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From Minutes To Seconds: How Manifold Is Using NVIDIA CUDA To Transform GIS Technology


Geographic Information Systems are the Latest to be Transformed by NVIDIA CUDA Technology

For further information, contact:

Andrew Humber
NVIDIA Corporation
(408) 486 8138

Manifold Logo
Screenshot from Manifold System Release 8
Manifold / NVIDIA CUDA Demo


SANTA CLARA, CA—August 13, 2008—From tracking 911 calls and studying carbon dioxide levels to keeping track of pesticide use, the applications of geographic information systems (GIS) are growing rapidly. NVIDIA Corporation, the world leader in visual computing technologies, and Manifold today announced that they are working closely to make GIS even more powerful through the use of the award-winning NVIDIA CUDA™ development environment for accelerating applications on the GPU.

“GIS datasets are growing increasingly complex, often involving many gigabytes of interactive maps. We are under pressure to deliver products capable of crunching through these datasets fast, efficiently, and accurately,” said Dimitri Rotow, product manager, “With the CUDA configuration, calculations that previously took 20 minutes to complete are now done in 30 seconds. Moreover, calculations that previously took 30 to 40 seconds are now real-time. It is no exaggeration to say that, at least for our industry, NVIDIA CUDA technology could be the most revolutionary development in computing since the invention of the microprocessor.”

The main reason for the increasing complexity of GIS datasets is simply that more data is being collected and more detailed analysis is required. Satellite photos that were once only available to intelligence analysts are now viewable by anyone with an internet connection. In addition, "remote sensing" satellites now image the Earth using multiple sensors which collect data in multiple wavelengths and resolutions and from many different angles and the compositing of these images is an arduous task. Without GPU acceleration through CUDA, GIS users would need to settle for lower resolution data which can miss subtle terrain artifacts – for an archeologist for example, this lower resolution could mean finding the outline of a buried fort but not the individual walls, making a dig problematic and costly.

Manifold began using CUDA in May 2007 and it took just 2 months to re-code their system to take advantage of the parallel processing power of the GPU. Manifold System Release 8, the world's most powerful, full-featured GIS package recently beat out 12 distinguished nominees including AutoDesk, Gaia, and Magellan to win the 2008 Geospatial Leadership Award at the 2008 GeoTec Conference held in Ottawa, Canada.

The Manifold nomination and award citation reads, "Manifold is the first GIS to exploit massively parallel supercomputer technology on a desktop using inexpensive plug-in cards that provide hundreds of processors for less than $500. That enables GIS tasks and analysis to be completed hundreds of times faster than before through an innovative use of inexpensive, consumer hardware."

For more information on Manifold System Release 8 visit and for more information on other exciting applications being enabled by NVIDIA CUDA technology, visit CUDA Zone at

NVIDIA is the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, a high-performance processor which generates breathtaking, interactive graphics on workstations, personal computers, game consoles, and mobile devices. NVIDIA serves the entertainment and consumer market with its GeForce® graphics products, the professional design and visualization market with its Quadro® graphics products, and the high-performance computing market with its Tesla™ computing solutions products. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. and has offices throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. NVIDIA's inaugural NVISION® 08 conference will be held August 25-27, 2008 in San Jose, California. For more information, visit and

Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to, statements as to: the benefits, features, power, performance, capabilities and availability of NVIDIA CUDA technology and the Manifold System Release 8; the evolution of GIS technology and GIS datasets are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: our reliance on third parties to manufacture, assemble and test our products; the impact of technological development and competition; design, manufacturing or software defects; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems; adoption of the CPU instead of the GPU for computational tasks; development of faster or more efficient GPUs; as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the reports NVIDIA files with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended April 27, 2008. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on our website and are available from NVIDIA without charge. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, NVIDIA disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.


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