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Graphics Upgrades Virtualization Hardware Technology

NVIDIA CEO Unveils Volta Graphics, Tegra Roadmap, GRID VCA Virtualized Rendering 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-a-new-kitchen-sink-chip dept.
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang kicked off this year's GPU Technology Conference with his customary opening keynote. The focus of Jen-Hsun's presentation was on unveiling a new GPU core code named 'Volta' that will employ stacked DRAM for over 1TB/s of memory bandwidth, as well as updates to NVIDIA's Tegra roadmap and a new remote rendering appliance called 'GRID VCA.' On the mobile side, Tegra's next generation 'Logan' architecture will feature a Kepler-based GPU and support CUDA 5 and OpenGL 4.3. Logan will offer up to 3X the compute performance of current solutions and be demoed later this year, with full production starting early next year. For big iron, NVIDIA's GRID VCA (Visual Computing Appliance) is a new 4U system based on NVIDIA GRID remote rendering technologies. The GRID hypervisor supports 16 virtual machines (1 per GPU) and each system will feature 8-Core Xeon CPUs, 192GB or 384GB of RAM, and 4 or 8 GRID boards, each with two Kepler-class GPUs, for up to 16 GPUs per system. Jen-Hsun demo'd a MacBook Pro remotely running a number of applications on GRID, like 3D StudioMax and Solidworks, which aren't even available for Mac OS X natively."
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NVIDIA CEO Unveils Volta Graphics, Tegra Roadmap, GRID VCA Virtualized Rendering

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  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @02:04AM (#43221155)

    Respectfully, I don't know why this was modded up. There's a lot of bad information in here.

    On the one hand, you're right that NVIDIA can't get into the x86 CPU market. Intel controls that lock and key. Though NVIDIA does have things to share (they have a lot of important graphics IP), but it wouldn't be enough to get Intel to part with an x86 license (NVIDIA has tried that before).

    However you're completely off base on the rest. Cost has nothing to do with why NVIDIA is out of the Intel chipset business. NVIDIA's chipset business was profitable to the very end. The problem was that on the Intel side of things NVIDIA only had a license for the AGTL+ front side bus, but not the newer DMI or QPI buses [arstechnica.com] that Intel started using with the Nehalem generation of CPUs. Without a license for those buses, NVIDIA couldn't make chipsets for newer Intel CPUs, and that effectively ended their chipset business (AMD's meager x86 sales were not enough to sustain a 3rd party business).

    NVIDIA and Intel actually went to court over that and more; Intel eventually settled by giving NVIDIA over a billion dollars. You are right though that there's not much to chipsets these days, and if NVIDIA was still in the business they likely would have exited it with Sandy Bridge.

    As for Stacked DRAM. That is very, very different from PoP RAM. PoP uses traditional BGA balls to connect DRAM to a controller [wikimedia.org], with the contacts for the RAM being along the outside rim of the organic substrate that holds the controller proper. Stacked DRAM uses through silicon vias: they're literally going straight down/up through layer of silicon to make the connection. The difference besides the massive gulf in manufacturing difficulty is that PoP doesn't lend itself to wide memory buses (you have all those solder balls and need space on the rim of the controller for them) while stacked DRAM will allow for wide memory buses since you can connect directly to the controller. The end result in both cases is that the RAM is on the same package as the controller, but their respective complexity and performance is massively different.

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