Print 9 comment(s) - last by Blight AC.. on Nov 6 at 4:29 PM

NVIDIA officially announces a new open standard, ESA, that aims to make component information and control easier than ever

NVIDIA recently announced a new technology platform dubbed the Enthusiast System Architecture, or ESA. ESA provides information and control to enthusiasts that are not just for NVIDIA mainboards and video cards, but is compatible with components from other manufacturers. By introducing ESA, NVIDIA hopes to establish itself as the company looking for the best interests of enthusiasts.

ESA monitoring and control covers nearly all components of a PC, including processors, motherboards, video cards, cooling hardware and power supplies. The new platform can best be described as a new communication standard that will work alongside component communication standards, such as SMBus, EPP, PCIe, Serial ATA, and HyperTransport, to provide monitoring and control information to other components and software. In short, ESA ties their control and monitoring information together. 

Manufacturers can implement ESA into just about every component, allowing it to manage and control anything the manufacturer chooses it to control. For example, a ESA-chassis can monitor and report temperature levels, and could then adjust case fan speeds according to the temperature.

ESA does not use a new control bus but simply communicates over USB. All that is required, in addition to ESA-hardware, is the software.  Future plans for the new protocol include a BIOS implementation as well.

In order for components to be ESA-certified and to provide consistency, ESA supporters must set up ESA certification tests run by an independant test lab. At the very least, it is required for monitoring capabilities to be implemented in hardware for it to be ESA-certified. Once ESA standards are met, manufacturers can use the ESA logo in their packaging and advertising.

Dell, HP, NVIDIA, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, ASUS, Thermaltake, PC Power & Cooling and Gigabyte are already tenatively on-board for NVIDIA's new platform.

There is no ESA hardware yet, though this is not NVIDIA's first attempt at creating a ubiquitous enthusiast platform, as with the ill-fated Tritum.  In many senses ESA is just certification for NVIDIA's nTune software package. 

Other NVIDIA certifications, like Enhanced Performance Profile (EPP), have struggled to take hold.  JEDEC firmed denied support for EPP, only to have AMD and OCZ launch a similar but competing memory profiles shortly after.

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By BladeVenom on 11/6/2007 9:46:20 AM , Rating: 3
I'm still waiting for MXM to become the universal standard.

By Jaegs on 11/6/2007 9:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
hah so damn true

By CvP on 11/6/2007 11:18:40 AM , Rating: 3
if nTune (or other similar software) can change everything, im just concerned about virus turning off fans or things like that. since, it'll be a standard, the way to change things will be same for all PCs (which currently isn't, afaik) and one damn virus can hurt a lot!
i hope, they consider security really well.

other than this, this looks promising.

RE: virus?
By Blight AC on 11/6/2007 4:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, this and the comment on the PC Crashing are good points. Hopefully, it will still have some failsafe as a base level to prevent these sort of issues (like Intel's thermal protection that lowers clock speed).

I would like to see a fan control built into the system itself, like that mentioned, especially one that I can adjust as I see fit. I'm not comfortable with the automatic fan control systems I've seen so far, when I cannot adjust the range myself. For instance, the ones that decide that 50c is when the CPU fan should run at 100%, when I'd prefer it to be at 100% at 40 degrees. Even with multiple profiles (in case I want to run the fans slower at night when I'm trying to game quieter), or a profile for summer and winter.

Either way, I hope this gets some momentum.

By Screwballl on 11/6/2007 10:14:41 AM , Rating: 2
It sounds like a very good idea as long as they keep the control buried in the hardware and no access to it except for maybe in the BIOS.
I don't like the idea of having my network card shut off by the morons at RIAA because of "suspected file sharing" where everything else on the computer functions like normal.

I just hope this is not where this will lead.

RE: Control
By KristopherKubicki on 11/6/2007 10:30:59 AM , Rating: 2
It looks like BIOS support is only part of it. There will be a lot of control via some software platform ... my money is on nTune.

That PR jerk
By Etern205 on 11/6/2007 12:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
Since that old article's comment is disabled.
About that Del Rizzo person did they fired him, because
when I checked out thier corporate profile, I don't see his name.

As for this article, it's great Nvidia kept it as a open standard. If not then for those that want ESA. They must get everthing from Nvidia from cases, mouse pads, to tissue boxes and one thing they will all have is SLI! :P

RE: That PR jerk
By JackBeQuick on 11/6/2007 1:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
Software control?
By EarthsDM on 11/6/2007 9:55:42 AM , Rating: 2
Does this mean that fans speed won't increase if your PC crashes and goes to 100% load?

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