Nvidia GeForce 400M GPU Series Is Rolled Out

Nvidia's GeForce 400M GPU series allows users to take advantage of the latest 3D entertainment technology, and boasts the company's Optimus technology.

Chip maker Nvidia is calling its GeForce 400M Series of graphics processing units the building blocks for the next generation of Nvidia Optimus and 3D Vision notebooks-which will come from vendors including Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba.

The new series of GeForce 400M GPUs, which Nvidia just unveiled, includes the GeForce GTX 470M and GTX 460M for enthusiast users and the GeForce GT 445M, GT 435M, GT 425M, GT 420M and GT 415M for performance users.

Nvidia said a critical component of the GeForce 400M Series is support for the company's Optimus technology, which enables extra-long battery life by automatically switching on and off the GPU so that it runs only when needed. The GeForce 400M Series processors are the first notebook chips designed with Nvidia's Fermi architecture and built from the ground up for Microsoft DirectX 11.

"The GeForce 400M Series takes the award-winning Fermi architecture across a complete lineup of DirectX 11 GPUs for notebook," said Rene Haas, general manager of notebook GPUs at Nvidia. "Coupled with Optimus technology, 400M Series notebook GPUs deliver great performance for visual computing applications when you need it, and great battery life when you don't."

The GeForce 400M Series is also able to deliver stereoscopic 3D images when configured with Nvidia 3D Vision glasses and a 3D display. 3D Vision supports an array of 3D content, including more than 425 games, Blu-ray 3D movies, photos and streaming Web video. Notebook models featuring the GeForce 400M series and the 3D Vision glasses will be available soon after launch, according to a company release, including the Acer Aspire 5745DG with GeForce GT 425M and the Asus G53Jw with GeForce GTX 460M. In addition, by including support for Nvidia's 3DTV Play technology, users can attach their notebook to a 3D TV and play content that way.

"The Aspire 5745DG is the ideal solution for users who demand the most advanced all-in-one mobile entertainment system," said David Lee, associate vice president of Acer's mobile computing business unit. "View photos and movies all in 3D-as well as stream 3D events on-the-go. With Acer's fast 2D-to-3D conversion feature, it means regular 2D videos can be viewed in 3D. Furthermore, the Aspire 5745DG can be connected to an external 3D display, maximizing your 3D entertainment experience on a large screen at home."

The GeForce GPUs also offer "Graphics Plus" features such as PhysX support for experiencing games with realistic physics effects, CUDA support for GPU computing applications, and Verde notebook drivers for system stability and optimal performance.

Mark Relph, senior director for Windows product management at Microsoft, said applications are becoming more visual, and having HTML5, hardware-accelerated graphics and a new JavaScript engine built into Internet Explorer 9 means that the Web applications will follow suit. "Nvidia is pushing the visual computing playing field forward and helping Microsoft create a better Web experience for our customers," he said.

Jim Calverley, senior product manager of the electronic imaging division for FujiFilm North America, noted the company's FinePix Real 3D W3 digital camera, with its Dual Fujinon 3X Optical Zoom lenses and Dual CCDs, makes it easy for anyone to capture high-quality 3D photos and high-definition 3D movies in 720p. "The combination of our REAL 3D digital camera with the latest 3D notebook systems powered by Nvidia's new, high-performance GeForce 400M series GPUs enables consumers to easily view and share their photos and videos with family and friends in stunning, lifelike 3D," he said.