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First Cuda Centre of Excellence named

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been named as the world’s first CUDA Center of Excellence.

‘The CUDA Center of Excellence programme rewards schools that truly embrace the concept of parallel processing as the future of computing,’ said Dr David Kirk, chief scientist at Nvidia. ‘Schools receiving this accreditation integrate the CUDA software environment into their curriculum to help their students harness the capabilities of these new parallel processing architectures. As one of the country’s leading schools in this field, I am personally delighted to appoint UIUC as our first CUDA Center of Excellence.'

The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at UIUC was one of the first research groups to use the parallel architecture of the GPU to accelerate their research in the field of computational biophysics. They have successfully accelerated NAMD/VMD – a popular parallel molecular dynamics application that analyses large biomolecular systems. In addition to the appointment, Nvidia has donated $500,000 to UIUC for the development of parallel computing facilities and the continuation of its research programs.

Universities wishing to become CUDA Centers of Excellence must teach a CUDA class and use CUDA technology in their research, usually across several labs. In return, Nvidia supports the school through funding and equipment donations, including help to set up a GPU computing cluster. The appointment of UIUC follows on from the donation last year of 32 QuadroPlex model four systems, containing 64 GPUs for a 16-node CUDA technology cluster. The cluster, that has an $800,000 value, is administered by NCSA.

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