As part of the Malaysian government's economic transformation programme, national ICT research agency MIMOS has set up Southeast Asia's first Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) R&D and Compute Solution centre in Malaysia, with support from technology firms HP and NVIDIA. The use of parallel computing, enabled by GPU processing, offers faster speeds than common computer processing units (CPUs), said the partners.
Speaking on 18 October 2012, HP Malaysia, HP enterprise group country manager, commercial & public sector, Thiyagu Letchumanan, said the centre, which is located on MIMOS campus at Technology Park Malaysia (TPM), will serve as a one-stop shop to promote, share and teach GPU technologies and solutions to customers and those interested in general purpose GPU (GPGPU), as well as to perform collaborative work on GPU-related topics.
"The creation of this centre reflects the increasing use of GPU computing in demanding general-purpose scientific, engineering and computational finance applications," said NVIDIA vice president of APAC sales and marketing, Francis Yu. "Together, NVIDIA, HP and MIMOS are championing the development of GPU computing, and bringing its benefits to organisations in Malaysia and around the region."
"It is with much excitement that we are launching Southeast Asia's first GPU R&D and Compute Solution Centre in Malaysia, a result of MIMOS collaboration with NVIDIA and HP. Designed as a one-stop center to promote, share and teach GPU technologies, this joint effort aims to enhance the development of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) solutions that will meet local and global needs," said MIMOS chief technology officer, Thillai Raj, adding that this move was a leap forward in Malaysia's intention to be a developed digital economy by the year 2020.
MIMOS president and chief executive officer, Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah, added: "MIMOS values industry partnerships that promote cross-fertilisation of ideas and enable synergised solution development together with our technology recipients. In turn, this helps accelerate our research results and encourages adoption locally and globally."
NVIDIA Southeast Asia & Taiwan manager, professional solution group, Eric Chang, said the major block to high performance computing (HPC) is power consumption. "The use of GPU - parallel processing - not only presents significant cost savings over standard serial processing but GPU computing is also about speeding up processing and applications, which allows for the running of complex software in real time."
Powered by an HP Converged Infrastructure architecture featuring HP ProLiant Servers, HP Networking switches and HP 3PAR Storage, the GPU R&D and Compute Solution Centre will facilitate the adaptation of many-core, parallel and GPU techniques in scientific, financial and big data processing.
Putting Malaysia on the GPU map
MIMOS's Raj said GPU technologies supported big data processing, advanced data-mining and adaptive automated execution at faster speeds than the more commonly used CPUs. "These also extend high performance computing benefits, with greatly reduced power consumption, to smaller organisations such as the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia and the region as well as provide faster processing results for the sciences, government and research sectors."
"For example, the new centre can be used by students to test code at up to 100 times the speed offered by serial processing, he said."Sophisticated modelling and other activities are already in use by many of the top 500 companies," said HP's Letchumanan during a later media briefing, adding that the company's support of the centre was another chapter of its commitment to the nation since HP first established it presence in Malaysia in 1978. "Companies in the oil & gas and financial sectors have already seen value from this approach."
"MIMOS currently uses the centre for research and development in big data processing in the area of text processing, financial computation, and data scrambling. These libraries are in turn given to MIMOS technology recipients and end customers; who can take them to the local and global market for their product sales and increase efficiency," said MIMOS's Raj.
He added that the task of reducing silos between large national databases was hampered by the need to cleanse and transform private data. "In the last 18 months, MIMOS has undertaken data cleansing tasks in the public healthcare sector with databases of about 25-30 million records, for example, where the processing time has been reduced from days or many hours to minutes."
In addition to featuring leading GPU-enabled applications - such as SolidWorks, Autodesk 3ds Max, ANSYS, Abaqus and Adobe CS6 - the centre will promote the dynamic growth of GPU computing in Malaysia. Local activities include: collaborative university research projects; creating CUDA teaching centers at universities; GPGPU workshops; CUDA programming contests; technology road shows; and hosting government and industry visits.
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