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What is CUDA And Why Is It Important


By Avalith Editorial Team ♦ 1 min read



What is CUDA? 

CUDA is a software development platform —its name stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture— that allows developers to speed up their applications by making the most of GPUs. One of the best things about it is that it works with most operating systems and it breaks tasks down into multiple, smaller “threads” that are singularly tackled. 

GPUs, or graphics processing units, perform high-speed computations simultaneously for things like games and films. CUDA already works with over 100 million GPUs and is between 30 to 100 times faster than other microprocessors, making it a great platform for improving your graphics software in no time.

GPU Parallel Computing 

Let’s check out some of the most common uses for GPU Parallel Computing: 

  1. Computer graphics. Tech companies use GPUs for their games, films, and other similar content because they result in more detailed and realistic graphics compared to regular CPUs. 

  2. High-performance computing. GPUs allow you to process large quantities of data simultaneously, which is great for tasks and jobs that require large amounts of information (think finances, for example). 

  3. Deep learning. Some of the most common examples of the high-performing software we use today require deep learning (self-driving cars, for example, or AI tools). 

  4. Computer modeling. GPUs are used to create models that are extremely accurate in areas like medicine, science, and climate change. 

  5. Data mining. GPUs make getting useful information from large quantities of data easier, faster and more efficient. 

  6. Scientific computing. Science uses GPUs to speed up tasks like modeling, simulations, calculations, etc. 

  7. Machine learning. GPUs are used in algorithms, text analysis, and predictive modeling, for example. 

  8. Web services. Data analysis, weather forecasting and financial predictions rely on GPU parallel computing for speed and efficiency. 

How Does CUDA Work?

If you want to understand how CUDA works, think of how CPUs work with GPUs: processors pass instructions on to GPUs, which is where the CUDA GPU comes in. Once it completes its task, the GPU’s results are sent back to the CPU to be used by the application in question. GPU parallel computing involves a process in which the CPU passes data on to the CUDA GPU, the GPU processes that data with other GPU devices at the same time using CUDA’s programming language, and then sends the information back to the CPU so that the application can use the results. This process is a more complex version of the original CPU/GPU process, but is key to understanding how the CUDA software works. 

Let’s break this process down a bit more: 

  • GPUs handle one group of tasks at a time. These are called kernels 

  • Each kernel consists of blocks, which are singular ALU units

  • These blocks contain threads, or computation levels

  • Threads calculate values and can also share memory. Local memory is the fastest, with shared, global, static and texture memory following. 

  • The basic function of CUDA is sending information from the CPU to the GPU 

The typical program flow in CUDA involves loading data into the CPU memory, copying data from the CPU to the GPU memory, copying those results from the GPU to the CPU memory, and using the results on the CPU. 

Want to Program With CUDA? A Few Things to Keep in Mind. 

If you’re looking to program using CUDA, there are a few things you should think about. First off, planning ahead is key. If time management is a problem for you, learn here how to solve it! Make sure you know how many GPUs you have and check to see how many are CUDA-capable. You’ll also have to check and see if your software is compatible with CUDA before starting. When it comes to hardware, it’s important to know that not all CUDA GPUs are built the same way. There are different types of GPUs, and each has its own level of performance. Needless to say that your CUDA deployment will benefit greatly from more high-end software. Finally, training will likely be necessary. If you want to use CUDA at your organization, your team will need to know how to use the software and hardware in order to maximize performance and efficiency. If you’re looking to learn how to program using CUDA on your own, you’ll still want to make sure you know the basics. There are multiple resources available online that cover what you need to know. 

Person using laptop

What Is A Cloud Computing Platform? 

Cloud computing refers to anything that involves hosting information or services on the internet. These are generally divided into the following categories: IaaS (infrastructure as a service), PaaS (platform as a service) and SaaS(software as a service). Cloud platforms are the operating systems and hardwares of the servers for internet-based data centers. You can pay for access to these platforms and services, including servers, databases, software, networking, etc. This makes it easier for organizations to pay per use and avoid having to set up their own data services or infrastructure and get easy, scalable access to what they need.


Cloud computing platforms can be private or public. Public clouds are available to anyone with internet access, but private clouds are limited to people with access and permission. NVIDIA offers heightened performance for AI and machine learning through its computing platforms and its GPU-powered solutions are available worldwide through cloud service providers. You can pay for the GPU resources you need specifically and scale upwards if your needs change as you go, making it a great solution for your cloud GPU computing projects.