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New 'GeForce FX' UnVeiled - Info & Details

by Rainier on Nov. 18, 2002 @ 6:31 p.m. PST

NVIDIA today announced that the Company's new GeForce FX graphics processing unit (GPU) has garnered the support of some of the best game development talent in the world. World-renowned game developers such as id Software, Epic Games and Mythic Entertainment, as well as publishing powerhouses including Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Konami and Ubi Soft , to name a few, plan to leverage the power and performance of the NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU to further bridge the gap between games and Hollywood productions. Announced earlier today, the GeForce FX GPU is recognised as the industry's first GPU to enable real-time, cinematic-quality graphics and special effects on desktop PCs. A lenghty article with all the latest info you might want...

NVIDIA GEFORCE FX GPU BREAKS THE 1GHZ SPEED BARRIER

"Our ultimate goal is to provide realistic, interactive, cinematic-quality graphics to the PC industry," said Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "By combining Samsung's advanced memory technology with the ground-breaking architecture of the GeForce FX GPU, we are a major step closer to achieving this goal."

"Samsung is pleased to be working with NVIDIA to develop and bring to production next-generation memories that will enable cinematic computing," said Tom Quinn, vice president of marketing at Samsung. "The integration of Samsung's advanced 1GHz DDR II memory technology into NVIDIA's line of graphics processing units establishes a new milestone and is ideally suited for the high bandwidth requirements of 3D graphics."

Samsung Electronics currently holds over 40% of the world graphics DRAM market. The company started mass production of its 128Mbit, 1GHz graphics DDR II DRAM in the fourth quarter of 2002.

GAME INDUSTRY RALLIES AROUND NVIDIA GEFORCE FX

"By providing the industry's best game developers with future-generation hardware and software tools, we are hoping to unleash no-holds-barred creative talent and take 3D games to a whole new level," said Bill Rehbock, director of developer relations at NVIDIA. "The game industry has long held NVIDIA in high regard for having the best developer support and GPU quality. When you add the GeForce FX GPU to the equation, games will be both stunning and stable. Consumers are the real winner."

Designed with game developers in mind, the GeForce FX GPU provides higher levels of programmability and performance, enabling stunning 3D worlds and characters to come to life as never before. For consumers, desktop PCs outfitted with GeForce FX GPUs evolve into the ultimate gaming rigs, with the perfect blend of processing power and feature set for experiencing games the way they are meant to be played.

"The GeForce FX GPU is incredibly fast," said Gabe Newell, founder and president of Valve Software. "Over the last few years, NVIDIA has spoiled us with regular performance leaps, but this time we're talking ridiculously fast. Game developers are going to have to look to movie quality production values just to absorb all of the horsepower that NVIDIA is giving us."

"With Command & Conquer Generals we wanted to bring a Hollywood action experience to the real-time strategy genre," said Mark Skaggs, general manager at EA Pacific. "NVIDIA's GeForce FX GPU couldn't have come along at a better time. We're looking forward to leveraging the power and features of the GeForce FX GPU to deliver the best possible experience to gamers."

"The strengths of the GeForce FX GPU will allow gamers to experience Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell exactly the way the designers intended," said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubi Soft Entertainment. "Gamers will be able to participate in the stealth action by crouching in dynamic, soft shadows and they can use glow effects and thermal vision to carry out their missions undetected. This kind of technology allows players to become immersed in the gaming experience like never before."

Stuart Moulder, general manager of Microsoft Games Studios adds: "Now everybody really needs the best visual effects they can have for their games to really shine, whether it's a strategy game, or a first-person action game, or a sports title. You need great lighting effects, you need to be able to make characters look realistic and human and that's true for any genre of game now."

"With the GeForce FX GPU we now have very, very accurate lighting," said Tim Sweeney of Epic Games, makers of the renowned Unreal Engine. "You'll be able to see the shadow of the character's nose sweep across his face as the light moves around and it'll be very smooth and realistic."

"We are deeply impressed by the performance characteristics of the latest NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU. Its processing power combined with an extremely high visual quality is fantastic," said Ingo Frick, technical director at Massive Entertainment. "The high internal precision of the graphics data, as well as the variety of new antialiasing techniques, leaves nothing to be desired. This technology enables us to create an almost cinematic yet also interactive world in our current game, AquaNox2: Revelation."

"Pixels shaders and vertex shaders I think showed a lot of promise when they came online, but clearly they were limited and it was just kind of a vision of the way things could be," said Mark Poesch, technical lead at Legend Entertainment. "The GeForce FX GPU really is that step where it goes from being a vision of how cool things can be, to being able to actually prove that we can make it real now."

Over the next few months, NVIDIA expects to announce additional details on games primed for the GeForce FX GPU, in addition to other developer and publisher alliances.

NVIDIA DELIVERS FIRST GRAPHICS PROCESSOR IN 0.13 MICRON

The opportunity for innovation is a key factor in the success of the GeForce FX GPU," said David Kirk, Chief Scientist at NVIDIA. "Delivering a truly revolutionary graphics processor simply isn't possible using older process technologies like 0.15 micron. The 0.13 micron manufacturing process has allowed us to build small, fast transistors — which are the building blocks for delivering groundbreaking GPUs. By doing so, we've created a revolutionary new GPU packed with performance and an unmatched feature set."

The NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU combines TSMC's new 0.13 micron process with lower power transistors and high-speed copper interconnects, resulting in a higher-performance, 125 million transistor graphics processor — the most complex GPU in the graphics industry.

"NVIDIA's transition to the 0.13-micron process is a major step forward in the rapid growth of the graphics industry," stated Rick Tsai, President and COO at TSMC. "Together, TSMC and NVIDIA share a vision based on innovative design, advanced technology and responsive customer service as we continue to meet very aggressive adoption rates for NVIDIA at 0.13 micron. TSMC will continue to apply its industry-leading technology and manufacturing to the early delivery of 0.13 micron tape-outs to NVIDIA and all our valued customers."

TSMC owns Taiwan's first and most advanced production facility to date. At the end of 2000, TSMC delivered the industry's first 300mm customer's wafers at 0.18ìm technology. In early April of 2001, TSMC marked another major milestone by successfully producing 0.13ìm 4Mb SRAM test chips.

NVIDIA GEFORCE FX GPU USHERS IN A NEW ERA OF CINEMATIC COMPUTING

"Computer games today are fast and exciting, yet they still lack the ability to engage us emotionally," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. "With the GeForce FX GPU, game developers now have the power to create awe-inspiring visuals and bring character emotion to life. GeForce FX enables a new type of interactive expression we call cinematic computing."

The GeForce FX GPU redefines the graphics capabilities for desktop PCs, by delivering:


Awesome 3D Graphics Power: the world's first 500MHz GPU is able to compute 375 million programmable vertices per second; 4 billion pixels per second; and 16 billion AA samples per second. And with the world's first 1Ghz DDR2 memories, GeForce FX features the fastest frame buffer ever designed. Complete support for AGP8X and NVIDIA patent pending IntellisampleTM technology ensures developers are able to create scenes of unrivalled beauty at unmatched speeds.

Engineering Excellence: NVIDIA's latest GPU delivers state-of-the-art technology and engineering expertise. The GeForce FX GPU packs nearly twice the number of transistors as the GeForce4 GPU by utilising the industry's most advanced 0.13-micron and copper manufacturing process. And combined with a radical and revolutionary patent pending dynamic thermal management solution, the GeForce FX GPU is an enthusiasts dream.

Cinematic Visual Effects: Architected for high level programming languages such as Cg, the GeForce FX GPU with its new CineFX engine produces visual effects that take a quantum leap toward cinematic rendering. With the industry's first 128-bit studio-quality colour processing technology, the CineFX engine produces 3D worlds and characters more real than anything that's come before.

"The NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU is the result of ten years of passionate effort by the best 3D graphics engineers in the business and includes technologies invented at NVIDIA and 3dfx," Huang continued. "The GeForce FX GPU delivers unprecedented 3D graphics performance and the NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture ensures the reliability and quality that has become the hallmark of NVIDIA GPUs."

"Gamers can now experience theatre-quality, Hollywood-style cinematic effects on their home desktops," said Dean Lester, General Manager, Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies, Microsoft Corporation. "By supporting long programs for even the most elaborate effects and by advancing conditional branching capabilities for better program flow, the new NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU has eliminated almost all the programming barriers previously associated with pixel shaders. By combining the new NVIDIA GPU with Microsoft's innovative DirectX® 9.0 API, NVIDIA can now offer gamers more advanced real-time effects."

The NVIDIA CineFX engine implements both OpenGL® and DirectX 9.0 specifications. These APIs give developers access to many new programming tools that speed the rate of effects development. Those features include support for: Pixel Shader 2.0+, Vertex Shader 2.0+ and high-precision, 128-bit floating-point colour. DirectX 9.0 exposes true programmability of the pixel and vertex shading engine by increasing the length and flexibility of programs, making features like procedural shading on a GPU possible for the first time. The innovative graphics pipeline of the NVIDIA CineFX engine has the built-in capacity to deliver true 128-bit color, or 32-bit floating point components for red, green, blue, and alpha values. With 128-bit color, literally millions of choices exist for each color component, compared to only a couple of hundred levels with 32-bit color.

"The NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU takes graphics experiences to a whole new level," said Mark Rein, vice president Epic Games, maker of the world-renowned Unreal Engine. "Once again, NVIDIA has broken with convention by redefining the limits of 3D graphics technology. Power and realism, the two elements every gamer craves, are the heart and soul of the NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU."

The GeForce FX GPU is currently sampling to the Company's add-in card partners and OEM system builders. Retail graphics boards based on the GeForce FX GPUs are slated for release in February 2003.

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