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Nvidia driver update lets slip NV38 brand name

Drivers legit, chip maker confirms

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Nvidia appears to have inadvertently leaked the name of its next graphics chips, previously known by the codename NV38.

The new chip will apparently be called the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, according to text embedded in the company's latest driver, Detonator 45.33. The driver contains the following strings:

NVIDIA_NV35.DEV_0333.1 = "NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra"
NVIDIA_NV35.DEV_0334.1 = "NVIDIA NV38"

The drivers were released in response to a problem experienced with some GeForce FX 5900-based graphics chips. The glitch caused the picture on the screen to flicker in certain circumstances.

According to a post on NV News.net, apparently from Nvidia spokesman Brian Burke, formerly a 3dfx guy, some of you may recall, Nvidia "determined that the issue may involve an interaction between select combinations of the graphics card, system, monitor, other electronic components and the application which creates noise or signal interference".

Oddly, the driver is as yet unavailable from Nvidia's own support site, only from 'affiliate' sites. The latest driver on offer from Nvidia is 45.23.

Nvidia spokesman Andrew Humber confirmed the new driver's legitimacy and said that the fix contained in this interim release will be rolled into the next "major release" of Detonator, at the end of the month.

The problem will affect only a tiny fraction of GeForce FX 5900 users, he said. The update is being posted on sites where users have said that they have experienced the problem, the better to target the update where it's needed, he added.

The GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, meanwhile, is expected to debut in a couple of weeks' time at the rescheduled Computex show in Taipei. Essentially, it's the same as the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra (aka NV35), but clocked to a higher core frequency.

Nvidia is also expected to announced the GeForce FX 5700, codenamed NV36, shortly. The NV36 is aimed at mainstream users, the NV38 at the high end of the market. ®

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