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NVIDIA Launches Multi-GPU 'SLI' Technology

by Rainier on June 29, 2004 @ 9:13 a.m. PDT

NVIDIA Corporation today unveiled a revolutionary new technology that enables multiple NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series or NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards to operate in a single PC or workstation for a stunning increase in graphics horsepower. Appearing later this year in PCI Express-based PCs and workstations from the world's top manufacturers, the new NVIDIA SLI technology takes full advantage of the additional bandwidth and features of this new high-bandwidth bus architecture.

"There is a category of NVIDIA users that will always demand even more extreme graphics performance than our industry leading solutions currently provide," said Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "We share their passion for jaw-dropping graphics performance, so we created SLI, an innovative new multi-GPU approach. The result is never-before-seen performance on PCs and workstations."

NVIDIA SLI is a patent-pending hardware and software solution that enables system builders to connect two PCI Express-based NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series or NVIDIA Quadro graphics boards on their PCI Express-compatible motherboards. The technology features an intelligent communication protocol embedded in the GPU and a high-speed digital interface on the graphics board to facilitate data flow. A complete suite of software provides dynamic load balancing, and advanced rendering and compositing to ensure smooth frame rates and outstanding image quality.

"Unreal Engine 3 has an insatiable appetite for fill rate and polygon throughput, running shader programs of 50-100 instructions per pixel to achieve advanced per-pixel lighting and material shading. NVIDIA's SLI technology running on PCI Express motherboards provides an incredible performance increase of up to 2x, bringing next-generation gaming up to even higher resolutions and frame rates," stated Tim Sweeney, founder and president, EPIC Games.

Systems based on NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technology are expected to become available in the second half of 2004 from the world's leading PC and workstation manufacturers including:

  • Alienware – North America, Europe
  • Atelco Computer – Germany
  • Boxx Technologies – North America
  • Falcon Northwest – North America
  • Mouse Computer Japan (MCJ Co., LTD) – Japan
  • Network Technical – Sweden
  • Paradigit - Holland
  • Scan Computers - UK
  • TSUKUMO Co., Ltd. - Japan
  • ThirdWave Corporation - Japan
  • UNITCOM INC - Japan
  • Velocity Micro – North America
  • VoodooPC – North America

"NVIDIA SLI is just another reason why VoodooPC prefers to use NVIDIA cards for our flagship computers. This should be a testament to all gamers and enthusiasts; NVIDIA has always supported the gaming community since their inception," stated Rahul Sood, president and CTO at VoodooPC. "Simply put, SLI technology proves that NVIDIA understands gamers better than their competition. It is for this reason that VoodooPC will be releasing an NVIDIA SLI equipped RAGE desktop that will absolutely wipe the floor with any personal computer currently available today."

"NVIDIA SLI is the Holy Grail for graphics technology by delivering legendary performance. Just like in the past, where Falcon Northwest was one of the first to offer a multi-GPU system, we're proud to be one of the first system builders to offer NVIDIA's ground-breaking SLI on our gaming PCs," said Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest.

In addition, the world's top add-in-card manufacturers will also be adopting the technology. These include:

  • Albatron Technology, Co. Ltd
  • AOpen
  • ASUS Computer International
  • BFG Technologies, Inc.
  • Chaintech
  • ELSA Japan
  • Gainward Co., Ltd.
  • Gigabyte Technology, Co., Ltd.
  • Leadtek Research, Inc.
  • Micro-Star International
  • Palit Microsystems, Inc.
  • Pine, XFX, a Division of Pine
  • PNY Technologies
  • Prolink Computer Inc
  • Sparkle

"Multi-GPU Ready" PCI Express motherboards will also be available from Abit, ASUS Computer International, Epox, Gigabyte Technology, Co., Ltd., and Micro-Star International. In addition, the NVIDIA nForceTM media and communications processors (MCPs) will support the Company's SLI initiative, with products to be introduced in the second half of 2004.

Over the next two months, NVIDIA will be on tour showcasing its multi-GPU technology at the following shows:

  • Electronic Sports World Cup, July 6-11, France
  • Fragapalooza, July 15-18, Canada
  • CPL Championships, July 28-31, Texas
  • SIGGRAPH 2004, August 10–12, Los Angeles
  • Quakecon, August 12-15, Texas

For more information on NVIDIA's SLI multi-GPU technology, please visit the company's web site at www.nvidia.co.uk.

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