On Thursday, AMD demonstrated graphics chip technology that the company says approaches the arc and clarity seen by the human eye.
Eyefinity is a multi-display technology that will be part of future Radeon graphics chips designed to use up to six connected high-definition displays that can achieve "up to 12 times 1080p high-definition resolution, which approaches eye-definition optical clarity," the company said in a statement.
The goal is to create virtual environments so detailed that they seem optically real to the human eye. In a single PC, this yields a resolution of 268 megapixels, roughly equivalent to the … Read more
I spent Tuesday at Nvidia headquarters, attending the company's annual Analyst Day.
I've been to most of Nvidia's analyst events over the last decade or so, since I covered Nvidia almost from its inception while working as the graphics analyst at Microprocessor Report. These meetings are always a good way to get an update on the company's business operations, and sometimes--like this time--one provides exceptionally good insight into larger industry trends.
Nvidia has had a rough couple of quarters in the market, which CEO Jen-Hsun Huang blamed in part on a bad strategic call in early 2008: to place orders for large quantities of new chips to be delivered later in the year. When the recession hit, these orders turned into about six months of inventory, much of which simply couldn't be sold at the usual markup.
In response, Nvidia CFO David White outlined measures the company plans to take to increase revenue, sell a more valuable mix of products, reduce the cost of goods sold, and cut back on Nvidia's operating expenses.
Three things stood out for me in this presentation:
Nvidia is planning an aggressive transition to state-of-the-art ASIC fabrication technology at TSMC, the company's manufacturing partner. Within "two to three quarters," White said, about two-thirds of the chips Nvidia sells will be made using 40-nanometer process technology. (The first of these chips were announced Tuesday.)
White also acknowledged something that I've long assumed to be true: Nvidia receives "preferential allocation" on advanced process technology at TSMC. It's logical that Nvidia should get the red-carpet treatment, having been TSMC's best customer for many years, but I don't recall hearing Nvidia or TSMC put this fact on the record before.
The third notable point from White's presentation: the gross margins for Nvidia's Tegra, an ARM-based application processor--which Nvidia's Mike Rayfield, general manager of the Tegra division, says has already garnered 42 design wins at 27 companies--are much higher than I'd have guessed--at "over 45 percent." That's quite excellent for an ARM-based SoC; it's a very competitive market.
More surprises The technical sessions at the event contained their own surprises.
For example, Nvidia effectively seized control of an old Intel marketing buzzword: "balanced."
For years, Intel used to talk about… Read more
With a new 40-nanometer manufacturing process behind it, AMD announced the ATI Radeon HD 4770 3D graphics chip this morning. Available now on 3D cards starting at $109 (before a $10 online rebate), the Radeon HD 4770 is the first 3D chip built on the 40-nanometer process, which allows for faster, more power-efficient hardware than AMD's previous 55nm chips.
The various enthusiast review sites found the 512MB Radeon HD 4770 fast enough to play most current games at lower resolutions and image quality settings. Think 1,680 x 1,050 or lower and with little-to-no anti-aliasing. The Radeon HD … Read more
Advanced Micro Devices worries that lingering issues--both real and speculative--with Apple MacBooks are giving laptop graphics a black eye.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Stan Ossias, director of marketing, mobile graphics, at AMD, began by asserting that my March 11 post "overstated" the case about heat and the instability of graphics processors in laptops and that some readers may interpret heat issues too broadly.
"In the case of Apple's product, I don't know what happened with Nvidia's GPU but we'd like to avoid having the negative aspects taint the entire industry," he … Read more
It's time for an update to the tiny GPUs that let your laptop watch HD videos and play World of Warcraft. AMD is looking to snag a bigger slice of the mobile graphics pie with a new series of ATI Mobility Radeon chips, called the HD4000 series. They offer Microsoft DirectX 10.1 support and the highest-end versions support GDDR5 memory.
Those break down into four categories, which are (with AMD's description of each):
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4800 Series: For gaming enthusiasts >Amazing Graphics Horsepower for extreme HD Gamers >World's most powerful mobile GPU, breaks the TeraFlops barrier >World's First Mobile GPU supporting GDDR5 memory
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4600 Series: Optimized for high-performance thin systems >Multimedia Powerhouse delivering intense HD Entertainment >Redefine HD Gaming for Performance Thin Notebooks >Phenomenal Performance Per Watt
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4300 and 4500 Series: HD performance for mainstream systems plus Low-power for thin and light laptops >Optimal design and power for Ultra-Thin Notebooks >Spectacular full HD 1080p video and audio support >Breakthrough Energy Efficiency for Long Battery Life… Read more
Advanced Micro Devices' new graphics chips are taking market share from Nvidia, a report issued Wednesday confirmed.
"AMD has by all accounts exceeded expectations with its Radeon HD 4000 series," according to report issued by market researcher Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
Aggressive pricing by AMD's ATI graphics unit made the difference, bringing down prices on add-in graphics boards. "Priced aggressively yet delivering solid performance, AMD's new line not only took back some market share--jumping up to 40 percent from 35 percent the quarter prior--it forced Nvidia (and partners) to cut prices on its recently released … Read more