Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Nov 2009 21:29 UTC
3D News, GL, DirectX Over the past few years, there have been persistent rumours that NVIDIA, the graphics chip maker, was working on an x86 chip to compete with Intel and AMD. Recently, these rumours gained some traction, but NVIDIA's CEO just shot them down, and denied the company will enter the x86 processor market.
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x86 compatiblity?
by slashdev on Mon 9th Nov 2009 22:04 UTC
slashdev
Member since:
2006-05-14

I am sure Nvidia would never get into the CPU market. There isnt any room, they'd have to license a socket,or release Motherboard/CPU combos (VIA has done both), etc.

An interesting question to ask Nvidia would be if their GPUs will become x86 compatible. That would go a long way to helping ease parallel computing development. I would love to hear that they are using some code morphing technology to make this a reality.

AMD recently released an openCL driver that runs on x86 processors. This allows any OpenCL code to run across GPU's and CPUs. An x86 driver for a GPU would be a game changer.

Reply Score: 2

RE: x86 compatiblity?
by geleto on Mon 9th Nov 2009 22:50 in reply to "x86 compatiblity?"
geleto Member since:
2005-07-06

An interesting question to ask Nvidia would be if their GPUs will become x86 compatible. That would go a long way to helping ease parallel computing development...

That's not going to happen. In GPUs if you have for instance a 16-wide SIMD unit - it will execute 16 identical scalar programs at the same time, with identical program flow, but operating on different data. There can be hundreds of these units and the programmer treats them just as if they are a single scalar unit. This does not map to x86 very well. Even Larrabee which Intel touts as x86 based does the heavy computing with such SIMD units that have little in common with x86.

AMD recently released an openCL driver that runs on x86 processors. This allows any OpenCL code to run across GPU's and CPUs.

Running GPU code on CPUs is nothing new. OpenGL has always had software(CPU) implementations. And they were always painfully slow - the kind of code that can run on a GPU, should run on a GPU.

The fusion of GPU and CPU will not happen anytime soon, but NVidia will have a very hard time to compete with the upcoming integrated GPU+CPU chips in the mass x86 market. They will be competitive in the hi-end gaming, CAD and scientific niche markets.

Edited 2009-11-09 22:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: x86 compatiblity?
by talaf on Mon 9th Nov 2009 23:27 in reply to "x86 compatiblity?"
talaf Member since:
2008-11-19

GPU code "running" on CPU exists since the dawn of time. For the GPU->x86 part, this just won't or can't happen. The architectures are just way too different.

I'm not sure about the "all integrated" vision of the future. It could be okay for laptops (which are pretty much in that situation anyway) and low end desktops, but what's the real point on mid-to-top end desktops? The price will prolly be the same, the performance will most likely be worse, it will generate new issues on heat dissipation and the like, and if not it would probably be because they cheaped the thing off (hence worse perfs).

This will just not cut it. The Nvidia plan, making every soft and their mother cuda-enabled, could be a way more "intelligent" business plan. I know I wouldn't take anything other than nvidia now for both linux integration and overall good drivers on every platform, AND cuda (also on every platform).

By the by, you also have to consider that seeing how the CPU/GPU market is a warfare, you can bet your ass Nvidia wouldn't announce anything of the like if they didn't back it off hours after with a strong RTM plan. Any such endeavor would be denied and kept under the radar to be thrown in the faces of AMD and Intel without warning. And since they have already good results, they don't need it to keep shareholders on their toes.

Reply Parent Score: 2