Graphics chip maker
Nvidia Corp. on Monday introduced its new GeForce FX Go5700 graphics processing unit (GPU). The new graphics processor is aimed at laptop computers whose manufacturers want to offer high-end graphics capabilities.
The chip touts a 128-bit memory interface and is manufactured using a 0.13 micron process. It supports an AGP 8x interface. The chip features optimizations and support for both Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL 1.5.
Unveiled at this week’s Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, Nev., the Go5700’s introduction coincides with an announcement that it’s been adopted by leading hardware makers. Apple is not on Nvidia’s initial list of hardware makers, but other GeForce Go hardware has been used in its line of PowerBooks. Nvidia’s graphics technology sports a unified driver architecture, so it’s plausible that Apple could use this graphics processor in future models.
Apple uses graphics technology from both Nvidia and rival ATI Technologies Inc. across its product line, and when the company first introduced its 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBooks earlier this year, both sported Nvidia graphics technology. The company has since scaled back its use of Nvidia graphics in favor of ATI’s products in PowerBooks — only the 12-inch PowerBook G4 sports an Nvidia GPU, while Apple’s refreshed 15-inch and 17-inch laptops both tout ATI’s Mobility Radeon 9600 chip instead.
Cinematic realism is Nvidia’s goal, and to that end, the new laptop graphics chip features Nvidia’s “UltraShadow” technology, also featured in its desktop-bound GeForce FX 5900 hardware, which provides more realistic shadowing effects. Also new to the Geforce FX Go architecture with this chip’s release is Nvidia’s CineFX Engine 2.0, its latest-generation vertex and pixel shading engine. The new chip also sports VPE 3.0, a video processing engine that offers more sophisticated DVD and video playback than previous chip.
The new GeForce FX Go5700 chip is shipping to OEMs now with production quantities expected in December. Nvidia said that systems based on the new processor are expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2004.