Slashdot It! How real can the frog look like Indeed, a new breed of consumer-oriented graphics chips have roughly the brute computing processing power of the world’s fastest computing system of just seven years ago. And the latest advance came Wednesday when the Nvidia Corporation introduced its next-generation processor, capable of more than three trillion mathematical operations per second. In recent years, the lead has switched quickly with each new family of chips, and for the moment the new chip, the GeForce 8800, appears to give the performance advantage to Nvidia.
On Wednesday, the company said its processors would be priced at $599 and $449, sold as add-ins for use by video game enthusiasts and for computer users with advanced graphics applications.
Yet both companies have said that the line between such chips and conventional microprocessors is beginning to blur. For example, the new Nvidia chip will handle physics computations that are performed by Sony’s Cell microprocessor in the company’s forthcoming PlayStation 3 console.
The new Nvidia chip will have 128 processors intended for specific functions, including displaying high-resolution video.
And the next generation of the 8800, scheduled to arrive in about a year, will have “double precision” mathematical capabilities that will make it a more direct competitor to today’s supercomputers for many applications.The chips made by Nvidia and ATI are shaking up the computing industry and causing a level of excitement among computer designers, who in recent years have complained that the industry seemed to have run out of new ideas for gaining computing speed. ATI and Advanced Micro Devices have said they are working on a chip, likely to emerge in 2008, that would combine the functions of conventional microprocessors and graphics processors. To underscore its new ability to mimic reality, Nvidia on Wednesday showed off the 8800 chip with a virtual reality simulation of the model and actress Adrianne Curry.
The company staged the demonstration in a 200-yard-long tent it had set up here for a large gathering of PC gamers who were invited to preview the company’s technology.
A second demonstration showed an interactive and photorealistic frog that could be stretched and slapped by an interactive video hand.