Jen-Hsun Talks NV4x

Discussion in 'Beyond3D News' started by Dave Baumann, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    The Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference was held earlier today, and among the speakers was NVDIA’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang there to discuss NVIDIA’s business and its prospects. Very early on in the conference Jen-Hsun was asked if he’d like to talk about the NV4x generation of parts to which, in a possible reference to the performance of the NV3x generation, his quick response was "Nothing would give me more pleasure to talk about NV4x", and so he did.

    Jen-Hsun noted that that NV4x series was a new architectural generation that has been designed to offer specific goals: give more programmability, more performance, take advantage of the PCI-Express platform, have higher yields and to be very scalable.

    When looking at the performance element of NV4x, Jen-Hsun expects the performance increment from the previous generation to be dramatically higher than any previous architectural transition they have previously been through. Indeed, presumably speaking about NV40 specifically, NVIDIA’s CEO states that "if we’re not a lot more than 2 times faster I’m going to be very disappointed". Upon discussing where such performance increases could come from he made note that due to the programmable nature of the graphics pipeline and that now applications are making use of this, more and more elements can be brought over from the CPU world to enhance the instruction execution performance, and its expected that NV4x will adopt a lot of these techniques.

    In terms of scalability, as with previous generations, NV4x will span a top to bottom line of graphics processors for the PC market space, however there has been a greater emphasis in NV4x’s design to implement this goal. Its expected that by the end of the year there will be an entire family of NV4x processors spanning the very high end performance space, right down to the entry-level market; while this strategy sounds similar to their previous generations what marks it as different this time is the number of processors that may be available. In the NV1x and NV2x generation more or less one two distinct processors were introduced and produced at the same time, with the NV3x architecture this increased to 3 processors, however Jen-Hsun made note that potentially as many as 5 distinct NV4x graphics processors may be in production at any one time.

    The NV4x generation is also designed to be fully PCI-Express compliant, and take full advantage of the benefits this bus architecture brings. The indication here is that the parts produced on the NV4x platform will be introduced with a native PCI-Express interface – rumours suggest that NV40 will be AGP compliant, but Jen-Hsun’s comments raises the possibility that NV40 may be a PCI-Express chip but the board may utilise their bridge chip to enable it to operate in an AGP system. It was noted that their strategy of not porting any of their current line over to PCI-Express does mean they will need to utilise their bridge chip for the low end initially as its they are not expecting to see the entry level NV4x part available until the end of Quarter 3 ’04.

    Yields on the NV3x line of chips appears to have been a bugbear of NVIDIA over the past year, and that is something they are hoping to address with NV4x. Jen-Hsun spoke of "heavily patented technology" utilised in the design of NV4x in order to bring the yields up, but there was no expansion on just what this technology was. They noted that due to the fast cycling nature of the market they are not able to get the similar types of benefits as CPU vendors by refining a design to bring costs down – it was noted that for these reasons and due to the issues of yield which are not able to be resolved in the timescales available for one platform NVIDIA actually has the largest "scrap" (wasted die) of any semiconductor in the industry, which is probably a good reason for their margin performance over the past year. Jen-Hsun made note of his desire to see a "100% yield coming out of TSMC" – while NVIDIA talked up IBM last year, its clear that TSMC is rapidly becoming NVIDIA’s primary foundry partner in a more vocal sense, as the number of processors produced from IBM for NVIDIA are still likely to be dwarfed by those that have continued to be produced by TSMC.

    Jen-Hsun commented that the rumours are suggesting the announcement of NV4x in "a couple of short months" and that these are "likely to be correct".
     
  2. PaulS

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    Seems to give some grounding to the more extreme rumours we've been hearing, and it certainly sounds like nVidia are taking the ATi challenge very seriously - it also ties in with the kind of speeds ATi were targetting when drawing up the R420.

    You say this is different to what they did with NV3x, but it seems as though - if not at the start, then over time - they've progressed onto offering a family of products for every single pricepoint. 5950, 5700, 5500, 5200, 4xxx, and the various varients within each of those. They've certainly already embraced that kind of marketting strategy.

    2 months then, which brings us to effectively May, which lines up with the expected Doom3 availability. You've got to assume he's talking about shipping rather than just announcing it (which was mentioned) because that's pretty late in the day to only be announcing, even with R420 being delayed a little.

    Interesting insights anyway.
     
  3. Bouncing Zabaglione Bros.

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    Lots of "if" and "expected". You would think the language would be more positive. It currently gives the impression that Nvidia arn't sure what exactly they are going to have to launch as NV40.
     
  4. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
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    well, because it seems that a lot of it depends on TSMC AND it's not launched for the next month and a half or two months or whatever... I doubt ATI knows exactly what clock speeds shipping R420 boards will have either. it depends on the cooling they want, the yields they can get, and the available memory. jeez, you're more negative than Quitch.
     
  5. PaulS

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    Hold on, i'm listening to this now and it sounds like he was talking months ago. For example, he talks about sticking to the 6 month cycle (fine), but then says NV4x should debut 6 months after NV35?! That would be november - i.e. the original NV40 date.

    Also, he seems far more confident than the news post suggests, in my opinion.
     
  6. Rugor

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    Well, all indications are that NV40 will be much more of a success than NV30 was. I have much higher hopes for this part. I still don't know how it will compare to R420, but I'm holding out judgement on which is better of the two until we have some basis for comparison.
     
  7. duncan36

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    The Jen Hsung hype machine is running out of gas, his cred with these business types is severely diminished, in previous years the mere mention of the NV30 would send the stock soaring. Now it refuses to budge at the notion that the Nv40 may be some 16 pipe wunderkard.
    Like someone heres saying it doesnt help that Jen Hsung doesnt seem particularily postivie in his own comments.
    I have a feeling that Nvidia is in for some seriously rough times.
     
  8. just me

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    A conference full of reporters > what else would Jen-Hsung say? :wink:

    Sounds like the pre 5800 hype we heard w/o Cine-FX. :lol:

    I'll believe it when cards hit the shelves & are tested ... not on the word of a CEO at a feild day for the press corp.

    .02,
     
  9. rwolf

    rwolf Rock Star
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    I think the NV3X line would have made a much bigger splash if they had solved their process problems. ATI was lucky they had as much trouble as they did because the .15 micron gamble might not have paid off.

    I hope that NV40 and R420 are about equal and ATI and Nvida split market share evenly. I would like to see two strong companies.
     
  10. Anonymous

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    That's my favorite part by far ;)
    My current guess, and let me insist on the word guess, is they got 4 quad pipelines but they are capable of:
    - Keeping the quad pipeline unchanged (4x1)
    - Disabling half of any quad pipeline, resulting in an half quad pipeline (2x1)
    - Disabling any quad pipeline they see fit. (0x1)

    This allows them to turn NV40s into NV41s, NV41s into NV42s, and so on.
    Basically, it'd be the same thing ATI did with the R3xx and the R9500, but if I'm right on the halfquad part, which is only speculation, it might be slightly better than what ATI did intially at least...

    I would also tend to believe this MIGHT be how NVIDIA gets to 6 pipelines for the NV41; three halfquads. I'm wondering if there'll be a 2x1 solution though... :lol:


    Uttar
     
  11. nobie

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    That's interesting, considering tha comment about "100% yield".
     
  12. Anonymous

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    Interpretation: since these are "short months" as opposed to normal months, we're obviously talking about February here. Therefore it seems that February will need to pass a couple times before the announcement, so we can expect to see the NV4x in a couple of years.
     
  13. Quitch

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    Hey! I've got a national steryotype to live up to.

    Anyway... must... make... positive... comment...

    He has an interesting name.
     
  14. DoS

    DoS
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    I find the amount of negativity in some posts excessive. When NVIDIA’s CEO goes on to make some pretty strong statements into a conference such as "if we’re not a lot more than 2 times faster I’m going to be very disappointed" it's no small thing. I mean imagine after a couple of months NV4x being smacked around by R420 like NV3x was by R300, it would be very ugly and the shareholders will start looking for answers for the bad press and the results of the first quarter. Do you really think that after 1,5 year behind ATi and after tons of bad publicity for various reasons NV's CEO would come out in a conf and make hollow claims when in fact he knows they are gonna get creamed ? The same mistake again and again? Now if that turns out to be true then NV will not survive much longer as a GFX chip company...
    You seem like you want NVIDIA to fail by all means ? Why ? So ATi can own the market and stop producing very good and cheap hardware ? Do you want stagnation ? I can't get it...

    Competition is a good thing, lets all keep a positive attitude and hope that NV40 kicks ass and the same goes for R420. It's in our best interest as computer enthusiasts, gamers, programmers, designers, i could go on and on...
     
  15. PatrickL

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    DoS the problem is a lot of people have still in mind the claims that Nivida'ceo made last year just before the Nv30 launch. Hence the wait and see attitude.
     
  16. Entropy

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    So that we can get rid of a company which has a strongly unethical attitude to its customers (and to some extent, its business partners)? So that we can see its technology assets and qualified personnel picked up by others and see great products out of these players, perhaps using technology that simply is gathering dust in nVidias patent portfolios?

    We have seen a multitude of gfx manufacturers rise and fall over the years. Why then should the current corporate situation be cast in stone for the forseeable future? And no, the technology hasn't become too complex for other players to join the fray, particularly if the biggest fish in the pond dies off.

    In my book, the gfx industry would simply be better off without nVidia.
     
  17. Sazar

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    and who is to say w/o competition ati will not also fall into some kind of rut?

    competition drives innovation adn brings costs down for consumers... nvidia's business ethics may suck but they still produce decent products across the board... some better than others... some worse...
     
  18. DoS

    DoS
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    Wait and see attitude is fine, that's how most of us deal with it. But there is a difference between wait and see and malicious pessimism...if htere is such a thing :p
     
  19. DoS

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    You seriously think ATi is in it for the glory huh ? watch what you are saying, ATi hasn't exactly always been an all-innocent princess ever since the beginning. I can't stand this NVIDIA is the devil they must die, ATi is an angel who protects us and gives us toys attitude...it's ludicrous to say the least. If you want to take it to the next level and start mentioning facts and actual examples then fine, but somewhere else. I have no interest in polluting this forum
     
  20. Rugor

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    I wouldn't want to see a single company dominate graphics, and right now Nvidia is the only competition ATI has. S3/VIA may develop some competitive parts, but I'm not expecitng much from XGI.

    I don't want Nvidia gone, but after their behavior the last year I really don't want them in the #1 spot again for a while. Let them be a solid second at best until they get some ethics.
     
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