Feeds

Nvidia unveils ‘256-CPU Cray’ GeForce 3D chip

Company restates focus on chip design. It's not interested in board production -- for now...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Nvidia today announced its next-generation graphics acceleration chip, the GeForce 256, the part previously known by the codename 'NV10', a move that sees the company break away from its well-known TNT and slightly less well-known Riva brandnames. The launch also marked the arrival of the first 256-bit graphics accelerator, delivering an "order of magnitude increase" in power, according to Nvidia. As revealed by The Register, the GeForce contains nearly 23 million transistors, capable of generating 15 million polygons per second (sustained) and over 480 million pixels per second. The part sports an integrated geometry transformation engine -- addressing what is widely seen as the next 'target' for graphics processor functionality now they've got shovelling out polygons sorted out -- an integrated dynamic lighting engine, and the first four-pixel rendering process. However, all these features are, to a greater or lesser extent, offered by S3's Savage 2000, announced yesterday, so Nvidia may have to revise its claims slightly. That said, the GeForce is still likely to out-perform the Savage 2000 considerably. The part supports DirectX 7.0 features, including cube environment mapping, projective textures and vertex blending. It supports up to 128MB of video RAM and AGP 4x Fast Write mode. Boards based on the part will contain -- like the Savage 2000 -- a 350MHz RAMDAC for resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 (75MHz). One of the key elements of the GeForce launch, however, wasn't a feature of the chip itself but its branding. Nvidia stressed that the chip is what it calls a "graphics processing unit (GPU)". That's a term that can be applied to almost every 3D graphics accelerator punched out since the Voodoo 1, but Nvidia's use of the phrase is designed to stress the company's role as a provider of chips, not boards. That's in marked contrast to its main rivals, ATI, S3 and 3dfx, all of who effectively produce their own boards -- ATI always has, 3dfx bought STB for the purpose, and S3 is in the processing of buying Diamond Multimedia. Unlike the others, S3 is maintaining a more open relationship with Diamond, but it could yet irritate board vendors like Creative and Guilliemot as much as 3dfx's STB acquisition did. Nvidia clearly wants to avoid such conflict, and its GPU branding is as much about showing it doesn't want to tread on board vendors' toes as pushing its own chip-design expertise. Of course, this doesn't rule out a move into the board market on Nvidia's part, but it should keep the OEMs happy until it's ready to do so. ® Related Stories Acer to integrate nVidia technology into chip set nVidia Q2 revenue rockets up 543 per cent 3dfx stock drops on ongoing losses

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.