NVIDIA nTerresting News 12 August 2013

NVIDIA nTerresting News 12 August 2013

By Brian Burke for NVIDIA

In this issue:

  • SHIELD sells out following rave reviews.
  • NVIDIA has a new home in Detroit to house our growing auto business.
  • NVIDIA & IBM team up to pioneer the OpenPOWER Consortium and bring CUDA GPUs to POWER CPU-Based Enterprise Systems.
  • Jon Carmack expands in to virtual reality, is CTO of Oculus Rift. 


SHIELD Continues To Shine

The extra time we took to polish our SHIELD (pun intended) was worth it.  SHIELD is all sold out, but more are on the way.

“NVIDIA ‘s SHIELD gaming device is flying off the shelves, the chipmaker’s CEO said Thursday. Jen-Hsun Huang, speaking during a conference call following NVIDIA ‘s earnings announcement, said that everything NVIDIA has shipped to retail partners has already sold out. It’s only several thousand units, he said, but NVIDIA is ramping up production to get more Shields into stores.”

And the reviews keep coming up roses.

“The one I know about is the Mech game Hawken and since I’m a big Mech game player I can hardly wait for it on Shield. In the end, NVIDIA’s Shield makes all other handheld game systems, and maybe even consoles, effectively obsolete.”

And PC to SHIELD streaming remains a big draw.

“… why would you buy a SHIELD over, say, a new Nexus 7? I can tell you why I’m buying one: PC game streaming.”

And if that is still not good enough for you we are making so you make your SHIELD do whatever you want it to.

“Most gaming devices are black boxes. You use the games and apps the device’s manufacturer approves. No tinkering. End of story. That’s not where we wanted to go with SHIELD, which began shipping last week. That’s why we’ve released the open-source code developers and modders can use to customize SHIELD’s entire operating system.”

Learn more about NVIDIA SHIELD from Hot Hardware’s “2 and half Geeks” podcast.

Detroit Chip City

The town made infamous by Kiss and cars has a new resident.

“If advanced automobiles can be considered computers on wheels, it’s fitting that Silicon Valley computer processor maker NVIDIA Corp. is opening a technology center in Ann Arbor. Danny Shapiro, director of automotive for Santa Clara, Calif.-based NVIDIA, said as the company increases its business with automakers and technology expands within the car, it was time to open an office in metro Detroit.

“We’re driving in a lot of our growth with more automakers,” he said. “Looking at the trends in our road map, we’re seeing more integration of our products, so the time is right now to expand our presence in the area.”

NVIDIA processors can be found in the high-end infotainment displays and customizable instrument panels in today’s Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, and Tesla vehicles.  NVIDIA has shipped about 4.5 million processors to the auto industry since 2008.

NVIDIA & IBM Found the OpenPOWER Consortium

This week, IBM announced the OpenPOWER Consortium with NVIDIA, Google and several other top enterprise technology companies in a move that will open up IBMs POWER CPU technology.

By licensing its POWER technology, IBM hopes to foster the creation of new, innovative enterprise datacenter technologies – and also provide new and better alternatives x86-based architectures.

As a founding member of the OpenPOWER Consortium, NVIDIA will work with IBM bring the NVIDIA CUDA and IBM POWER ecosystems together. This means that, for the first time, GPU acceleration will be available to enterprise database and data analytics customers on IBM’s widely popular POWER CPU-based systems.

The response to this major announcement has been impressive.

An article in The Register notes that this is a major endorsement for CUDA:

Says Sumit Gupta: “And I personally see this about IBM backing CUDA, just like IBM backed Java in the enterprise nearly twenty years ago. They bring a high performance CPU to the party, and we have a high-performance GPU. And because we are cooperating, we can build a much better solution than other situations that we are in.”

And, The Wall Street Journal notes that this marks an opportunity for IBM and its partners to “Chip Away at Intel.”

Finally, analyst Jim McGregor, quoted in a Computerworld article, sees this move as a win for customers looking for datacenter computing innovation:

“If you could combine the big iron performance of Power with the efficiency of ARM and the parallelism of a GPU, you could develop some really interesting and diverse solutions.”

This is just the beginning of NVIDIA’s work with IBM and the Consortium to bring CUDA GPUs and POWER technology together.  Stay tuned for more developments and news in this area.

Carmack goes VR

Id Software created the Quake and Doom series, and started the legendary Quakecon LAN parties all under the direction of Jon Carmack.  Now he is turning his attention to virtual reality.

“John Carmack, the video game industry veteran who is best known for co-founding id Software, has officially joined the Oculus Rift team as its new chief technology officer.”

The move will not affect his work at id. Carmack has been an integral part of the Oculus Rift technology since early into production, and has been a pioneer of VR hardware in general for a long time. He was the first developer to integrate the Oculus Rift into a game.

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