nVidia's CUDA speeds Kaspersky Antivirus up to 360 times!
12/15/2009 by: Anshel Sag
Kaspersky Labs has announced that they have successfully implemented nVidia CUDA technology using nVidia TESLA cards in order to accelerate the virus scanning process up to 360 fold. This comparison is made between an nVidia TESLA S1070 and an Intel Core 2 Duo, although Kaspersky does not mention the storage medium or amount of system memory. They state in their press release that, "As our company aims to provide the best protection to our users, we actively employ advanced technologies to accelerate computing." stated Nikolay Grebennikov, Chief Technical Officer for Kaspersky Lab. "We could not ignore the advantages of modern graphics processing units (GPU). In terms of efficiency they have long been far ahead of central processing units (CPU) аnd the tasks that they are capable of performing have gone beyond the scope of basic graphics processing. The architecture of the GPUs is optimized for the parallel processing of large data arrays and we have already started to use this attribute to provide our clients with an even better level of protection from new malicious programs."
Naturally, nVidia did not spare the moment and joined the frame with a following statement: "The ever increasing sophistication of computer viruses continues to be a big problem for consumers and corporations alike", said Andy Keane, general manager, Tesla business at NVIDIA. "Kaspersky Labs continues to stay ahead of the curve by employing very novel change management and file similarity detection techniques that, with the help of NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, can quickly identify new threats and update the anti-virus software".
Although we are very excited to see CUDA gaining ground and practicality across the market, we don’t necessarily think that the average user will ever experience a 360 fold increase in speeds simply because a lot of the limitations of an Anti-virus program rely on the speed of the hard drive or solid state drive. As such, we can only take a guess at the storage solution that they implemented within their labs in order to achieve such results. With this addition to the many other CUDA accelerated applications, nVidia is beginning to add value to their graphics cards to consumers beyond things such as graphics. Because of this, we can understand why Jen Hsun has been pushing CUDA so hard for the past few years and we hope that AMD does not sit by and just let nVidia run amuck.
As a side note, there is no mention of this capability being available to the consumer graphics parts. We would expect this to be fairly easy for nVidia to release to consumers but there is a possibility that this might once again be dependent on Kaspersky and whether or not nVidia will allow consumer graphics users to make use of this acceleration. We don’t really see why not - if not, the doors are always open for AMD to launch an OpenCL-based Antivirus. After all, we heard about GPGPU-acceleration of Kaspersky software from no other than Giuseppe Amato, [former Technical Director of Sales & Marketing, AMD EMEA] at the launch of the infamous AMD Barcelona quad-core processor in Barcelona, Spain. AMD was showing off Kaspersky acceleration using a combination of AMD Quad-Core Opteron "Barcelona" and nVidia Quadro card, if my memory serves me correctly. Yes, Theo likes to tell stories but don't tell him that [and who's editing the story, Anshel? Ed.]
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