One Month Countdown to GTC

Exactly one month to go until NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference kicks off at the San Jose Convention Center on March 24th. As I walked through San Jose airport late last night, the place was already filled with banners advertising the event. Billed as “where the brightest minds come together and explore how GPUs are helping solve some of the world’s most complex challenges”, the GPU Technology Conference promises to remain true to its core as a GPU developer conference. Even with record attendance expected this year, GTC remains a highly technical event, if you are looking for a Las Vegas style junket there are plenty of other shows you should attend instead.

With over 500 deep-dive technical sessions, there are plenty of talks, tutorials, and hands-on labs to attend. Some of the sessions even have catchy names, like “S4460 – Peer-to-Peer Molecular Dynamics and You”, by Scott LeGrand, Principal Engineer, Amazon Web Services. No, that isn’t a new AWS dating service, Scott will actually talk about how he optimized the AMBER Molecular Dynamics code using peer-to-peer copies and RDMA with MVAPICH2 and OpenMPI. Scott is a return speaker and a highly-rated one at that. Even if you have zero interest in molecular dynamics his talk will be worth attending simply for the information on peer-to-peer and RDMA.

Perusing the GTC Session Listing, there is a marked uptick this year in the sessions on machine learning. S4753 – Visual Object Recognition Using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks by Rob Fergus, Associate Professor at NYU and Research Scientist at Facebook sounds interesting based on the speaker’s associations even before one reads the abstract. Although I give Scott and S4460 the upper hand in the “catchy title” category. There is probably a character limit on title length otherwise I would recommended “Not Your Parent’s Machine Vision – Visual Object Recognition Using Deep Convolution Neural Networks”.

There is a very handy filtering tool on the GTC Session Listing to help you find the sessions best for you. Personally I’m sticking primarily to the “Advanced” sessions. S4641 – Lattice QCD Using MILC and QUDA: Accelerating Calculations at the High-Energy Frontier” sounds like a great session, especially since speaker Justin Foley will talk about leadership-class facilities such as Blue Waters and Titan. S4145 – High Frequency Elastic Seismic Modeling on GPUs Without Domain Decomposition” by Thor Johnsen of Chevron also sounds interesting, where he will talk about taking advantage of “16 Kepler GPUs” [in a single server].

Of course, expect some fun and games too. You can get a firsthand look at the latest NVIDIA GTX 750, GTX 750 Ti, and GTX Titan Black graphics cards announced last week. But if you want to leave San Jose with a GTX Titan Black you might not be so lucky unless you order today. A quick check on Amazon seems to indicate “usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks” for most of the available cards. There are a few Titan Black’s listed on eBay at about 50-70% premium, that’s more markup than a U2 concern in Dublin. Wednesday night’s GTC Party is likely to also score high on the fun quotient, but marketing won’t even tell me what’s in store for that event, so I’ll have to wait patiently like the rest of you.

If you are one of the lucky ones who managed to get his/her hands on a GTX Titan Black already, and you have not yet signed up for GTC, send me a short review that I can post on my blog and I’ll send a 50% GTC discount code your way.

Hope to see many of you at GTC!

About Marc Hamilton

Marc Hamilton – Vice President, Solutions Architecture and Engineering, NVIDIA. At NVIDIA, the Visual Computing Company, Marc leads the worldwide Solutions Architecture and Engineering team, responsible for working with NVIDIA’s customers and partners to deliver the world’s best end to end solutions for professional visualization and design, high performance computing, and big data analytics. Prior to NVIDIA, Marc worked in the Hyperscale Business Unit within HP’s Enterprise Group where he led the HPC team for the Americas region. Marc spent 16 years at Sun Microsystems in HPC and other sales and marketing executive management roles. Marc also worked at TRW developing HPC applications for the US aerospace and defense industry. He has published a number of technical articles and is the author of the book, “Software Development, Building Reliable Systems”. Marc holds a BS degree in Math and Computer Science from UCLA, an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from USC, and is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Management program.
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