GPUs are at the forefront of driving powerful innovations across industries that were, up until a few years ago, beyond any stretch of the imagination. Think of self-driving cars, planet-hunting telescopes, and smart cameras. The uses are endless.
Spearheading the advances being made in the GPU market is NVIDIA, which is working in collaboration with other tech companies to build innovative educational institutions like the Deep Learning Institute, which provides hands-on training to untrained users about the marvels of deep learning.
If recent developments have made anything clear, it’s that GPUs hold the key to reshaping the future where untapped resources are lying up for grabs.
By far the most common use of GPUs, but by no means, the least is in the video game industry to render elaborate graphics engines. Even users sitting behind their computer screens can contribute to the greater good by ‘lending’ some of the untapped power in their GPUs. A program known simply as BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Open Computing) lets users do exactly that. All you need is a GeForce graphics card.
A Stanford University Professor, Vijay Pande, got the innovative idea of borrowing computing power from more than 270,000 participants to make one of the world’ most powerful systems. To what end? To solve inexplicable mysteries behind debilitating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
The name of their project is Folding@Home. It works by stimulating how proteins assemble themselves within the body. Over a hundred research papers have already been published due to Vijay’s efforts.
The University of California has a similar strategy to solve an entirely different problem altogether. Their Space Sciences Laboratory in Berkeley uses computing power from GPUs to analyze data directly from radio telescopes. The goal is to find any telltale sign of intelligent non-human entity that might be hurling transmissions at the speed of light our way.
Although the project kicked off in 1999, there haven’t been any leads yet. But when has that discouraged fans of flying saucer pans in their hunt for alien life forms?
To participate in the program you need a CUDA-friendly GPU, powered by NVIDIA.
Bitcoin and other variants of cryptocurrency have become uber-popular thanks to their bloated market caps, in excess of billions of dollars. Anyone who wants a piece of the pie can download Bitcoin mining software and put their GPUs to good use. Keep in mind though that solving the complex mathematical equations will reduce the lifespan of your graphics card.
Cryptocurrency mining is a relatively difficult task, requiring enormous resources. It isn’t uncommon for enthusiasts to connect dozens of GTX Titans together to mine for bitcoins.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra at Catalonia uses their GPUGRID to analyze the behavior of atoms. Everything from their movements right down to how they arrange themselves could hold the answer to curing cancer and immune deficiency related disease such as HIV. For now, GPUGRID is a little small, with only a few thousand active contributors