SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nvidia showed a glimpse of its road map for taking on Intel and AMD as well as its smartphone competitors at its annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC) here. It also showed its graphics chips are breaking out of the mold of media and technical processing to take on business apps.
Maxwell is the next big step on Nvidia’s road map, a graphics chip due in 2014 using virtual memory shared by the GPU and host CPU. The approach, likely implemented in Nvidia’s proprietary Cuda environment, is similar to what Advanced Micro Devices is enabling with its HSA group supported by ARM, Microsoft and others.
In 2015, Nvidia will pack a Maxwell core along with its first 64-bit ARM design into a sixth-generation Tegra chip called Parker. The device is the first of Nvidia’s Project Denver designs and will be made in a FinFET process, said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia’s chief executive in a keynote here.
Separately, Nvidia will sample Tegra5, aka Logan, this year, its first mobile processor to support its Cuda environment for general-purpose graphics. It also supports OpenGL 4.3 and will be in production in 2014.
The company also disclosed a 2015 graphics processor called Volta, its first to use stacked memory with through-silicon vias, similar to the Hyper Memory Cube defined by Micron and supported by a host of other chip makers.
Also at GTC, Nvidia is rolling out its Grid Enterprise initiative. It consists of a new layer of systems and software to provide business users virtualized access to apps running on Nvidia graphics processors.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang presents the company's latest roadmap at the GPU Technology Conference Tuesday.
Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM are among companies who will make Grid Enterprise servers and appliances for large and small businesses. Citrix, Microsoft and VMWare are among those making the software.
The move is a small step toward greater head-to-head competition between the graphics chip maker and the x86 giant. In the background, Nvidia is still developing its Project Denver a suit of ARM-based SoCs intended to enable a full range of systems from notebooks to supercomputers.
Nvidia will pave the way for such chips this week, announcing its Cuda software for general-purpose graphics (GPGPUs) computing is now running on ARM processors. At least one supercomputer developer will talk about using Cuda on ARM at GTC.