All New NVIDIA Chipsets to Feature IGP and Hybrid SLI
January 9, 2008 12:58 AM
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From enthusiast to low-end, all new NVIDIA chipsets will feature an enabled integrated graphics core
In conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NVIDIA launched its NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology along with its newest chipset. Hybrid SLI is NVIDIA’s first foray into visual computing.
NVIDIA’s Hybrid SLI links NVIDIA integrated graphics chipsets with NVIDIA discrete GPUs, allowing them to work together. The company claims that the new technology lowers power consumption and improves performance.
NVIDIA’s announcement of Hybrid SLI also indicates a major shift in the company’s chipset-feature policy. NVIDIA chipsets with integrated graphics processors (IGP) have traditionally been available only in the lower segment of the market. NVIDIA now decided that all of its new chipsets, low and high-end alike, will come with IGP.
Of course most core logic includes an integrated graphics processor, albeit disabled.
Two fundamental components make up Hybrid SLI: HybridPower and GeForce Boost. HybridPower, as the name indicates, is the power-consumption reducing aspect of the technology. It allows for systems to completely turn off discrete graphics cards when their high-functionality is not needed. Instead, the chipset’s integrated graphics takes over.
In order to use Hybrid power, the system must include an NVIDIA IGP and a discrete NVIDIA video card. Under HybridPower, users connect their display to the motherboards graphics outputs. When users require the use of their discrete GPU, the frame buffer contents for the discrete graphics cards are copied over to the integrated graphics processor’s frame buffer. NVIDIA asserts that the second generation PCI specification provides enough bandwidth.
Latency is considered a "non-issue," claims NVIDIA spokesman.
GeForce Boost combines the power of the IGP -- which NVIDIA calls the mGPU) and the discrete GPU (dGPU) to improve performance. NVDIA told the press that this technology is meant for low-end or mid-range PCs. In fact, the company states that this feature could be detrimental to the performance of high-end PCs.
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI is currently a Windows Vista exclusive.
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology will be incorporated into a wide variety of graphics and motherboard desktop and notebook products that the Company is rolling out for both AMD and Intel desktop and notebook computing platforms throughout 2008.
In addition to announcing hybrid SLI, NVIDIA also announced its new nForce 780a chipset. Naturally, one of the newest features is Hybrid SLI support. In addition, all chipset versions now have embedded GPUs. Currently, the nForce 780a is being launched for AMD processors.
The new chipset supports AMD’s newest HyperTransport 3 link interconnect, and offers 32 PCI Express lanes via an NVIDIA nForce 200 chip.
The nForce 200 comes with a couple of notable features. One of them is a Posted Write Shortcut, which NVIDIA says allows data from one graphics card to be passed directly to other graphics cards without having the data to be sent back through the CPU. The feature is said to improve SLI scaling performance.
As can be expected, the chipset is also ESA certified and supports 3-way SLI.
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1/9/2008 2:38:11 AM
This is clearly a decision mainly targeted at the AMD fusion project, which id successful, would accomplish just this (especially the power-saving function).
Hopefully for AMD there are unforseen, or at least less obvious benefits to GPU on die configurations.
Good move for Nvidia though
1/9/2008 7:23:39 AM
AMD have Fusion, Intel are looking into real time ray tracing, where is this going to leave nVidia when heterogeneous multicore takes off? Getting into bed with Via?
1/10/2008 2:49:19 PM
NVIDIA won't be hurting. They have their own assembly language for their chips. It's how any ForceWare driver can be forced to work with any NVIDIA GPU and still "work".
If software is compiled with a GPGPU aware compiler, any PC with a cheap CPU can get a big boost by just adding an NVIDIA based graphics card. I read an article about this a couple of years ago. They've been building towards this strategy for a while now. Imagine if a cheap-o PC can perform better at lots of computations making it considerably faster, just if it was made with an NVIDIA IGP motherboard?
So, having the right compiler and getting new software using it is the big deal.
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