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Nvidia unveils ‘fastest’ mobile workstation GPU

Plumps for TSMC 110nm process, too

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Nvidia rolled out its latest workstation-class mobile graphics chip, the Quadro FX Go1000, claiming the part out-performs "competing" desktop workstation graphics accelerators.

Like its previous mobile Quadro FX, the Go700, the new chip supports AGP 8x and a 128-bit floating-point graphics pipeline with 12-bit sub-pixel precision. It too offers DVI and TV-out interfaces. However, it improves on its predecessor's power management, courtesy of the latest incarnation - version 4.0 - of Nvidia's PowerMizer technology. It also incorporates third-generation pixel and vertex shaders - three of the latter and two of the former.

Nvidia didn't release specific speeds and feeds, but the 130nm Go1000, yields proe-02, ugs-03 and 3dsmax-02 scores of 25.8, 22.7 and 21, respectively. Those numbers mark gains of 17, 34.4 and 32.4 per cent over the Go700's published stats. Nvidia claimed the Go1000 is on average 50 per cent faster than the Go700.

Nvidia ships the chip with 128MB of DDR SDRAM, but it can support up to 256MB. The company did not disclose the part's price. However, Dell is shipping it in its Precision M60 mobile workstation, alongside the Go700. The new chip adds $99 to the price of the system.

In related news, Nvidia yesterday confirmed it will use TSMC's 110nm process technology to make graphics chips next year. The new process uses the same tools utilised by the foundry's 130nm process - essentially, 110nm process is a photolithographic reduction of the latter. So Nvidia builds a 130nm part and TSMC scales it down to 110nm photographically.

TSMC said the 110nm process also includes "transistor enhancements" that improve speed and reduce power consumption" over its 130nm predecessor.

The 110nm process will enter "risk production" during Q1 2005, the foundry added. ®

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