ZoomThe platform, which enables developers to exploit Nvidia GPUs (as well as x86 CPUs) for general-purpose GPU computing purposes was introduced on November 15, 2006 with the GeForce 8 series. Since then, Nvidia claims to have sold more than 350 million CUDA enabled GPUs. The CUDA toolkit has been downloaded more than 1 million times and more than 500 universities around the globe are teaching CUDA classes.
CUDA was, from the very beginning, designed to drive GPUs into high-performance computing applications in military, academic and industrial environments. While it was somewhat slow to start, Nvidia has been successful as, for example, three of the five fastest supercomputers in the world now integrate Tesla acceleration cards, the primary delivery vehicle for CUDA-based accelerators. CUDA apps, which are basically created via C++ like-code with specific extensions was the first generally available high-level language to easily access the processing horsepower in widely available and relatively affordable GPUs.
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