Imagination hints at big deals in near, far future
Imagination Technologies outlined some plans for its far and near futures after Electronista stopped by its Mobile World Congress booth on Monday. The PowerVR developer showed a demo of a real-time raytracing graphics engine, where an app calculates the paths of individual light beams in a scene, that it expects to reach mobile devices. As shown in a demo running on a Mac, it could use surface properties rather than unchanging textures to generate the chrome effect on a car, even reflecting another car which in turn had a reflection of the sky.
NVIDIA drops proprietary lock on CUDA tech
NVIDIA took a major step towards spurring growth of its CUDA general-purpose code technology for video cards on Tuesday by posting the CUDA source code. Developers and education now have access to a variant on the LLVM compiler that will let them add new processor types and languages. The extension could see CUDA run on AMD's Radeon hardware, Intel's integrated graphics, and even use relatively old code like Fortran.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M ramps up notebook video
NVIDIA overnight quietly brought out its first 500-series GeForce notebook graphics. The GeForce GT 540M like the GTX 580 is primarily a clock speed increase with an increase in its main and effects core clock speeds to 672MHz and 1.34GHz each. It shares the GeForce GT 435M's 96 cores and 128-bit memory bandwidth.
AMD Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 official
AMD tonight kicked off the launch of a new graphics core generation by launching the Radeon HD 6850 and 6870. The designs are roughly on par with the performance of the outgoing 5850 but, through a new architecture, are considerably cheaper at $179 (6850) and $239 (6870) while still being more power efficient, particularly at idle. The chip designer claims a performance edge of as much as 30 percent over the GeForce GTX 460; the move has already forced NVIDIA to drop the GTX 460's average price to $199 to compete.
Microsoft wants to patent GPU video encoding
A US patent filing published today has raised concerns as it could give Microsoft control of hardware-accelerated video encoding. A continuance of an application for "accelerated video encoding using a graphics processing unit" would cover the common technique of calculating motion for video processing with the video chipset in a computer rather than the regular, usually slower main CPU. Its techniques are broad and cover tricks like turning each frame into macroblocks to process them in parallel.
NVIDIA CUDA to run natively on x86 chips
NVIDIA chief Jen-Hsun Huang today at its GPU Technology Conference said his company would bring its CUDA general-purpose computing language directly to x86 chips. The approach developed with the Portland Group will let systems without NVIDIA cards handle the code. It will work best with multi-core processors and is seen as ideal for servers.
GeForce GTX 480 and 470 finally official
NVIDIA at PAX East tonight finally released the first video chipsets based on its Fermi architecture. The top-end GeForce GTX 480 leads the group and is billed as the "fastest GPU in the world:" it has 480 visual processing cores, 16 geometry units and four raster units that combined should beat the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series in real-world tests. It also has major optimizations to multi-card SLI that produce a 90 percent speed boost with a second card, making the case for multiple GeForce 400 series cards in high-end systems.
ATI fills out Radeon HD 5000 with efficient card
AMD this morning launched its second new video chipset in just a matter of days and this time targeted a comparatively untapped mini PC category. The Radeon HD 5570 is a major step up in performance from the 5450 with 400 stream processors versus 80 but still occupies a single card slot and is relatively short, making it ideal for small form factor cases where even the 5600 series would be too large or use too much power.
NVIDIA Fermi with Snow Leopard in mind
The just-unveiled Fermi graphics architecture will find its way into Macs and play an important role in Mac OS X Snow Leopard, NVIDIA chief scientist Bill Dally said today. While it's expected that NVIDIA would continue to play an important part of future Macs, the researcher drew a particular connection between the new GPU design and Apple's new OS, expecting that it would provide a significant boost for those apps that implement OpenCL. Windows 7 will also get support through DirectX 11 and DirectCompute.