for all leading professional graphics applications such as digital content creation for the film and broadcast industry, computer aided design, architectural visualisation and oil and gas discovery.


A recipient of numerous international technology and entrepreneurial awards, Huang co-founded NVIDIA in 1993 and currently serves as its President and CEO. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1984, and his master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1992. Oregon State University has also awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in 2009. Huang has been actively supporting projects within different universities and recently pledged to give USD30 million to Stanford University for the "Jen-Hsun Huang School of Engineering Center."


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