Nvidia is looking to transform the antivirus industry with the company announcing plans to power spyware scanning software with its next range of graphics cards.
Future Nvidia graphics cards will feature new CUDA technology, allowing PCs to offload work onto the GPU as well as the system’s processor. This could lead to rapidly faster computers and, Nvidia hopes, will give the company a foot in the door of the lucrative processor market.
Nvidia, banking much of its investments on CUDA, is busy searching for new ideas that will act as incentives for partners and customers to adopt GPU computing. GPU-based virus scanning could be one of the biggest incentives yet.
With Hard-drive sizes incessantly climbing, and with the growing adoption of the larger Sata hard drives, virus scanners are constantly at war with the growing volumes of data it has to search through in a reasonably time period.
With both GPU and CPU working in parallel, virus scanning could – in theory – speed up significantly.
But crucially, as well as speeding up the scan itself, CUDA GPUs could free up a PC’s CPU, thus keeping a PC more usable and responsive during scans.
The global market for anti-virus software remains massive, and with these new technologies Nvidia hopes to win support from the likes of Symantec. If it does, then CUDA-based computing would have an even bigger chance of being a success.
Nvidia has yet to announce any anti-virus partnerships, though Sanford Russell – the company's general manager of CUDA – had confirmed to news site Fudzilla that Nvidia will be working on GPU-based antivirus scanning.