Nvidia Quadro GPUs and SLI Multi-OS Software on the Way
Nvidia is planning to roll out a number of new Quadro graphics processing
units later in March, along with technology that will allow users to
run multiple, data-heavy applications more easily and energy-efficiently.
Originally planned for release March 25, Nvidia has delayed its "Power of 10" launch until March 30, when it plans to make official its latest generation of Quadro graphics solutions and new SLI Multi-OS (scalable link interface multiple operating systems).
"We're calling it -Power of 10' because 2009 is the 10-year anniversary of Quadro, and the new products will be based around tenth-generation architecture," explained Scott Fitzpatrick, product line manager, in an interview with eWEEK.
Fitzpatrick said the announcement will coincide with an announcement coming from Intel, whose new technologies will benefit users of Nvidia Quadro products as well.
(While Intel has not confirmed reports, the chip giant appears ready to release a new set of processors based on the Nehalem microarchitecture for server systems and workstations in late March.)
There will be three new additions to the Quadro NVS family-the 295, 420 and 450-for more general business applications, such as call centers, financial trading and digital signage.
Additions to the Quadro FX family will be:
- FX 380 and FX 580 for $99 and $149, respectively, for entry-level users;
- FX 1800 for midrange CAD and DCC users, for $599;
- FX 3800, at $899, for high-end MCAD users, digital effects and broadcast;
- FX 4800, at $1,799, for digital special effects and product styling; and
- FX 5800, at $3,299, for 4D seismic analysis and 4D medical imaging.
The new cards offer deeper, richer image quality by, in some cases, increasing
the number of color variations from millions to billions. One area where these
benefits are realized, said Fitzpatrick, is in ray tracing, a technique in
which images are mathematically generated to a near photo-realistic quality.
Fitzpatrick tells the story of how carmaker Bugatti used Quadro technology to create simulations of its new vehicles. It wanted to deepen the angle of a windshield, for greater aerodynamics; because the degree of detail in the application was so rich, the designers were able to determine that the reflection off the dashboard would increase, and consequently pursued less-reflective materials for the dashboard.
On March 30, Nvidia will also be introducing new software it's calling SLI Multi-OS.
Fitzpatrick said some professionals need to run multiple applications with large amounts of data and often will set up two computer systems, which creates "bad ergonomics, higher heat, higher noise, a higher TCO, more to manage and sucks more power off the grid."
An alternative to this is to run two operating systems, which solves some of those problems but "still isn't ideal for IT or the user." Nvidia's new solution, he explained, is SLI Multi-OS, in which the host and the guest are running on each application, with a Quadro GPU assigned to each.
"The user gets the benefit of lower heat, lower noise, and it's easier to toggle back and forth. From an IS perspective, it lowers the TCO and there are less systems to manage."
Earlier this month, Nvidia announced that it was planning to invest between $500,000 and $5 million in startup companies developing applications and technologies that work with GPUs, wanting to create a larger ecosystem around its products.
Note: This copy reflects corrections made to show that SLI Multi-OS is not an operating system.