Dell workstations start carrying Nvidia Tesla processors

— 5:27 PM on May 6, 2009

Nvidia has landed a big design win with its Tesla "GPU computing processors." According to the company, Dell has begun offering Tesla C1060 cards in its Precision R5400, T5500, and T5700 workstations.

The R5400 is a rack system, while the T5500 and T7500 are both desktop-sized towers based on Intel's new Xeon 5500-series processors.

As for the Tesla C1060, adding it to one of those Dell workstations will involve paying a hefty $1,699 premium. That card packs 4GB of memory and 240 stream processors, making it a sort of supercharged, compute-only sibling of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 200-series GPUs.

If you're struggling to think of a real-world application for those workstations, Nvidia provides an example in its press release:

"National Instruments is developing the control system for the European Extremely Large Telescope project, which upon completion will be the world's largest. To tackle this computational challenge, we developed a CUDA interface with LabVIEW to simulate and control the M1 mirror consisting of 984 individual segments," said Jeff Meisel product manager for LabVIEW at National Instruments. "A Dell workstation equipped with a single Tesla C1060, can achieve near real-time control of the mirror simulation and controller, which before wouldn't be possible in a single machine without the computational density offered by GPUs."

That's not it, of course. Nvidia points out that people have used its GPUs for general-purpose computing in areas like oil-and-gas processing, medical imaging, financial computing, "GeoSciences," and computational chemistry.

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