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View Full Version : [OFFICIAL] - Nvidia unveils 'Denver,' its first CPU for PCs


Heinz68
01-06-11, 09:14 AM
IDG News Service - Nvidia is developing new CPU cores based on the Arm architecture for PCs and servers that will be able to run Microsoft's upcoming Windows OS, the company said on Wednesday.

The series of CPU cores, which is code-named Denver, will be based on a future Arm architecture and give Nvidia a presence in new markets, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said during a press conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The announcement of new CPU cores came on the same day that Microsoft announced it is developing a future version of its Windows OS for the Arm architecture. The new Denver chips will support the upcoming Arm-based Windows OS, said Ken Brown, an Nvidia spokesman.

Microsoft's Windows OS, which is used on most of the world's PCs, currently works only on x86 chipsets from companies such as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. An Arm version of Windows could provide users an option to buy Arm-based systems as an alternative to x86 products. Read more at computerworld.com (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9203538/Nvidia_unveils_Denver_its_first_CPU_for_PCs)

Now I know what is my next upgrade. :)

Edit
engadget.com (http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/05/nvidia-announces-project-denver-arm-cpu-for-the-desktop/) also has as article about the announcement and it includes Nvidia official press release

Q
01-06-11, 09:29 AM
I find it hard to believe that they are designing an ARM processor for PCs and Servers. Even if it competitive from a processing and power efficiency standpoint, you're going to need a completely separate set of binaries for every program. A program that runs on x86 Windows isn't going to run on ARM Windows.

Having Windows 8 run on ARM is a good idea for Microsoft since it gets them in the tablet game. Which is where I would think NVIDIA would be headed - mobile. I just can't believe they would get into the PC/Server space so incredibly late in the game. The PC market is a dead end. In 10 years, only the people on this forum will own PCs. And I don't think that game companies are going to be making high end ARM compatible games.

Maybe they know something I don't.

Edit:
Oh... wow. Support for existing x86 applications. I'm guessing that the whole "virtualization" push Windows 8 might mean that the base hardware doesn't matter as much.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/jan11/01-05SOCsupport.mspx

Ninja Prime
01-06-11, 10:45 AM
I doubt it will be competitive with Intel. If I had to guess its more of a tablet/phone/embedded thing, they are just trying to make it seem more than it is.

Intel17
01-06-11, 12:05 PM
I doubt it will be competitive with Intel. If I had to guess its more of a tablet/phone/embedded thing, they are just trying to make it seem more than it is.

Of course. It's all a bunch of hype BS.

Ninja Prime
02-08-11, 01:44 AM
I found this interesting:

http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/111/1

Relevent portion: And historically, NVIDIA's HPC chips have always doubled up as ultra-high-end gaming chips - so might NVIDIA try to attack the desktop CPU market at the same time and with the same chip? No, because Windows 8 for ARM won't be able to run all existing x86 software (it won't have an emulation layer as per Microsoft's own admission), so all existing PC games won't work - that's not exactly a great selling point for an ultra-high-end gaming rig.

Like I said before, not a desktop chip. Not even a laptop/netbook chip. Maybe a smartphone or other special device chip, like a tablet.

Lyme
02-10-11, 12:47 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if Denver became a desktop chip sometime down the line. With MS re-aligning their OS to scale downwards so they don't miss out on the phone/tablet/netbook era, the side effect is that it will enable other architectures such as ARM to scale up into the desktop space. Of course this really will put a lot of pressure on the .net/wpf/silverlight architecture, and only time will tell how that pans out.

Ninja Prime
02-10-11, 05:04 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if Denver became a desktop chip sometime down the line. With MS re-aligning their OS to scale downwards so they don't miss out on the phone/tablet/netbook era, the side effect is that it will enable other architectures such as ARM to scale up into the desktop space. Of course this really will put a lot of pressure on the .net/wpf/silverlight architecture, and only time will tell how that pans out.

Did you read the article I posted though? The problem is, theres really no way they can be backwards compatible with the software of the past. They can emulate and become BC, but in order to be fast enough they will need to be several times faster than the chips they are emulating, which is very far off.

Lyme
02-10-11, 08:43 PM
Did you read the article I posted though? The problem is, theres really no way they can be backwards compatible with the software of the past. They can emulate and become BC, but in order to be fast enough they will need to be several times faster than the chips they are emulating, which is very far off.

Yep, read the whole thing. My point is that for the most part, very few people need backward compatibility. Heck other than video games, every thing that I run (MS Office, email, web browser, irc, jabber, etc) is either very easily portable or is .net (of which the byte code is multi-platform already).

BC is very over rated.

Ninja Prime
02-11-11, 02:07 AM
Yep, read the whole thing. My point is that for the most part, very few people need backward compatibility. Heck other than video games, every thing that I run (MS Office, email, web browser, irc, jabber, etc) is either very easily portable or is .net (of which the byte code is multi-platform already).

BC is very over rated.

High end gaming PC that isnt BC with all your old games? You think that will fly with the PC gaming market?

Lyme
02-11-11, 01:55 PM
High end gaming PC that isnt BC with all your old games? You think that will fly with the PC gaming market?

Consider other gaming markets that have arisen simply because there is decent hardware at a decent price such as those for phones like the iphone, android, wp7, then there are the other markets like game consoles, etc..

So yes, I understand your position that the first while will be hard getting into the field, but with likely compatibility out of the box with wp7 apps and windows 8 betting heavily on a new application format http://www.i-programmer.info/news/89-net/1807-jupiter-the-way-programs-will-be-built-for-windows-8.html and as such take-up should be pretty easy.

But back to Backwards compatibility. Having used computers for a very long time, I think BC is synonymous with bloat, and I'd like the bloat gone.

Heinz68
03-09-11, 06:08 PM
nVidia Reveals 64-bit "Project Denver" CPU Silicon Die!?
3/9/2011

During his introduction speech at Financial Analyst Day 2011, Jen-Hsun Huang revealed an interesting slide to the semiconductor analysts - silicon die of nVidia's first CPU. Without further a due, picture below shows what nVidia presented as Project Denver 64-bit CPU core:

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/4342/nvdaprojectdenverdie689.jpg (http://img708.imageshack.us/i/nvdaprojectdenverdie689.jpg/)


As expected, no die size or manufacturing process were disclosed - given that there is are a lot of features subject to change - thus take this slide with a grain of salt. In order to help you understand the information shown on diagram, we're including links to sites that explain the functionality of particular units:

Read more at BSN (http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/3/9/nvidia-reveals-64-bit-project-denver-cpu-silicon-die.aspx)

Rakeesh
03-09-11, 07:03 PM
I find it hard to believe that they are designing an ARM processor for PCs and Servers. Even if it competitive from a processing and power efficiency standpoint, you're going to need a completely separate set of binaries for every program. A program that runs on x86 Windows isn't going to run on ARM Windows.

Windows executable (.exe) files are called PE files, which stands for Portable Executable. The reason it's called a portable executable is because it can contain multiple programs, and each program can be for a different architecture or operating system. Remember back in the windows 9x days when you had a program that was designed for windows, and if you ran it in dos mode it would just return "this program cannot be run in dos mode"?

That's because there are two programs in there. One program is just a stub that displays that message and quits. The other one when ran in windows was your application. If you recall scandisk was able to run both in windows and dos - again it had two different programs in the same executable.

Likewise, you can have both an ARM binary and an x86 binary in the same PE file.

As far as creating ARM/x86 binaries in the future, that should be pretty simple for the developer, just tell the compiler to build in both architectures - no extra code is necessary unless you are coding in assembly.

Having Windows 8 run on ARM is a good idea for Microsoft since it gets them in the tablet game. Which is where I would think NVIDIA would be headed - mobile. I just can't believe they would get into the PC/Server space so incredibly late in the game. The PC market is a dead end. In 10 years, only the people on this forum will own PCs. And I don't think that game companies are going to be making high end ARM compatible games.

When laptops first started becoming mainstream back in the early 90's, it was pretty widely believed that they would one day replace desktops entirely. They aren't anywhere close to doing that.

Lyme
03-09-11, 08:37 PM
Interesting, I didn't think ARM had a official 64bit architecture.

Ninja Prime
03-09-11, 09:07 PM
Interesting, I didn't think ARM had a official 64bit architecture.

They don't. Analysis seems to point to that being a photochop mock-up made from fermi die shot parts...

Roadhog
03-09-11, 09:56 PM
Too bad the die shots are fake. Instead of wood screws we get photoshop this time. hahah

http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/1112/youhavebeentrolled.jpg

They drew some lines on a fermi core.

Ninja Prime
03-16-11, 08:39 PM
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/atom-cpu-microserver-intel-servers,12395.html

Pretty much shuts down ARM-server use. Atom is faster, and compatible with all current server software, not much reason to go with ARM for servers now.

Lyme
03-16-11, 10:34 PM
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/atom-cpu-microserver-intel-servers,12395.html

Pretty much shuts down ARM-server use. Atom is faster, and compatible with all current server software, not much reason to go with ARM for servers now.

Not so, the greatest benefit to ARM is that it can fit into a smaller power envelope than even the atom can dream of. Intel has generally always had the performance crown, but doesn't do so well on power efficency and very low power.