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SLI for low power instead of high performance

Laptop Logic has scored some insider information on the one of the projects brewing in NVIDIA's secret labs. According to sources close to the company, NVIDIA is working on a new kind of SLI technology for notebook designs. Instead of pairing two identical GPUs for increased performance, NVIDIA is going for a pairing of integrated and discrete GPUs for a balance of power and performance.

The concept of pairing up a low-power integrated GPU with a high-power discrete GPU is nothing new. Sony has already treaded through these waters with its VAIO SZ lineup which features Intel GMA950 and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 GPUs. This setup requires an external switch to make the transition and also requires a system reboot. NVIDIA's "SLI Power" on the other hand will be done through a combination of hardware and software, but will not require a reboot of the machine to take place.

Considering the complexities involved with Windows XP graphics drivers and the additional level of complication added by Vista's new Windows Driver Display Model (WDDM), NVIDIA surely has its work cut out in making the transition a smooth one. There's no telling how much such a feature would add to the cost of a notebook, but it probably won't come cheap.

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By UNCjigga on 7/20/2006 11:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
None! Seriously, what does Nvidia plan to do with the "added" horsepower of a GMA950?? :)

I may be reading into the article wrong, but here's how I understand it: Intel has significant market power and a lot of clout with manufacturers. They've been very successful in convincing notebook makers to include GMA950 integrated graphics and not even offer a discrete option. There are cases (think IBM T-series) where previous models came with discrete ATI or Nvidia graphics and now the only option is Intel. This trend will only get stronger once Intel starts shipping their DX10 part with the upcoming Merom platform.

I think what Nvidia is doing is creating a new "SLI"-type technology where a GeForce Go part can work in tandem with GMA X3000 and offload certain processing tasks. I wouldn't expect this technology to be ready before Merom/X3000 ship, and it might be Vista-only.

By rrsurfer1 on 7/20/2006 12:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all. What they said they are doing is using a low-power integrated solution along with a high-power gaming chip. If you want long battery life, you "enable" the lower-power chip, if you want great performance, you use the gaming chip. It's really not SLI in the traditional sense, and actually the name doesn't fit the marketing well, since your not using both GPUs at once.

By Garreye on 7/20/2006 1:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with this. I'm sure they'll come up with another name for this rather than SLI and it will probably be big on the "there's TWO GPUs." After a while they might even have this technology along with regular SLI or quad SLI for laptops, so you can turn on the SLI GPUS to play games on high quality if needed or use the integrated graphics processor otherwise for long battery life. After that you'll need to have another GPU for physics in your laptop too, so everyone start saving your money...

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