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Skybuck's Review of GTC 2014
This is Skybuck's Review of Graphics Technology Conference 2014 (GTC 2014)
by nVIDIA company.
First I watched a little youtube video of the Pascal announcement which
really excited me and I just couldn't believe it... it's way cool.
Then I watched the full key note on twitch live stream, at first I couldn't
find it.. but it's at the bottom where it says "watch the replay":
I watched it at 360p which was good enough and fast enough for viewing and
audio so that's nice... there were some hickups during download
but nothing to major... 480p was maybe a bit too much don't know about
Anyway... on the news... hihi:
The biggest news of GTC 2014 is:
Yup... it can all be summed up with just two words, "vision recognition"...
which is all about software/hardware/computers recgonizing the
enviroment/objects that they live in/are around.
I couldn't agree more with the CEO of nVIDIA.... "computer vision
recognition" has huge potential for this world that we live in... to
automate all kinds of tasks.
And the good news for NVIDIA is that it requires huge processing power....
which probably and hopefully can be parallized by their cuda chips.
This is somewhat of a turn around for their company... in the past it wasn't
so clear what CUDA's potential/capabilities/solution would be for besides
from the obvious... computer graphics, gaming, particle simulation...
but now computer vision is also part of that... also deep neural networks
got some attention.
However the competition on the chip market has not been sitting still. I can
remember vaguely that other chip companies are also exploring building in
neurals into their chips.
So nvidia can expect some competition potentially from it's competitors when
it comes down to neural networks and computer vision.
For now cuda is well positioned... it is general purpose and can be used for
all kinds of applications, including neural networks and computer vision.
Their ode to Blaise Pascal is nice... but a bit risky... some c/c++
programmers may look down on pascal... but real programmers do respect
pascal as a good teaching language.
I hope that in the future nVIDIA will honor pascal even more... by adding a
pascal compiler lol that just be cool and be nice for teaching
programmers how to use these chips.
Maybe I will also offer to start selling my cuda framework to Delphi
programmers which is a pascal-clone/derivate so that they can also enjoy
Yes... I think it is time to unleash the power of Delphi unto Cuda/nVIDIA...
so these coming days/months... I will try to make my CUDA framework
available... at least for some dollars
Maybe somebody will buy it or maybe nobody.... there is a bit a chicken and
egg problem. Pascal/Delphi programmers must be able to try it out to see if
it has any value... otherwise they may not
be too interested in it... or perhaps they will... time will tell... some
demos or freebies would be necessary to break through the chicken and egg
Though ofcourse there also exists the possibility of simply using CUDA C/C++
to get some sense or feeling for it... though pascal/delphi would still be a
Also my interest is a little bit in python... and some possibilities exist
there too... and sikuli which is also kinda cool... maybe some cuda code
could be added to sikuli to speed up it's recognition software.
I am sure me or other people could do that.
What was also interesting about GTC 2014 which is more of the same thing...
is "Audi" and their "Pilotted Car" project... A car like the knight rider or
something lol... it has some kind of capabilities... auto-parking or
collision avoidance or warning systems... or something...
not exactly sure what it can do... but it involved some 3D structures from
motion algorithms/software... analyzing video to re-construct it's 3D
geometry which sounds interesting but computentially expensive ?
Funny part was CEO asking if the chip in the back of the trunk could be
replaced for "upgrades" = more selling chips = more bling bling = more
dollars signs in eyes = LOL good for him, good for audi.
There was more iRay and such which was still interesting to see... and
something about a whale... and water and oceans... that part was a little
bit boring... it didn't look that good to me... I may have to re-visit that
Why the CEO is interested in ocean simulations and wild life in oceans is
something I don't really understand that much... it may be computational
expensive.... but besides from that it's use to humanity escapes me for
now... it may be nice for hollywood... or "free my willy" lol...
but either than that I don't think many people will be watching ocean
simulations for fun... much... I could be wrong though.
There was another quite interesting demo... a demo about fluid dynamics...
"gridless"... it runs outside of a grid... and it looked pretty good/cool.
The fire section did run in a grid but also looked very good/cool...
hopefully sometime in the future that could also be gridless that be cool.
Such a thing is obviously usefull for gaming.
I do see a bit of a danger for the CEO... cars nowadays are less of a status
symbol for youngsters... focussing too much on that may be a bit of a
mistake... for now... plenty of cars being sold... though one never knows
what the future may bring... maybe some new kind of transportation system...
so eggs must be distributed among different baskets.
One other of those baskets is mobile computing... which is ofcourse very
popular currently... mobile phones, tablets... there tegra k1 processor, a
mobile super computer is very interesting.
And they also have a development kit available for 192 dollars ! Which could
be interesting for mobile developers... it only comes with linux tools
though... some windows developers might be left in the cold for now.
The last part was kinda strange... every attendee got a shield... a gaming
device... I guess perhaps most attendees are reporters and not developers ?
I am not sure about that...
As I developer I must rather had gotten that development kit lol... hmmm I
am gonna google what a shield costs.. Wow 199 dollars ?! Quite expensive.
I am not sure what kind of processor is in there... probably not a tegra k1
! But at least it's nice device... I'd be happy with that too..
But here is an idea for the future GTC 2015 or GTC 2016 if they wanna give
away more free stuff:
Give them a choice, just like a switch in a computer:
Reporters can choose the shield, Developers can choose the tegra k1
development kit or something else in the future.
Yeah... then it be interesting what each attendee choose
Perhaps this is also a little spying trick, then nvidia will understand
better who's in the audience or what there interesting is... ofcourse there
decision to choose something might be fake so how reliable it is remains
The CEO looked in good health which is also somewhat reassuring for anybody
investing in nvidia or cuda technology.
However I guess big company might still be nervous in investing in
NVIDIA/CUDA technology because of big competitors like AMD and Intel and
Perhaps it's not a bad idea for NVIDIA to try and integrate their graphics
chip with an INTEL processor.
Right now Intel's graphics part of the haswell chip might not be that
great... it's not really greatly programmeable.
While AMD's processors/apu's might become better programmable... and now
they also have mantle... though directx 12 might eclipse that...
There was no word about nVIDIA and DirectX 12 which is a bit odd... perhaps
this was mentioned at that other conference... or perhaps it's simply too
Maybe next year or at another conference nVIDIA could go into DirectX 12
support for their graphics/gaming... yeah.
Anyway the idea of an INTEL/NVIDIA combined chip could be interesting... and
defend a bit against AMD's APU attempts.
Then again... perhaps buying two seperate chips is better for heat... but
perhaps worse for performance... not sure.
Not seeing a CPU part in the GPU of nvidia does worry me a bit... that might
be a crucial part in getting more performance and more software for cuda.
At least some kind of serial part... it doesn't have to be a full blown cpu
which can run an operating system... but just something that can perform
perhaps that would ease the minds of some software developers... that
whatever their computations are like... nvidia has a solution for that.
Be it serial or parallel.
A parallel only course is a bit risky.
And with that last conclusion I will end this nice posting.
Though the stage was a bit dark... perhaps they a bit in the dark
ages/depressed... time will tell.
Oh wait there is one more thing that I must discuss... it's the VMWare
thing.... VMWare and GPU and CLOUD.... GPU is going to be virtualized for
I am not sure if GPU is already virtualized on PC I haven't tried that
yet... perhaps I should or maybe shouldn't... my pc/gpu probably not
powerfull enough anyway...
For what I would like to do there might be other solutions like hacking
directx to reduce graphics. None the less VMWARE and GPU virtualization is
I think I wrote about that last time during GTC 2013.
Another topic was machine learning... which plugged into computer vision
algorithms a bit... though these are seperate topics... machine learning can
be used for other stuff as well.
It's going to be an interesting future... next few years... more automation
possibilities... this may create problems for workers... job-reductions...
unemployment and more demand for computer programmers.
Therefore the need for a good parallel and/or gpu programming language to
teach new programmers might increase, hence Pascal for GPU makes sense, I
hope to see it happen some day (lol)
Though I am pretty sure nVIDIA will try hard at providing frameworks/apis
and all kinds of other stuff to try and make lazy programming possible...
just use the framework and done... but that creates an entire different
learning how to use the frameworks... and perhaps frameworks have
limitations... perhaps first trying a general approach might be better...
instead of trying to make a zillion frameworks... cause then it's not
hardware-locked-in... but framework-locked in... which may
have the same drawbacks or other drawbacks... none the less expecting
programmers to create their own frameworks is too much to ask for... so
eventually they might start using those frameworks... but perhaps the
teaching programming language can plug into those
frameworks and use it... and slam two flies with one blow...
Sikuli is a nice example how a programmer using sikuli might get interested
in visual algorithms and trying to speed it up... perhaps something like
that can be created for visual recognition software as well. Perhaps
combining video inputs and logic code... and api calls... and writing more
code around that.
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