Join Date: Mar 2003
Re: Would you like to ask Nvidia a question?
Latest Questions answered. Due to the forum downtime. We wont be submitting anymore till next week. But we got a reply from jen-hsun.
Q: With AMD's acquisition of ATI and Intel becoming more involved in graphics, what will NVIDIA do to remain competitive in the years to come?
Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and founder of NVIDIA: The central question is whether computer graphics is maturing or entering a period of rapid innovation. If you believe computer graphics is maturing, then slowing investment and “integration” is the right strategy. But if you believe graphics can still experience revolutionary advancement, then innovation and specialization is the best strategy.
We believe we are in the midst of a giant leap in computer graphics, and that the GPU will revolutionize computing by making parallel computing mainstream. This is the time to innovate, not integrate.
The last discontinuity in our field occurred eight years ago with the introduction of programmable shading and led to the transformation of the GPU from a fixed-pipeline ASIC to a programmable processor. This required GPU design methodology to include the best of general-purpose processors and special-purpose accelerators. Graphics drivers added the complexity of shader compilers for Cg, HLSL, and GLSL shading languages.
We are now in the midst of a major discontinuity that started three years ago with the introduction of CUDA. We call this the era of GPU computing. We will advance graphics beyond “programmable shading” to add even more artistic flexibility and ever more power to simulate photo-realistic worlds. Combining highly specialize graphics pipelines, programmable shading, and GPU computing, “computational graphics” will make possible stunning new looks with ray tracing, global illumination, and other computational techniques that look incredible. “Computational graphics" requires the GPU to have two personalities – one that is highly specialized for graphics, and the other a completely general purpose parallel processor with massive computational power.
While the parallel processing architecture can simulate light rays and photons, it is also great at physics simulation. Our vision is to enable games that can simulate the interaction between game characters and the physical world, and then render the images with film-like realism. This is surely in the future since films like Harry Potter and Transformers already use GPUs to simulate many of the special effects. Games will once again be surprising and magical, in a way that is simply not possible with pre-canned art.
To enable game developers to create the next generation of amazing games, we’ve created compilers for CUDA, OpenCL, and DirectCompute so that developers can choose any GPU computing approach. We’ve created a tool platform called Nexus, which integrates into Visual Studio and is the world’s first unified programming environment for a heterogeneous computing architecture with the CPU and GPU in a “co-processing” configuration. And we’ve encapsulated our algorithm expertise into engines, such as the Optix ray-tracing engine and the PhysX physics engine, so that developers can easily integrate these capabilities into their applications. And finally, we have a team of 300 world class graphics and parallel computing experts in our Content Technology whose passion is to inspire and collaborate with developers to make their games and applications better.
Some have argued that diversifying from visual computing is a growth strategy. I happen to believe that focusing on the right thing is the best growth strategy.
NVIDIA’s growth strategy is simple and singular: be the absolute best in the world in visual computing – to expand the reach of GPUs to transform our computing experience. We believe that the GPU will be incorporated into all kinds of computing platforms beyond PCs. By focusing our significant R&D budget to advance visual computing, we are creating breakthrough solutions to address some of the most important challenges in computing today. We build Geforce for gamers and enthusiasts; Quadro for digital designers and artists; Tesla for researchers and engineers needing supercomputing performance; and Tegra for mobile user who want a great computing experience anywhere. A simple view of our business is that we build Geforce for PCs, Quadro for workstations, Tesla for servers and cloud computing, and Tegra for mobile devices. Each of these target different users, and thus each require a very different solution, but all are visual computing focused.
For all of the gamers, there should be no doubt: You can count on the thousands of visual computing engineers at NVIDIA to create the absolute graphics technology for you. Because of their passion, focus, and craftsmanship, the NVIDIA GPU will be state-of-the-art and exquisitely engineered. And you should be delighted to know that the GPU, a technology that was created for you, is also able to help discover new sources of clean energy and help detect cancer early, or to just make your computer interaction lively. It surely gives me great joy to know what started out as “the essential gear of gamers for universal domination” is now off to really save the world.
Keep in touch.
Q: How do you expect PhysX to compete in a DirectX 11/OpenCL world? Will PhysX become open-source?
Tom Petersen, Director of Technical Marketing: NVIDIA supports and encourages any technology that enables our customers to more fully experience the benefits of our GPUs. This applies to things like CUDA, DirectCompute and OpenCL—APIs where NVIDIA has been an early proponent of the technology and contributed to the specification development. If someday a GPU physics infrastructure evolves that takes advantage of those or even a newer API, we will support it.
For now, the only working solution for GPU accelerated physics is PhysX. NVIDIA works hard to make sure this technology delivers compelling benefits to our users. Our investments right now are focused on making those effects more compelling and easier to use in games. But the APIs that we do that on is not the most important part of the story to developers, who are mostly concerned with features, cost, cross-platform capabilities, toolsets, debuggers and generally anything that helps complete their development cycles.
Q: How is NVIDIA approaching the tessellation requirements for DX11 as none of the previous and current generation cards have any hardware specific to this technology?
Jason Paul, Product Manager, GeForce: Fermi has dedicated hardware for tessellation (sorry Rys :-P). We’ll share more details when we introduce Fermi’s graphics architecture shortly!
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