NVIDIA Tesla powers an amazing ultrasound scanner



An ultra-sound scanner, developed by TechniScan, utilizes four Tesla C870 boards and is programmed in with CUDA.

The company continued to run tests with Pentium 4 and Core 2 generations of processors, but even with the fastest Core 2 Duo and Quad processors, the render time could not be cut under 45 minutes.

A possible solution popped up when TechniScan senior software engineer Jim Hardwick bought a GeForce 8-series card and discovered Nvidia’s CUDA SDK. Jim is an avid gamer, so he bought the card to enjoy latest and upcoming games, but a quick run of his code on a GPU apparently lit up more than just one bulb. Fast forward to 2008 – today the code is ported to CUDA and utilizes four Tesla C870 boards. The render time was cut from 45 minutes on a 16-core Core 2 cluster to only 16 minutes.

The GPU scored major speedups in calculating 2D FFT’s, in which a single 8800 GTX was eight times faster than a Core 2 Quad at 2.66 GHz, while complex exponentiation with 12 million elements ended up being accelerated by a factor of 320x. Complex Exponentiation is usually run 50-60 times, so you can see how a 4-GPU setup was able to cut the total rendering time.

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