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Audis driving themselves. Artificial brains powering web sites. Graphics cards boasting the power of  entire data centers.

It’s clear at this week’s fifth annual GPU Technology Conference that visual computing is changing the world.

Graphics were a PC feature when NVIDIA was founded two decades ago. Today, it’s at the heart of gaming, visual effects and professional design, among others.

A crowd of more than 3,500 heard NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang describe how it’s front and center, as well, critical to whole new fields like computer vision and machine learning.

Making this possible is the enormous growth of CUDA – a tool invented by NVIDIA that allows massively parallel graphics processors to crunch data at exceptional speeds. It’s enabling breakthroughs that will fundamentally change how we interact with computers and how they, in turn, respond to their surroundings.

“CUDA is everywhere. Visual computing matters more than ever before,” said Huang, while crossing in front of the massive 120-foot screen, the size of one and a half tennis courts.

Clad in his trademark black leather jacket, he also provided a stream of news, including:

  1. Integrating NVLink, a high-speed interconnect, into future GPUs – so that GPUs and CPUs can share data 5-12 times faster than today.
  2. Launching the Jetson TK1 software development platform, based on the world’s first mobile supercomputer for embedded systems – opening the door to a new generation of computer-vision applications.
  3. Announcing that NVIDIA GRID technology on the VMware Horizon DaaS Platform — delivering 3D graphics on virtualized desktops and applications through the cloud.
  4. Introducing Iray VCA, a GPU rendering appliance that dramatically accelerates ray tracing – unleashing computer models of such sharp visual fidelity that it can largely replace physical prototypes.
  5. Rolling out new GPU innovations, including 3D Memory and Unified Memory – enabling faster, more power efficient movement of data from memory.
  6. Unveiling GeForce GTX TITAN Z, NVIDIA’s fastest-ever graphics card – powering next-gen 5K and multi-monitor gaming.
  7. Sharing that GPUs power machine learning at Adobe and other web-service giants – unleashing faster, smarter, search results
  8. Jen-Hsun also announced that Portal, Valve’s hugely popular PC title, is getting added to SHIELD.