LIVE: NVIDIA CEO JEN-HSUN HUANG KICKS OFF GTC

by Bob Sherbin

It’s Day One of the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), and that means we’re getting ready for NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to hit the keynote stage with some big GPU news.

For those of you unable to attend GTC 2012 in person, we’ve arranged a snazzy livestream of Jen-Hsun’s kickoff keynote presentation. You can watch the GTC keynote livestream here.

And, to make sure you get blow-by-blow coverage of Jen-Hsun’s big GPU announcement, check out the keynote liveblog below.

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NVIDIA GTC 2012 Opening Keynote w/ Jen-Hsun Huang (05/15/2012)
10:19
Hi folks, we’re almost ready to kick off the GTC 2012 opening keynote. Stay tuned for some big news from our CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:19 
10:26
The doors just opened and about a jillion people are coming into the hall, the lights are blue and gray. One Republic’s Good Life is playing loud. Feels like GTC is starting.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:26 
10:28
There are a good couple thousand people in the hall, waiting for Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA’s CEO, to take the stage. He’s a good performer but was in especially good form early this morning.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:28 
10:29
Hard to judge the demographic here. Lots of lean bald guys. A good number of graying professorsial types. There’s French, Russian and Hindi being spoken behind us.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:29 
10:31
The press table’s jammed up. more tablets, with attachable keyboards, being used for note taking. no ultrabooks in sight, but that could show how tight bugdets are at media companies.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:31 
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Like most nvidia folks, we’ve been working on this show for several months, anyway, more or less nonstop. If i was a betting man, i’d say this will be our most news-filled one yet. four press releases are teed up to go out once jen-hsun starts talking.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:33 
10:34
pretty cool visuals on the screen as we wait. super closeups of gpus. they look like tidy city blocks in suburban sweden

Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:34 
10:36
there’s a list of GTC sponsors up there, too. a much bigger range than before. Microsoft. Leonvo. TSMC Superrmicro, HP, Dell, among others
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:36 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:37 
10:37
Expect to hear a lot about Kepler. A lot about new uses for GPUs that we haven’t talked about before.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:37 
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10:40
feels like we’re moments away from takeoff here.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:40 
10:41
we’re being asked to silence phones. a good sign
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:41 
10:42
music’s thundrous. just about melting my laptop

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Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:42 
10:43
ahh, an intro video about the widepsread use of gpus, pretty shocking graphics

swarms of locust, gamma rays, medical compounds morphing, self-driving vehicles

Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:43 
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here are uses of gpu’s: figuring out how to attack h1n1, among ohter things
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:43 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:44 
10:44
okay, jen-hsun’s taking the stage,dressed in trademark black pants, a black nvidia jacket
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:44 
10:45
he says the scientists are the stars. three things ahead: update on progress with gpu’s. reveal for the first time technologies we’re working on back in the labs. and introduce you to some partners we’re working with who might surprise you
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:45 
10:46
cuda’s made big progress over theyear he notes. in 2008 cuda was downloaded 150K times and taught in 60 univeristies. now, there are 1.5M downoads and 560 universities teaching in.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:46 
10:46
four years ago, 4K acadsemic papers were written about CUDA, today it’s 22,500
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:46 
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he compares cuda’s growth to Hadoop and to OpenMP, which are shown gently curving upward over the past five years. CUDA’s growth curve, just superimposed on the graph, is steeply sharper. JHH says it’s a reflection of the ease of CUDA
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:48 
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“i don’t know of one computer company that doesn’t sell computers with cuda”
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:48 
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here are some testamonials to CUDA: Ianan Couzin of Princeton, “gpu computing has utterly transformed the science we can do.”
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:49 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:51 
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the adoption of CUDA is industry wide, JHH says. In 2007, nvidia went to supercomputing 2007, hosted in reno. there’s a show floor map with a little green dot that shows where CUDA was being used. it’s about one-five-hundredth of the floor. In SC11, the floor map shows green over about three-quarters of it
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:51 
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he lists areas of GPUs in science: adaptive radiotherapy, dedrite simulation, collecdtive behavior, combustion efficiency, air traffic modeling, seismic tomography
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:52 
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10:53
there’s so much going on here, from image processing and machine vision, even computer graphics.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:53 
10:54
those are our achievements thus far, but they’re nothing compared to what lies ahead., he says. our most important inventions are going to be described now. starting with kepler
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:54 
10:54
we’ve worked on kepler for three years. it’s a gpu that will fundamentally advance graphics and computing. it’s a big, big deal for us. the most energy efficient gpu we’ve built, and the most feature packed.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:54 
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10:55
He introduces a heavy duty GeForce Kepler process; the gtx 690, which is pretty gorgeous looking. i
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:55 
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there’s a massive picture of it on the screen, ribbed with alumnum and magnesium. dual vapor chambers, a soft-rotating axial fan so it’s whisper quiet
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:56 
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there’s no vibration, he says, so performance is the best it can be. and there’s a cool feature — “geforce gtx” lights up in green when it’s whirring away
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:57 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:58 
10:58
“there’s nothing more wonderful than great craftsmanship.” but let’s see what it can do, jhh says. so he shows some incredibly sophisticated renderings of light shining on cyrstal through to highly-buffed hardwood floors
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:58 
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among the most difficult things is shattering things. the imagery needs to behavior in real life, with shadows, light refraction and reflection. to merge simulation and computer graphics is pretty challenging.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 10:59 
11:00
when the crystal cylanders crash, the create new geometry and it’s creating that in real time
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:00 
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he shows a bullet going through three crystal cylindars, which reflects and refrects through the glass as it shatters it into a jillion jagged pieces
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:01 
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he now talks about a holy grail of computer graphics, ray tracing, which is incredibly hard to do.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:01 
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with kepler we can do ray tracing in real time
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:02 
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“let’s kick it up a notch,” jhh says. what if we did ray tracing on fluids. so he shows drops into a crystal box, with simulated waves. “just watching it lets the stress flow out of my fingertips.”
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:03 
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computer graphics is at the cusp of becoming revolutionalized again. the beauty of interactive, real-time simulated effects are only possible due to hpc work. simulating and computer graphics are merging. computer graphics will soon look nothing like game consoles and pc’s today.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:05 
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video game industry is tens of billions of dollars large. so if we can leverage serving that and bring it to bear in other areas, we can fabulous things
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:06 
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so, kepler is a big deal for graphics but its’ other persona is as the world’s fastest, most efficient hpc accelerator
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:06 
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there are three key qualities kepler has in this area. First, its streaming processor. Fermi has 32 cores, Kepler has 192 cores and is three times more energy efficient.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:07 
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ultimate performance of computing the future is limited by energy, at all levels.smx, the streaming processor for kepler, brings efficiency to a whole new level
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:08 
11:10
Okay, so if SMX is Kepler’s first key quality, the next one is Hyper-Q. problem is GPUs today are getting so powerful that it’s harder for a cpu core to keep a gpu busy. right now, Fermi has just one work queue, which can’t keep the gpu busy. the answer is Kepler with 32 concurrent work queues. we can now keep 32 queues fully skedded
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:10 
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The third key Kepler innovation is dynamic parallelism.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:13 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:14 
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he’s getting waist-deep in graduate-level technology right now. but he shows how, with kepler, each core can generate work for itself.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:14 
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kernels can now start new kernels. streams can spawn new streams. the benefit is profound.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:14 
11:16
he illustrates dynamic parallelism with an example. shows a combustion turbulent flow simulation. each grid is coarse, some grids have little information. as a result, we lose features that are inside a number othe grids. then he shows dangers of making it too fine. the right answer is some form of adaptive mesh simultaion, so we can zoom in to iterate and refine results of the simulation
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:16 
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so, let’s see kepler in action. for help, we have one of our parallel programming engineers
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:18 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:19 
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he shows a demo of enormous simulations that’s modeling interactive bodies — an n-squared simultaion, simultaing a million particles a second. there are 400 million interactions in each image
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:19 
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but that was fermi. now kepler, shows a whole step up. instad of 20K bodies, 280K bodies.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:20 
11:21
the image being shown at lower left is milky way, to right is andromeda galaxy, being simulated to 3.8 billion years from now. it’s a simulated time machine.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:21 
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it shows merger of milky way and andromeda galaxy
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:21 
11:22
beautiful swirls of stars are moving across the screen. bad news is that in 3.8 billion years, we’re going to collide. JHH: My advice to the audience is to put your personal affairs in order
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:22 
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so, why do we care what happens 3.5b years from now? well, it’s beautiful. it’s interesting. but we can also use the same technology to simulate proteins at a nanoscale. simulations apply to day to day life.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:25 
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one million particles per second two years ago, 10 million paricles per second today, resulting in a full-scale simulation of the milky way and andromeda
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:25 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:26 
11:26
we’re announcing two products today, two kepler: Tesla K10 dedicated to seismic analysis where most valuable resource is bandwidth. it has 3x single precision of today’s fermi tesla and 1.8x the memory bandwidth
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:26 
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second tesla, k20 is focused on double precision: 3x double precision of fermi, includes hyper q, dynamics parallelism, for stuff like physics, quantum chemistry, computational finance
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:27 
11:28
we have something new now….
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:28 
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engineers have been working on something never seen before.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:28 
11:29
there are three technologies i have to announce. first, the largest, most powerful GPU we’ve ever built, which is much more powerful than kepler. two, i’m going to announce a gpu so small we can put in an ipad. three it’s a gpu we can all share.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:29 
11:29
today, we’re going to take the gpu into the cloud. we’ve been working on this for five years.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:29 
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kepler is world’s first gpu designed for the cloud, to be deployed into cloud data centers worlwide. it does this with:

–virtualized gpu

–no longer does it need to connect to a display, it can render and stream instantaneously right out of chip to a remote location

–super energy efficiency, so it can be deployed in a massive scale

Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:31 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:31 
11:32
every command buffer is now virtualized. we can now discern which virtual machine were to send us a graphics command. at the end, we can stream frame buffer to that spsecific virtual machine. one gpu can be shared with countless users
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:32 
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question: what’s the application?
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:32 
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well, one is BYOD. new employees are bringing whatever device they want to work. just as we no longer have company cars, we no longer have company computers. problem is, they need to be integrated into the corp network, which tends to be windows. needs to work with devices that run ios, chrome, android.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:33 
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the architecture we hope for is ability to put the computer in a private cloud, in the server room and provide streaming applications to your various computing device
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:34 
11:35
if you’re a task worker like in a call center, that virtualization is available through citrix, which has pioneered vdi. it’s taken until now to really take off. now we need to solve for power worker, designers, engineers, who use powerful, rich interactive computers
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:35 
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Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:36 
11:37
it’s a “PC as an App.” problem is now graphics is only being done on software, through citrix’s xendesktop. whenever you interact your application, it consumes pixels. but if we virtualized the gpu, added kepler and developed a gpu-aware hypervisor software, these virtual machines see it as its own. each virtual machine has a gpu to itself
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:37 
11:38
hopefully, we can accelerate vdi to support power users, designers, anyone with a workstation or pc, just as it now supports task workers.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:38 
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introduces citrix sumit dhawan, group vp and gm of citrix
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:38 
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11:39
JHH: Youve been evangilizing vdi for two decades, now it’s catching fire. why?

Sumit: the need for people to work anywhere. desktop virtualization is a perfect solution for that,

Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:39 
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JHH: virtualization is a dream that’s too good to be true. what needs to be done to take it to a new level?

Sumit: if you look at profile of our users, they’re task-based office workers, using Office or productivity apps. biggest challenge is to extend virtualization to all users.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:40 
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JHH: so, answer is to virtualize gpu for citrix. let’s show what it’s like. as easy as any device.

so, jhh and sumit go to an iPad, touch the citrix receiver on it and a Windows desktop pops up. On an iPad!!

Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:42 
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so, jhh goes to the Control Panel on the Windows desktop on the iPad. he shows there are more than 1,000 cuda cores on the tablet (because it’s virtualized)
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:43 
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running it isn’t just faster, but any app that nvidia could be used with is now accessible. now, they’re looking at autodesk showcase. the application is running on the server, powered by nvidia vgx technology, but it’s being shown on an ipad
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:44 
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so ipad, citrix receiver, ability to work on any device from anywhere….this is how you’d use it if you were a power user. but if you want to do this at an extreme level….
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:45 
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our next guest has worked on star trek, pirates of the caribbean, avengers and upcoming movie, battleship. welcome on stage: visual effects supervisor, Grady Cofer from Industrial Light & Magic
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:46 
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JHH: suppose we used this vgx technology availabale, what can a digital artist do it who works on 10s of terabytes of data.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:47 
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Grady: all of data is localized at ILM, a lot of my work is presentation, need to go to LA and show some film. now, i need to bake everything down, but i dont have access to how it was made.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:48 
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Grady: i can’t show it from a different angle. when i’m presenting work, people are just taking notes because the digital assets are so massive. it’s hard to extract from our pipeline. now, with vgx, i can go into our pipeline.
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Grady shows a Macbook Air that he’d take to LA, which he clicks to get into his workstation desktop. i can show you a live scene running Maya from ILM’s offices in the Presidio
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:50 
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grady shows how a scene from the avengers can be resculpted on his virtual desktop sitting on a Macbook. jensen’s so excited he’s got his black jacket off
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:51 
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grady: over the course of the year we had five weeks left and 500 shots left. a hundred shots a week.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:52 
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now he’s showing a compositing application called Nuke running a scene from Battleship. he shows a battleship with shredders hurling at it. he shows how you can access shredders and change them around. he’s accessing terabyes of information remotely
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:54 
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grady: you can art direct this shot remotely. he’s correcting colors in real time. you can art direct a shot on the fly.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:55 
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grady and jensen are hitting it off pretty well and talking about making movies together
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:56 
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whoah
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great reveal. 100 screens streaming off of one workstation.
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th thing that’s really cool here, jensen says, is that you can see scenes from grady’s movies — starr trek, pirates of caribbean, and wild wild west. “grady, this is your life,” jensen says
Tuesday May 15, 2012 11:57 
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JHH: all of this is fantastic, unless we can get it into a server environment, it’s pointless. how do we get it into the hands of users asap?
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very few people could talk about how virtualization is changing, jhh says. ,he introduces someone who’s now svp and gm at Cisco, who’s working on next gen enterprise computing. He’s David Yen.
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“like our last guest, everyone here knows your work. they’ve been affected by your work, either at sun or at cisco. all of our packets have been touched by your work.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:00 
12:01
JHH: why is cisco into virtualization?

David: cloud, data center are becoming synonyms. in anticipation of this, cisco as early as 2004-5 began devising Cisco UCS. it’s designed to be guided by applications or managing software running ontop of it.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:01 
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JHH: the server we’re working on together addresses problems vdi has run into. what are bottlenecks vgx can solve?

David: we can always use more performance. a better performance is better experience. this is the major challenge we have. to achieve higher economic effciiencies, we want to support as many users as possible.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:03 
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david: this is why we share the objective for the best end-user experience.

JHH: we have the opportunity to build something revolutionary together

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JHH: VGX is our first product based on kepler. it’s purpose is to accelerate VDI

The next application I want to talk about is cloud gaming!

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:04 
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what if we could stream and serve incredible video games from the cloud. instead of enterprise apps, what if we could host video games inthe cloud and stream them to any device, anywhere. the benefit can’t be overstated. when it becomes more convenient, it will be used more
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:05 
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GeForce GRID is the new product that runs this
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:07 
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game input lag is the big issue with streaming. jensen shows some pretty interesting data about the lags involved in streaming
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:08 
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with the geforce grid, virtualized technology we can reduce input lag to the level of a game console
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:09 
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to show this, i want to introduce someone who’s been working on computer games since he designed his first game at age 15. he’s worked on 100 games and 29 different game consoles. He started with a company called Shiny Entertainment, which he sold to Atari and became its president. He’s Dave Perry, CEO and co-founder of Gaikai
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:10 
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JHH: What was the moment for you in 2008 or 2009 that caused you to start Gaikai?

Dave: we were getting jealous of the movie industry.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:11 
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Dave: call of duty was biggest entertainment launch ever. if we could make this work, could we get best games right into the hands of gamers?
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:12 
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Dave: can you imagine making a movie and it runs on just one brand of TV? it’s crazy. that’s the way gaming is.

JHH: what obstacles did you need to overcome?

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:12 
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Dave: there were video compression problems, we tried all sorts of algorithms. question was how do we solve this data center problem once and for all.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:13 
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Dave: we’ve been setting up data centers all over the wrold, we’ve set up in 88 countries.

JHH: we’ve been working together for a few years, now we’re getting ready to scale out. we want to serve users on all sorts of devices

Dave: when we first started talking about it, a lot of people thought it was impossible. we’ve made advances that people just didn’t assume could be possible.

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:15 
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There are two NVIDIA gamers on stage, Clay and Andrew, at opposite ends of the very large stage. Andrew’s on a TV. Clay on a Transformer Prime. They’re going to start playing a new game called Hawken streamed from a cloud.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:16 
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Dave: we’re going to be able to place these games everywhere. we’ll be able to put these games directly on the web. on walmart.com, on youtube.com, on facebook. To some extent, we’re going to beat hollywood.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:17 
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Dave: the audience has no access to the code. it’s all being streamed.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:17 
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showing transformer prime running hawken, a very cool mult-player world. Andrew is standing in front of a TV playing against Clay.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:18 
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Dave: you could now play a game the instant it comes out. you can tell your friends online, and they can join you online. within a minute.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:19 
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on the lg tv, the only thing connected to the tv is a usb cable
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:21 
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JHH” I want to thank all of our partners who will support us on the cloud gpu ecosystem. they include:

Enterprise VDI: citrix, microsoft, vmware, xen

gaming: gaikai, gcluster, palycast, otoy, ubitus

Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:22 
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thank those OEMs making dedicated servers: dell, cisco, hp, ibm, supermicro
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jensen: well, that’s it. kepler is a very, very big deal for our company. it’s not only a revfolutionary procesor, it will take graphics and gpus to the next level. it’s surely the case that compouter graphcis and gpus are becoming more and more amazing
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JHH: Thanks. having a great GTC
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:23 
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that’s it. we have a press conference jensen has to do.
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:23 
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Thanks for joining us on this liveblog. Stay tuned to blogs.nvidia.com for the latest updates from GTC 2012!
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:24 
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