NVIDIA HQ Tour
NVIDIA hosted its GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California toward the end of March, where we saw a bunch of new technologies shown off. Not only were new technologies announced, but existing technology was a hot subject, too.
We saw that NVIDIA is a true powerhouse when it comes to supplying and assisting countless companies, governments, and corporations with what they do--behind closed doors--with NVIDIA hardware such as GeForce, Tesla, GRID, and much more.
While the conference was still going on, I had lunch with BDR, the Senior PR Manager of Consumer Products with NVIDIA, which is where he asked, "Would you like a tour of our HQ?" The question was asked, but it didn't need an answer; I think he saw my face light up like a little kid on Christmas morning.
We drove up to Santa Clara, and the first thing you will notice is just how many buildings NVIDIA has. I asked how many staff it employs at its facilities in Santa Clara alone, and the number hovers at around 6,000 people.
One of the first things that surprised me was that they had on-site haircuts, so if you were too busy to get one before or after work and wanted to jump out for a quick snip, you could.
Dogs are allowed inside of the NVIDIA facilities, which is something that was cool to see--something else you can see is a very relaxed work environment.
If you want some NVIDIA swagger, there's a lot of it!
Normally, Starbucks would be an external building or business, but not for the NVIDIA staff; they have one in their cafeteria!
NVIDIA's walls of patents, of which there were only some displayed, is quite impressive to say the least.
One of my favorites is the patent that NVIDIA has from 3dfx (Some of you might remember that company. For me, it brings back the fondest memories of my childhood.) for SLI, a technology 3dfx created and NVIDIA has tweaked and rocks with.
You don't get to be a company the size of NVIDIA without winning some awards, right?
Next, we went into the "Top Secret" NVIDIA lab, which was a room filled with NVIDIA technology, ranging from Tegra to G-Sync.
As you can see, there's a lot to look at in the Secret Labs.
Above, we have a shot of NVIDIA's G-Sync technology.
Then we have something even more impressive: the Jetson TK1, which is something NVIDIA calls the "first mobile supercomputer for embedded systems". It can power cars, small devices, and much more. We have 192 CUDA cores, 326 GFLOPS of power, and it costs just $192.
In the above shot, you can see that the TK1 device is actually detecting things on and around the road, including cars, lane detection, and sign detection. An impressive feat considering the size!
And there you have it! A quick look through the NVIDIA HQ in Santa Clara, California. We did go into another super-secret office, but everything in there was not able to be recorded at all. We saw some very, very cool technology in there, including something I'm sure NVIDIA will be unveiling in the months to come.
I had to ask what Internet access that specific lab had...I just had to. The answer? Two 10GbE links were pumped into the building...yes, two 10GbE links! Absolutely insane. There were PCs, multi-monitor setups, GPUs everywhere, and massive 90-inch TVs just sitting there.
I think that if we had actually recorded any of it, or thrown pictures up into this article, most people would cry pure tears of joy. I know I did.