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NVIDIA DGX-1: The Game Changer That Took Deep Learning To Ludicrous Speed

Julia Shih 0

HPCLast week, NVIDIA made a groundbreaking announcement, launching their mega-powerful NVIDIA DGX-1 Deep Learning System at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose. As a purpose-built Deep Learning solution featuring 7TB of SSD storage and a whopping 170 TFlops performance, the DGX-1 was rightfully marketed as the world’s first and most powerful “Deep Learning Supercomputer-in-a-Box,” 12x faster than any previous GPU-accelerated solution that has come before.

The NVIDIA DGX-1 is not a configurable server, or a component that must be integrated into a larger Deep Learning system. It is a turnkey, plug-and-play solution featuring eight Pascal-based Tesla P100 cards installed in a hybrid mesh cube configuration, interconnected with NVIDIA NVLink™. The system comes fully integrated with hardware and software designed specifically for deep learning development. It even comes with NVIDIA -backed support, software upgrades and a cloud management portal, so that companies have all the tools they need at their fingertips to quickly train neural networks with the processing power necessary to create viable Deep Learning applications.

Lord Dark HelmetWith the DGX-1, NVIDIA has now given developers a powerful engine with which to radically reduce training and inference time, fast tracking new products and features based on AI or machine learning to market at the speed of innovation. This is critical for a technology on the brink of changing our world and the way machines interact with and enrich it. Like the gold rush and space race, companies are racing to develop applications to take advantage of a wide open opportunity to create smarter and smarter applications.

That is why AMAX was chosen as an official NVIDIA Technology Partner authorized to take pre-orders for the DGX-1 Deep Learning System. “The DGX-1 was purpose-built to help researchers and data scientists achieve new milestones in creating AI applications,” said Jim McHugh, vice president and general manager of GRID and DGX-1 at NVIDIA. “AMAX’s extensive expertise in delivering deep learning solutions will be of considerable value to customers incorporating this one-of-a-kind supercomputing platform into their data centers to power their most demanding deep learning workloads.”

During his keynote opening GTC 2016, Jen-Hsun Huang saw deep learning as not just a niche application, but a world-changing computing platform that one day every application will depend on. “The number of companies involved in deep learning has just exploded,” Huang said. “Every internet service provider, every major computing company, the type of applications for deep learning to enhance the smartness of our applications, to enhance the greater insight that we can derive from large data is really crazy. Intelligent video analysis, surveillance will never be the same. Intelligent video tagging, image tagging, recognizing images, image search, voice, translation, a universal translator…applications like Twitter, Uber and all these other amazing applications are all now powered by deep learning. The recommendations engines of movies and Amazon are going to go through a whole new phase of renaissance.”

Tesla GP100 GPUEvery industry is touched by deep learning development. Exciting projects include self-driving cars, social media, AI and robotics, medical imaging and diagnosis, personalized online retail experiences and many more that seem to break ground every day. With the entrance of the DGX-1, this could provide the tipping point for building applications which are, if not as smart as humans, smart enough to cater to real human needs and desires.

The DGX-1 software stack includes all major Deep Learning frameworks, the NVIDIA Deep Learning SDK, the DIGITS GPU training system, drivers, and CUDA. This allows Deep Learning developers to construct deep neural networks (DNN) in their preferred machine learning framework, backed by the diagnostics and support offered by NVIDIA. No less important, the DGX-1 has been designed so that Xeon compute, Tesla compute and networking options can be upgraded independently. This transforms the DGX-1 into a total solution that can be deployed in-house within a matter of minutes.

Deep Learning not just the IT buzzword of 2016, but something quickly becoming the key to an entire paradigm shift in technology and the world in which we live. Because it has real world application in almost every industry and facet of life, from enterprise to academia to consumer, the development to date has only scratched the surface of its game-changing potential. But regardless of how you choose to utilize Deep Learning/Machine Learning in your application or development, there is no doubt that DGX-1 can get you there, like a bullet train. With the DGX-1, developers now have access to a deep-learning system with 12X higher application performance than any previous GPU-accelerated solution. That would be the equivalent of a year’s worth of development completed in a single month! If the glory (and the money) goes to the one who reaches the breakthrough first, the DGX-1 may well have just leveled the playing field.