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Mobile Question and Answer Session with NVIDIA - Page 1 Of 1

INTRODUCTION

We recently were given an opportunity to send in a list of questions to NVIDIA's Diane Vanasse, Public Relations Manager for Mobile Products. NVIDIA has made major strides since they entered the mobile market and they continue to refine and improve their mobile offerings. I hope this question and answer session brings you up-to-date on NVIDIA's mobile technology.

Sharp Actius RD3D with GeForce4 440Go

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

MikeC:

What are the recent developments in NVIDIA mobile technology?

NVIDIA:

The latest NVIDIA mobile GPU family is the GeForce FX Go series which includes:

  • GeForce FX Go5600, the fastest mobile DX9 GPU shipping in volume today
  • GeForce FX Go5200, the only mainstream DX9 capable mobile GPU

Combined with NVIDIA’s fantastic graphics performance, beautiful video playback and solid software stability, reliability, and compatibility the GeForce FX Go family is changing the traditional notebook PC platform into a full-fledged mobile entertainment device.

MikeC:

What technologies are you developing to decrease power consumption?

NVIDIA:

NVIDIA designs every notebook GPU with NVIDIA PowerMizer technology to ensure notebook users get the longest battery life possible. PowerMizer, which is made up of a combination of software and hardware features, includes a variety of automatic and intelligent power management features that reduce the power used by the GPU, the LCD backlight, and the CPU. Battery saving features include:

  • Increasing clocks only when demanding applications are run
  • Leaving "off" most parts of the GPU unless they are being used
  • Designing GPUs to run at the industry’s lowest voltage to save power
  • Handling demanding video decode and geometry processing with efficient, dedicated hardware that uses one sixth of the power the CPU would use, improving both battery life and performance (see the attached graph for a good example of how PowerMizer affects overall system power consumption by offloading the CPU)
  • Intelligent control of the LCD backlight to automatically dim the screen when the system is idle in an almost imperceptible manner

Users want their notebooks to operate according to their personal priorities. A student playing a 3D game on an airplane may want to reduce the frame rate in order to play longer, or, architects running 3D design applications may want every bit of 3D performance to present a compelling walk-through of buildings they created, with little concern for battery life. PowerMizer 3.0 provides an intuitive user interface for power management settings that lets users choose maximum performance, maximum battery life, or a happy medium.

MikeC:

Are there any laptops out there for hardcore gamers?

NVIDIA:

Any notebook featuring GeForce FX Go5600 is an excellent gaming solution. Right now, most key notebook OEMS and high profile system builders are shipping performance notebooks with the GeForce FX Go5600. Some of these include: HP, Toshiba, Dell, Sony, and Alienware.

Toshiba Satellite P25 with GeForce FX Go5200

These systems come with high resolution UXGA displays and the GeForce FX Go5600 is powerful enough to deliver a satisfying experience. Even mainstream notebooks with GeForce FX Go5200 and an XGA display deliver a great gaming experience at the native resolution of the display.

MikeC:

Aren’t NVIDIA GPUs only found in high-end notebooks?

NVIDIA:

NVIDIA mobile solutions span a wide array of form-factors and functionality. These range from thin and light solutions for mainstream users, tablet PCs, media center notebooks, and mobile workstations for digital content creation and CAD applications.

MikeC:

What is the NVIDIA video processing engine? What does it allow you to do?

NVIDIA:

The latest NVIDIA video processing engine (VPE), VPE 2.0, offloads MPEG-2 decode operations from the CPU to the GPU. As a result, notebooks gain the longest possible battery life for DVD playback. Similar to the power savings for 3D applications, the VPE 2.0 sets a record low of 10% CPU utilization. By offloading the decoding from the CPU, the GPU allows the CPU to go into low-power idle state most of the time.

The efficiency of the GPU lets it stay at a low frequency and voltage, resulting in very low, overall system power consumption. The combined effect provides the highest-quality DVD playback with the industry’s lowest system-level power consumption, bar none. The VPE also accurately scales the video stream to use the whole display without introducing distracting artifacts.

NVIDIA's Media Center

MikeC:

How does media center fit into NVIDIA’s mobile strategy?

NVIDIA:

NVIDIA is a key technology partner of Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition initiative and the preferred hardware provider for the majority of OEMs and system builders shipping Media Center PCs today. In fact, all of the notebooks currently shipping with Microsoft MCE feature NVIDIA GeForce FX Go graphics processors. In fact, Microsoft has recognized that NVIDIA’s extended color support, video scaling, video encode and 3:2 pull-down for 24fps content the best solution for video.

MikeC:

Are the mobile drivers the same as the ones used for desktop systems?

NVIDIA:

Unified Driver Architecture (UDA) is NVIDIA's exclusive technology designed to lower customer support costs by adding support for all NVIDIA products in one driver binary. NVIDIA mobile systems require some special software enhancements to make OEM laptop specific features function properly, such as hot keys and hibernate. Yes, the new NVIDIA Detonator drivers which support our desktop products also work on our mobile products. However, our notebook partners need to implement the Detonator driver into their system specific driver in order to utilize the specific "Hot Keys" and power management features of the laptop.

MikeC:

What is NVIDIA's relationship with Intel? Centrino?

NVIDIA:

NVIDIA has a great relationship with Intel. We fully support Centrino, and are very excited about the opportunity to deliver great performance solutions with the power management and wireless capabilities which have become synonymous with Centrino based solutions. NVIDIA is also working very closely with Intel on all fronts to ensure that our products will be prepared for PCI Express adoption.

MikeC:

When do you see consumer upgradeable notebooks becoming standard?

NVIDIA:

That is really a question that you should ask the OEMs. When the OEMs are ready to support consumer upgradeable notebooks NVIDIA will be prepared to support that initiative.

MikeC:

How do you see the NVIDIA mobile business growing?

NVIDIA:

We have enjoyed tremendous success with our mobile products since entering the marketplace less than three years ago. With the GeForce4 Go product family NVIDIA achieved over 25% market share for discrete graphics. The GeForce FX Go5200 is the only mainstream mobile DX9 solution to deliver compelling graphics and unmatched software compatibility with the new generation of game titles.

Toshiba Satellite P25 with NVIDIA's Media Center

Between now and the end of the year we will see a ton more GeForceFX Go5200 design wins and with the GeForce FX Go5600 dominating the performance segment it looks like NVIDIA’s mobile momentum will turn into even greater market share in the near future. The market’s appetite for mobile devices is growing and we will continue to seize upon those opportunities as they present themselves. We have already announced an nForce3 Go mobile solution – and we will also continue to offer a variety of products which will be suitable for all the form factors and differing functionality's that consumers are looking for.

MikeC:

Who sells GeForce FX Go notebooks? Where can I buy one?

NVIDIA:

The following OEMs are shipping notebooks with GeForce FX Go: HP, Dell,, Toshiba, Sony, Acer, Apple, Alienware, Gericom, Samsung, Legend and Medion. Most of the leading ODMs [original design manufacturer] including Quanta, Compal, FIC, Uniwill, Mitac, ECS, Samsung, and Wistron are building notebooks including GeForce FX Go.

Mobile Battery Life with PowerMizer

This chart shows how PowerMizer allows a person to almost double the battery life when using a 3D application in the maximum battery mode. Automatic power saving methods for fixed workload applications like DVD playback and Powerpoint presentations are maximized at all times

CONCLUSION

We would like to thank Loren Schaffzin of NVIDIA Public Relations for hooking us up with Diane. Diane does a great job for NVIDIA and we will be working closely with her and Loren on bringing you more information on NVIDIA's mobile product line-up.

Back to nV News

Last Updated on October 17, 2003


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