High-end computer graphics processor manufacturer NVIDIA announced that the University of New Mexico's Advanced Graphics Lab and Center for Advanced Research Computing have jointly been selected as one of the company's CUDA Research Centers.

The UNM Advanced Graphics Lab is responsible for advanced research in computer graphics and digital media. Students in the lab take part in the university's yearly video game design competition. The Center for Advanced Research Computing helps provide the technological capabilities the university needs to grow interdisciplinary, advanced computing based research at UNM.
AGL is led by Pradeep Sen, assistant professor in UNM's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, who drove the university's push to collaborate with NVIDIA.

"Being named a CUDA Research Center is an exciting opportunity for UNM," Sen said. "We look forward to working with NVIDIA on interesting research problems that leverage the GPU-based supercomputer that we are in the process of building."

NVIDIA's selection of UNM follows a recent National Science Foundation's Office of CyberInfrastructure award to the UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing. With this grant UNM was able to purchase a new GPU (graphics processing unit)-accelerated supercomputer.

NVIDIA's parallel computing programming architecture is called CUDA, or Compute Unified Device Architecture. CUDA allow software programmers to add a computer's graphics card to its overall processor power when needed for programs as varied as processor intensive simulations and number crunching to high-end, graphics intensive games or animation programs.

The collaboration with NVIDIA also provides access to personalized training for UNM researchers, as well as additional high-end NVIDIA GPUs that are capable of handing the calculations required by advanced science and engineering research. Selection as a CUDA Research Center lasts one year and the university is free to apply to renew that status.

For more information about the new NVIDIA designation, please read the ECE story here.

Media Contact: Benson Hendrix (505) 277-1816; e-mail: bhendrix@unm.edu