* Nvidia announces new chip architecture
* Focuses further on servers and mobile computing
By Ian Sherr and Clare Baldwin
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 30 Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O)
said it will ship its new chip architecture in the next few
months, strengthening its position in computer processing while
promising improved graphics performance across its chip
The company, which made its name selling specialty computer
graphics chips designed for gaming, on Wednesday demonstrated a
new chip architecture code-named "Fermi," which Nvidia's Chief
Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said will roll out in the next few
months across the company's GeForce, Quadro and Tesla graphics
"It's a brand new architecture which is designed to be a
computer first," Huang said at a computer developer conference
in San Jose.
Fermi's list of features include support for more
programming languages such as Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Visual
Studio and the C++ programming language, and an eight-fold
increase in so-called "peak double precision arithmetic," which
the company said is critical for applications such as linear
algebra, numerical simulation, and quantum chemistry.
"We call it a supercomputer with the soul of a GPU
(Graphics Processing Unit)," Huang said, adding that the new
chip architecture will perform both graphics and computer
processes equally, while delivering still better performance.
Over the past few years, Nvidia has shifted its emphasis
from desktop graphics to high-end servers and supercomputers
with the release of its Tesla chips, and to low-end markets
like netbooks, and mobile devices like Microsoft's new Zune HD
"We have 100 percent share of a $10 million business,"
Huang said of the company's Tesla chips, which he said netted
the company $10 million in the last quarter.
He added that he sees "GPU-computing" as a new
multibillion-dollar business opportunity in the next few years.
"The PC has matured," Huang said of his core business
market. "All of the interesting stuff is in the cloud (servers)
or in little devices."
He added, "Hopefully we can create a brand new market of
multiple billions of users of computing devices spread out all
over the globe, all over the Internet."
(Editing by Lincoln Feast)