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Leader in Geological Structures Analysis Gets 55x Performance Boost Using GPU Computing to find Oil and Gas

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Derek Perez
NVIDIA Corporation
(408) 486-2512


SEG 2008—LAS VEGAS, NV—NOVEMBER 11, 2008—Geophysicists in the oil and gas industry are seeking more accurate images of what lies beneath the earth. In order to find what’s been buried for millions of years, Calgary-based OpenGeoSolutions uses a technique called “Spectral Decomposition” specifically to reveal geological information that goes beyond classic seismic resolution and detection. The quality of the data produced by this technique is improved when large regional datasets are processed, but more importantly when that data is “inverted”, allowing it to be translated into real geological structures.

On a CPU-based cluster, this process could take anywhere from 2 hours to several days. In an effort to improve this, the team acquired a workstation equipped with an NVIDIA® Tesla™ C1060 GPU Computing processor, based on the NVIDIA CUDA™ parallel computing architecture. In six weeks the OpenGeoSolutions team converted a key portion of their application to CUDA and, as a result, witnessed an order of magnitude increase in performance.

“We are measuring speedups from 2 hours to 2 minutes using CUDA and the Tesla C1060,” said James Allison, president of OpenGeoSolutions, Inc. “This kind of performance increase is totally unprecedented and in a market where there is great economic value in being able to determine these fine sub-surface details, this is a game changer.”

“More importantly, the Tesla products essentially give us all a personal supercomputer,” Mr. Allison added. “Just one Tesla C1060 delivers the same performance as our 64 CPU cluster, and this was a resource we had to share. This is a huge cost and time saving that has transformed our workflow and boosted our productivity.”

OpenGeoSolutions provides spectral decomposition and inversion services along with commercial support for an open source seismic processing system called FreeUSP. Several major, independent and national oil companies use FreeUSP software to refine their geological models and locate valuable hydrocarbon reserves.

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For more information on OpenGeoSolutions, please visit

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. For more information, visit

Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to, statements as to the impact of the NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU computing processors and the NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture on OpenGeoSolution’s Spectral Decomposition technique 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: development of more efficient or faster technology; adoption of the CPU for parallel processing; design, manufacturing or software defects; the impact of technological development and competition; changes in consumer preferences and demands; customer adoption of different standards or our competitor's products; changes in industry standards and interfaces; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems 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 July 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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