nVidia has announced the release of CUDA 2.0, a new version of its C language development environment for its graphics processing units (GPUs).
CUDA enables Macs or PCs equipped with certain nVidia graphics processors to offload the computation of some information to the graphics processor instead of using the CPU. nVidia's graphics processors are parallel processing engines, which makes them suited to handling tasks such as medical volume reconstruction and oil and gas seismic computing, for example.
CUDA is nVidia's implementation of technology called General-Purpose Computing on Graphics Processing Units, or GPGPU. It's something Apple hopes to leverage on an operating system level with Snow Leopard, which will support an emerging standard called OpenCL. CUDA, however, lets developers leverage nVidia's hardware today to perform the same function.
The latest production release of the CUDA toolset includes Mac OS X support, as well as Windows 32-bit and 64-bit support, and also includes an Adobe Photoshop plug-in example, as well as its source code.
nVidia hopes the example will spawn further efforts from third-party developers to create filtering and image manipulation software that leverages Nvidia GPUs to speed processing.