Home Hardware Nvidia launches next-gen Volta GPU

Nvidia launches next-gen Volta GPU

Never one to rest on its laurels, GPU maker Nvidia has revealed its new Volta architecture along with the first processor in the family

According to Nvidia, the Volta architecture provides a 5x improvement in peak teraflops over its current Pascal family and a 15x improvement on the Maxwell architecture.

The first Volta-based processor is the Tesla V100 data centre GPU, designed for AI inferencing and training, as well as HPC and graphics acceleration.

Volta uses 21 billion transistors to deliver performance equivalent to 100 CPUs for deep learning workloads.

"Artificial intelligence is driving the greatest technology advances in human history," said Nvidia founder and chief executive Jensen Huang. "It will automate intelligence and spur a wave of social progress unmatched since the industrial revolution.

"Deep learning, a groundbreaking AI approach that creates computer software that learns, has insatiable demand for processing power. Thousands of Nvidia engineers spent over three years crafting Volta to help meet this need, enabling the industry to realise AI's life-changing potential."

The V100 includes 640 of Nvdia's new Tensor cores to delivers 120 teraflops of deep learning performance, equivalent to the performance of 100 CPUs.

For more traditional high performance computing workloads, Volta's combination of CUDA and Tensor cores means a single server with Tesla V100 GPUs can replace hundreds of commodity CPUs.

Other improvements in the Volta architecture include a doubling of the throughput of the NVLink interconnect, and the use of 900GBps HBM2 DRAM for 50% more memory bandwidth,.

The CUDA, cuDNN and TensorRT software has been optimised for Volta, making it easy for frameworks and applications to take advantage of the performance improvements.

Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and Tencent indicated they would be offering Volta GPUs in the cloud, while Baidu, Facebook and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory expressed intent to use the new architecture.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.