NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 13 May 2014

NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 13 May 2014

In this Issue:

·         Portal is awesome on NVIDIA SHIELD.  Is Half-Life 2 next?
·         NVIDIA GRID is gain momentum in the enterprise space.
·         Ouya and PlayCast use GRID to put triple A titles in the cloud.
·         Forbes built a mini gaming computer with a GeForce GTX 750 Ti in the belly of the beast.
·         A trip to the Unreal Engine forum reveals some stunning realism created by UE4.
·         You can get all artsy with NVIDIA DirectStylus Technology. Some artists already did.

The Cake is NOT a Lie, Portal on SHIELD is Awesome

NVIDIA made news at GTC when we announced that Portal was coming to SHIELD. Earlier this week press had their chance to go hands on with one of the highest rated PC games of all-time and many of them shared the same positive experiences:

Every second of it – from the first portal, to the final showdown with GLaDOS — is fabulous.”

“NVIDIA and Valve have succeeded. Portal is mobile, and it feels fantastic.”

Even more so, we’re seeing the Android ecosystem grow, thanks in part to great Tegra gaming content and NVIDIA SHIELD:

“There’s simply no other experience on Android today that can compare to Portal, and NVIDIA SHIELD is the perfect place for the game to enter this universe head-first.”

“It’s a title that’s come to an Android gaming knife fight with a flame thrower.”

Look for Portal to launch for SHIELD on Monday, May 12 on Google Play. For more information head over to TegraZone.

And a special delivery of a green crowbar has editors asking “what’s next?”

“Today NVIDIA has sent us a crowbar. This crowbar is green, and it has the text “What would Gordon do?” It has the Half-Life 2 logo on one side, and the NVIDIA SHIELD logo on the other – this means that Half-Life 2 is coming to NVIDIA SHIELD soon.”

Stay tuned to see what those crowbars mean and if the speculation is true.

GRID Gets Going

The Cloud is the future of computing.  And NVIDIA is making strides to make GRID the future of the Cloud.  As we speak, nearly 600 enterprises worldwide are evaluating Grid, our virtual GPU server platform.

“First quarter results benefited from gains in PC gaming and our continued progress in the data center and cloud,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, in a statement. “Nearly 600 enterprises worldwide are now evaluating GRID, our virtual GPU server platform. VMware announced support for GRID to enable GPU-accelerated enterprise virtualization. And with IBM, Dell and HP now selling our GPUs in their high-volume servers, we expect large-scale data centers to be a significant source of growth.”

Further momentum is illustrated by the increasing customer adoption over the past year across North America, Europe and Japan in the manufacturing, global engineering and energy markets experienced by NVIDIA and Citrix.

“Companies are increasingly looking at the company’s GRID serverproduct, and NVIDIA is predicting that operators of large data centers will boost deployments of graphics chips in their machinery, Huang said in a telephone interview.”

HP has expanded the company’s workstation line to include GRID.

“The HP DL380z enables use of dual NVIDIA GRID K2 graphics cards and NVIDIA GRID GPU virtualization, and supports up to eight users on one workstation. NVIDIA Quadro K6000, K5000, and K4000 graphics cards also are supported. By keeping the compute engine colocated with high-performance storage arrays in the data center, HP said customers can experience dramatically reduced project load times.”

The new DL380z Virtual Workstation is essentially an extension of HP’s existing Z Workstation products, which is powered by the NVIDIA virtualization technology and certified for the Citrix virtualization stack.

The hits for GRID just keep on coming.

GRID for Gaming

GRID isn’t just for enterprise anymore. You can also play games on it. If you own an OUYA console and are looking to play some of the hottest titles, Playcast may be what you have been looking for.  Playcast and Ouya will allow users to try a selection of games to play free on the service as part of a limited beta period.  These are triple A titles such as Lego Batman 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, with more games promised in the coming weeks.

“Playcast bridges the visual computation and content gap between Ouya and the consoles.” Several major publishers such as Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, EA, and Ubisoft will be jumping on board with Playcast. This means that major games that couldn’t be played via Ouya’s limited hardware will be playable via cloud.

This beta is powered by Amazon Web Servers (AWS) which uses NVIDIA GRID K520 GPUs.

Mighty Mini Maxwell Machine

Forbes’ Jason Evangelho built a mini ITX rig for under $650.  The performance and power efficiency of our GeForce GTX 750 Ti made it the perfect power plant to drive this gaming mini-machine.
“When NVIDIA introduced their Maxwell-based GTX 750 Ti, I praised it for being incredibly cooland powerful given its form factor and minimal power usage. Some time later I ran across Cooler Master’s Elite 110 Mini-ITX case, an ingenious and affordable cube-shaped follow up to their Elite 130. The building blocks for a quiet, compact PC gaming build were in place.”

The GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 are new GPUs based on our first generation Maxwell architecture. First-generation Maxwell was designed to power a new class of entry GeForce GTX gaming systems by delivering 35% more performance per core and twice the performance per watt over our previous Kepler architecture. Both continue our long tradition of delivering dramatically improved levels of price-performance, power efficiency and whisper-quiet operation for PC gamers, starting at $119 USD.

Unreal Engine 4 Delivers Ultra Realism

A Tweet from Cliffy B tipped me off to a stunning scene rendered with the Unreal Engine 4.

“The best partabout Unreal Engine 4 is that you can finally visit restaurants you normally couldn’t get a table at.”

He linked to a forum post by ‘mabone’that showed 3 stunning pics from a restaurant scene.  See the pics here, hereandhere.

Support for NVIDIA GameWorks is incorporated directly into Unreal Engine 4 making it easier for UE4 licensees to take advantage of our technology.  Thanks to UE4’s support for the Android operating system UE4 can be used to build games on more devices than ever. NVIDIA and Epic have already shown UE4 demos running on Tegra K1.

NVIDIA Helps Artists Make Their Mark with DirectStylus Technology

NVIDIA is changing the way artists make their mark – and channeling some inner Isaac Asimov imagination in the process. With DirectStylus technology, tablet users can sketch smooth lines and broad strokes with the ease of pen and paper and with all the benefits of a digital canvas.

“Back in June last year NVIDIA showed off its DirectStylus technology. It allows users to sketch smooth lines and broad strokes with a fine-tip passive stylus, just like they would on paper with a pen.”

Since DirectStylus was introduced, there’s been an outpouring of images. As the first low-cost stylus that replicates the ease of working on paper, DirectStylus technology provides artists of all stripes with a digital tool that can respond with the speed and subtlety of putting pencil to paper.

To illustrate just how seamless DirectStylus technology is, NVIDIA started the Make Your Mark project. NVIDIA asked 10 artists from around the world to create three illustrations inspired by I, Robot, using DirectStylus. So far, the creations have been breathtaking.

We can’t wait to see what artists – and developers – will create next!

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