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Huang throws Intel a bone

Computex 09 CPU might have a use after all
Mon Jun 01 2009, 11:41


NVIDIA AND INTEL may have been at loggerheads for a while, but Jen-Hsun seemed eager to diffuse some of the hostile atmosphere that has soured the air between the two, declaring that PCs really needed both "a CPU and GPU co-processing architecture," whilst also praising Intel's little Atom brat as a "wonderful achievement."

The graphics firm spent 90 minutes showing a pre-Computex gathering already-seen demos, talking Cuda, failing to mention much about Ion (despite 20 design "wins") and giving us all a laugh with some god-awful paper 3D glasses.

Despite the pulling power of CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and Geforce General Manager Drew Henry, the event failed to pack much punch, instead conveying a confusing mix of the firm's same old "GPU Computing starts now" message, delivered with a more concilliatory, almost friendly tone towards would-be nemesis Intel.

"We believe CPU and GPU co-processing is not just for high-end systems, it's now general purpose," declared Huang, claiming, "GPU Computing has reached a tipping point, as consumer applications such as photo, video, and the 'visual web' demand parallel processing."

Huang posited that no software developer will argue it is not now "common sense" to use GPU computing, claiming "No OEM, no industry analysis will say that CPU-GPU co-processing architecture is not the future."

After playing Sesame Street with a lot of talk about 'C for Cuda', Jen-Hsun moved on to talk of supercomputery and why Windows 7 will be the "world's most important OS."

For his part, Drew Henry took to the stage to announce that Nvidia's Ion platform will no longer be restricted to Atom processors, but that the green goblin will also partner up with Celeron, Pentium and Core 2 Duo offerings too. (It was a this point that Nvidia's the whole kiss and make up with Intel spiel suddenly started to make sense to this reporter.)

As for the Ion design "wins", many were Chinese white box manufacturers most people have never heard of, but there were a few interesting bits and bobs on display.

Finally, Jen-Hsun announced that during his keynote, his staff had been busily going around "placing things between your legs" (a somewhat disturbing notion), before playing Oprah and asking the audience to check under their seats.

To say the paper red-and-blue eyeglasses from the 1970s we found tucked under our chairs were a bit of a disappointment is an understatement. After about a minute of nauseating 3D, this writer had to take them off rather than endure the migraine we felt would otherwise have resulted.

"How was it?" asked Jen-hsun enthusiastically as the crowd turned green and removed the offending specs - which, apparently, are to be offered free with every Nvidia graphics card.

"Crap!", "Awful!" "I'm dizzy!" came the snipes from the back. µ




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