THE NEXT YEAR will be one of extremes for graphics chipmakers according to consulting outfit Jon Peddie Research (JPR), with the firm predicting 2009 will be the worst ever in terms of year on year shipment drops, before 2010 sees the industry make a spectacular comeback.
JPR reckons 2009's graphics shipment slump will be even more dire than the one which followed the dot com bust back in 2001-2002, but the outfit believes "the worst is over" and says firms can now gear up for an amazing recovery come 2010.
"Architectural changes like Intel's Nehalem and new product introductions from AMD, ATI, Intel, and Nvidia are going to be disruptive to the status quo and traditional market share of the suppliers," gushes JPR, adding that the push into GPGPU will also give the industry a kick to the backside, driving things forward.
Apple's new Snow Leopard OS and Microsoft's long anticipated Windows 7 will also act as a catalyst to spur on the continuing expansion of GPGPU, otherwise known as GPU compute, and JPR says new programming capabilities using OpenCL, DirectX 11, and Nvidia's Cuda will go even further in making the GPU a "serious, economical, and powerful coprocessor in all level of PCs."
Somewhat controversially, JPR also notes that while portable devices like notebooks are currently selling spectacularly well, the outfit doubts the segment will overwhelm desktops which, it claims, "are still the preferred choice of platform for the power users and professionals."
Either way, desktop or notebook, it would appear PC graphics is about to get a much needed boost, beginning in Q3, something JPR reckons should "have a beneficial impact on computing in 2010 onward." µ
Uses 20 percent less power than traditional systems
It's becoming more prevalent in car research and development
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