Cloud meets hardware: The inevitable merger

Cloud meets hardware: The inevitable merger

Summary: The evidence is piling up: Hardware systems will increasingly work in tandem with the cloud.

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Nvidia this week outlined what it dubbed a revolutionary plan to change the graphic processing game by offloading some computing to the cloud.

For Nvidia, the cloud meets GPU effort would enable things like better online gaming and data crunching for supercomputing.

In a statement, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang outlined the company’s Nvidia VGX platform, used to accelerate desktop virtualization, Tesla GPUs and the GeForce GRID for cloud gaming platforms. Huang said:

The GPU has become indispensable. It is central to the experience of gamers. It is vital to digital artists realizing their imagination. It is essential for touch devices to deliver silky smooth and beautiful graphics. And now, the cloud GPU will deliver amazing experiences to those who work remotely and gamers looking to play untethered from a PC or console.

Nvidia's idea is interesting in that it takes silicon and uses the cloud effectively. Intel's vPro chips, which allow for remote monitoring, could also be a cog in the hardware-meets cloud machine.

But this hardware to cloud movement has been bubbling under the surface for a while. Using Amazon Web Services is not that much different than having a server in-house. Google has outlined Android for robotics with the rough idea that robots could organize by integrating with cloud computing.

Sure, robots may not be packing much processing power, but much of the computing tasks could be offloaded to the cloud, argued Google at its I/O conference last year.

My hunch is that hardware players will increasingly make use of the cloud to save power, do higher-level computing and assess their surroundings. Nvidia's move drives the point home: Hardware systems will increasingly work in tandem with the cloud.

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Topics: Emerging Tech, Cloud, Hardware, Mobility, Processors

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13 comments
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  • Don't see it as a silver bullet.

    "Nvidia this week outlined what it dubbed a revolutionary plan to change the graphic processing game by offloading some computing to the cloud."

    As I understand it, it's OnLive on steroids, and frankly will suffer the same drawbacks. All of the GPU power in the world won't save you if the increase in quality is completely undone by compression artifacts, and it won't work well during peak periods when bandwidth is limited.

    It also provides no joy when you want to play games offline (or the connection is often temporarily interrupted), because as I understand it, it does indeed require a constant, uninterrupted internet connection.

    Not to mention going to the internet always brings latency. No form of technology will solve the latency issue: It's limited by the speed of light. A single player, offline game will always deliver the most fluid experience.

    So it's not a silver bullet, and certainly has its drawbacks. But I imagine a lot of people may still use it, as it does have some benefits.

    I've always been a fan of hybrid solutions, leveraging both the cloud and local processing power. I don't think we are ultimately headed towards a 100% cloud solution. The cloud is certainly a big improvement, but not a silver bullet for all problems.
    CobraA1
  • yawning....

    such a big deal out of such an incremental implementation.
    Coors4bob
    • the big deal allows the psychological manipulation

      Such market forces create the demand to be invested in...
      HypnoToad72
  • More cloud promotion baloney...

    Forget the "cloud". It's 1970's "Time Share Computing" with fresh marketing spin.
    MeerkatMac
    • *bingo*

      And once this paradigm is reached, people will then forget how good they had it with distributed computing and other forms of freedom... as opposed to the new order of "eggs in one basket", followed by a proverbial drunken Humpty Dumpty sneezing while practicing yoga on top of his wall...
      HypnoToad72
  • ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzz....

    Where have you been for the last year or so?

    This is a regurgitated, unchallenged press release; there are probably 100 companies working on similar 'solutions' - and most started a good while ago, and probably 50% are closer to getting something to market. So why give a free plug to this one company's vague promises of jam to come?

    Is it really in a league of its own? I doubt it, and you offer no convincing evidence.

    And the elephant in the cloud? Connecting the cloud to the device in the gamer's hand. That's the big problem, that's where we need serious innovation and delivery - not just promises.

    A journalist should always be looking for what the press release does NOT say, and should always ask questions (contact details usually supplied!!).

    It's the journo who gets an answer, that creates an exclusive - that's news. This isn't.
    Heenan73
    • Nvidia

      all but invented the GPU let's not forget. Although I am totally against the cloud as a data centre (I will hang onto my own data - thank you for the offer though), if Nvidia can connect me to the great GPU in the sky, to extend the capabilities of my client machine on-demand, then I would be completely willing to go along with that. Despite its limitations, that something like Onlive can work at all on current technology IS a fantastic achievement.

      It's just a start - I'm sure in time we will have tachyon based gigabit internet links :)
      12312332123
  • Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang

    Sir again you have not told the people how unsafe the cloud is and you sir know it is in danger and no one can stop the hackers and you know it
    ttx19
  • You know - I can't even get a reliable 'cloud' connection at work.

    And I work in a high tech research park on a university campus. It's one thing to lose your IM connection.. or not be able to surf...

    But imagine losing your GPU.
    TheWerewolf
  • Its like they all just have to get us too the cloud. WHY?

    I don't get it. Why is it so...important all these companies just cant wait to get a piece of us into the cloud?

    Are we simply being told that we are being pushed into a cloud based internet?

    Its kind of nice to have options but its a little disconcerting when you get large companies basically telling you....."this is only going to work this one particular way as things eventually progress". Particularly if its pushing you to give up certain control of your computers abilities by relegating it to the cloud. Every time you do that it changes the dynamic of the users relationship with the internet in a way relinquishes some privacy in many cases as well.
    Cayble
    • You've pretty much nailed it.

      "Are we simply being told that we are being pushed into a cloud based internet?"

      Yes. Exactly. ZDNet is playing this game too. "The cloud is the future, so shut up and get in line" is basically the message I'm seeing again and again and again.
      CobraA1
    • You already are

      "Are we simply being told that we are being pushed into a cloud based internet?"

      One things most people forget is that: The Internet is in fact, The Cloud.

      It was designed to be the cloud, it has been the cloud for decades.

      The fact, that some "big" companies have finally realized this and push their marketing campaigns does not change anything. The cloud is Internet and Internet is the cloud.

      So nothing new, nothing revolutionary in all those "cloud" ramblings.

      The trouble with giving away freedom is that more and more people become unable to understand and comprehend technology. At some point, the computer for those people is an 'black box' and when this happens, it doesn't really matter if the processing happens within that box, or anywhere else.
      danbi
      • well . . .

        "One things most people forget is that: The Internet is in fact, The Cloud."

        Pretty much. I've always seen "the cloud" as a rather useless marketing term intentionally used to obscure what it really is.

        "The trouble with giving away freedom is that more and more people become unable to understand and comprehend technology."

        Except we're not being given more freedom. We're being given more restrictions. Restrictions on what we can do with our data, restrictions on where we can store our data, restrictions on how well we can access our data with a poor connection.

        A solution that leverages both the Internet and local processing does away with those restrictions.

        "At some point, the computer for those people is an 'black box' and when this happens, it doesn't really matter if the processing happens within that box, or anywhere else."

        Except it really does. If the processing happens somewhere that is currently inaccessible to you, you're not going to benefit from it.

        Only in a dream world does the location of the processing not matter. In the real, actual, physical world, it matters greatly. Because if you can't access it, it's useless.
        CobraA1