San Jose (CA) – Even though Nvidia’s Nvision tradeshow did not achieve its goal of 10,000 visitors, more than a thousand gathered at the Center for Performing Arts to witness the ending of the event. The duo behind the popular Mythbusters showed the results of six months of work, demonstrating the difference between a CPU and a GPU, following the conventional wisdom of parallel computing.
Dubbed Smiley and Mona Lisa, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman presented two robots that represented the difference between a CPU and a GPU. Smiley was given a task to draw a smiley using conventional CPU techniques, doing one thing at a time. Smiley was a relatively simple robot, while Mona Lisa consisted out of "2100 massively parallel barrel processors", dwarfing the 240 shaders offered by a GeForce GTX 280 chip. These 2100 "shaders" painted a picture of Mona Lisa in a matter of a few hundreds of a second, resulting in lots of stunned faces, laughter and a big round of applause for the Mythbusters crew.
We won’t dwell on the specs of these two, but Mona Lisa’s fill-rate is quite interesting: 2100 (paintball) balls travelled eight feet onto wood-enforced canvas in just in just 275 ms, creating a picture of Mona Lisa within three quarters of a second.
We guess you could say Nvision ended with a bang (sorry, we couldn’t resist.) There was no information if and when these barrel processors will be available for sale.