Nvidia launches GPGPU investment scheme

March 17, 2009 // 1:17 p.m.

Tags: #amd #ati #cuda #general-purpose-gpu #gpgpu #gp-gpu #intel #nvidia

Nvidia is doing its bit to encourage innovation in the technology sector with the founding of a venture capital fund for start-ups looking to develop GP-GPU technologies.

As reported over on ExtremeTech, Nvidia's GPU Ventures Program aims to provide support – financial and otherwise – to companies looking to create products and services based around general purpose GPU computing – the company's CUDA solution, in other words.

Nvidia has stated that the programme aims to “evaluate companies that leverage the GPU for both consumer and professional applications in all areas such as video and image enhancement, scientific discovery, financial analysis, and 3D interfaces.” Each qualifying start-up will receive between $500,000 and $5 million to invest in development, marketing, and product distribution.

Although the GPU Ventures Program is new, Nvidia's interest in general purpose computing on the GPU isn't: since introducing CUDA back in 2007, the company has invested money in Acceleware, Elemental Technologies, Keyhole Corporation, Mental Images, MotionDSP, and Right Hemisphere – all of whom use Nvidia's hardware to accelerate their software. The new programme simply offers an easier way for start-ups to bring themselves to Nvidia's attention.

Jeff Herbst, Nvidia's vice president of business development, called the programme “a huge opportunity for young ambitious companies basing their businesses around the GPU,” and revealed that the company hopes such start-ups will “fuel the continued growth of the GPU platform.” Pledging to offer “financial, marketing, and other support to help start-up companies realise their full potential” Herbst called for “interested entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and others to reach out to us with their ideas.

With more and more companies looking to offload processing on to the increasingly powerful GPUs currently on the market, it looks like Nvidia is doing everything it can to ensure that its products are chosen as the de facto GP-GPU standard.

Can you think of an idea for GP-GPU computing that could get you a share of Nvidia's investment capital, or should graphics manufacturers leave the general purpose stuff to the CPU? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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