NVIDIA Tegra 3 gets boost with LTE Support, 30 Devices this year

Subject: Mobile | May 24, 2012 - 08:05 PM |
Tagged: wayne, tegra 3, tegra, nvidia, LTE, icera, grey

In the middle of 2011, NVIDIA acquired a small company by the name of Icera, a maker of baseband and RF technologies that would eventually allow the company to integrate the two into a single chip.  As LTE-capable devices from Verizon, AT&T and even Sprint have been announced and ship, no NVIDIA Tegra-powered phone or tablet has been able to support the feature with the lone exception of the ZTE Mimosa X in February of this year.  

Today NVIDIA officially announced support and validation from AT&T on their new and growing LTE network for the Icera 410 LTE multimode chipset.  This will finally allow Tegra + LTE devices to be sold and available in the US and other markets when product manufacturers integrate the two processors in future designs.

Tegra3_Chip.jpg

As to when we will see those designs, we aren't quite sure but nothing was announced during the NVIDIA investors day today.  All we know now is that they will be coming "through this year and next."

“Validation with AT&T is an achievement that paves the way for NVIDIA Icera-powered LTE devices on the AT&T network through this year and next,” said Stan Boland, senior vice president of Mobile Communications at NVIDIA.
 
The NVIDIA Icera 410 LTE modem delivers lightning-fast web browsing, video streaming and multiplayer gaming to tablets and clamshell devices. It is the first Icera modem to implement 4G LTE in NVIDIA’s software defined radio baseband processor. Together with its multimode radio transceiver, the chipset offers 4G LTE at category 2 data rates (up to 50 Mbps) as well as 4G HSPA+, 3G and 2G compatibility.

What we DID learn at the NVIDIA investors meeting is that Mike Rayfield, GM of Tegra business unit, things we'll see as many as 30 Tegra 3 based devices for sale this year.  

NVIDIA has 30 devices planned for the year. So far, we've seen just two. Of those 30 devices, some 15 will be planned for sub-$200 pricing. That's certainly the sweet spot for impulse purchases.

NVIDIA's also looking to make inroads into the Chinese market, with 18 of those 30 tablets targeted for the Asian nation. By comparison, NVIDIA only released five devices in China in 2011, Rayfield said.

The big name to know for the rest of the year is Kai. That's the low-cost, high-performance system that NVIDIA is crowing about these days, and it's what will help bring prices down while keeping prices at a more affordable level. Will there be higher-performing tablets? Sure. But will they be $200?

Producing a number of devices, like 30, is impressive but without context the fact means very little.  How many of these devices are going to tablets and how many are phones?  How many will be running the Microsoft Win RT operating system for ARM due out in fall?  

Speaking of Icera though, NVIDIA also showed the roadmap for LTE integration including the upcoming Icera i500 LTE controller for high-end phones and tablets with newly planned integration directly on the Tegra core in a new chip called "Grey".  This new processor will run parallel with the planned 2013 release of "Wayne" though it will be targeted at smartphones and lower end tablets; Wayne is planned to find its way into higher end tablets and the onslaught of clamshells we'll see with Windows RT.

nvidiagrey.jpg

There is a lot more to learn and we expect see more news come our way as we approach Computex in Taipei!

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 23rd, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2012 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: stock check, radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

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NVIDIA's highest end offering, the GTX 690

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $469

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $389

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $329

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $249

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $129

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - No Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - No Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

In short, nearly two weeks later, nothing has changed.  For NVIDIA neither the GeForce GTX 690 can be found nor can the GTX 680 - a card that launched more than two full months ago.  To say we are disappointed in the capability for NVIDIA to keep up their end of the bargain would be an understatement and explains why we STILL have not used the GTX 680 card in our Hardware Leaderboard!!  The GTX 670 remains in stock though with four models available at Newegg including an overclocked MSI model for hte $399 MSRP.  Considering this might be our new favorite GPU, that is good news at least. 

AMD is still doing great on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $469 / $389 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution.   

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

NVIDIA Likely Not Recalling All 600 Series Kepler GPUs

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 21, 2012 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: recall, nvidia, kepler, graphics cards, gpu

Editor's Note: We are getting a lot of flak for posting this story today, telling us that we are "giving the site credibility", referring to the Pnosker site that first started the recall rumor, simply by posting about it on our site.  Even though our post by Tim states to "take the leak with a grain of salt" and that "these GPUS go through rigorous testing and certification", some people think we were in the wrong to post about this. 

So let me be perfectly clear - the recall referenced in the story below is almost assuredly complete and utter BULLSHIT. 

According to Pnosker, NVIDIA is allegedly looking into recalling all Kepler based, 600-series graphics cards. Such a recall would affect users that have purchased GTX 670, GTX 680, and GTX 690 GPUs. The website has stated that their source has indicated that the graphics cards will possibly be recalled because the chips suffer from performance degradation after prolonged periods of heavy usage.

Galaxy GTX 670 Kepler GPU.JPG

While their source has reportedly been correct in the past, the author cautions readers to take the leak with a grain of salt. Other websites that have picked up on this have mentioned that these GPUs go through rigorous testing and certification processes before getting to the market, so this rumor does not have much ground to stand on. Another reason to take this report with a shaker-full of salt is that if there was such a defect in the Kepler GPU, it would be more likely to completely fail rather than continue working with degraded performance.

This rumor is likely just that: a rumor. Why such a rumor was started is unknown but your Kepler graphics card purchases are probably safe from performance degradation, though they may not get as high of a boost clock as other users’ cards.

UPDATE @ 7:30pm ET: To quote from NVIDIA PR - "There is no truth to this rumor."

Source: Pnosker

Get right to the gaming, AMD vs NVIDIA showdown

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 18, 2012 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: gtx 680, gtx670, hd7970, amd, nvidia

Ryan pitted the GTX670 and GTX570 against each other to show that in terms of gaming performance the GTX670 is a viable upgrade. [H]ard|OCP did something similar, testing the GTX670 and 680 against the HD7970 in a gaming performance showdown.  For those who are only interested in gaming performance they've assembled a great breakdown of four popular games at a variety of resolutions and both at stock clocks and the best OC they could manage.  The results are clear, for gamers it is NVIDIA with the clear win, with the GTX670 being a better value than the HD7970 and the GTX680 being a better performer.

a_winner_is_you_1024.jpg

"Wondering how the GeForce GTX 680 and GeForce GTX 670 compare to the Radeon HD 7970 and Radeon HD 7950 at stock frequencies as well as overclocked? You ask for it and we have done just that. Hold onto your hard earned cash and take note of just how the new GeForce GTX 670 compares with the rest of the competition."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #202 - GTX 670, NVIDIA's GK110 Tesla card, our AMD Trinity Mobile review and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2012 - 03:16 PM |
Tagged: trinity, tesla, podcast, nvidia, kepler, gtx670, GTC 2012, gk110, GK104, dv nation, a10

PC Perspective Podcast #202 - 05/17/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the GTX 670, NVIDIA's GK110 Tesla card, our AMD Trinity Mobile review and more!

If you want even more PC Perspective this, check out our "aftershow" event as well.  Event might be an over-statement though...

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:05:16

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:21 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:15 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Graphics Card Review - Kepler for $399
    1. GeForce GTX 670 vs GTX 570 Performance Update
    2. The GTX 670 and the Case of the Missing (and Returning) 4-Way SLI Support
  6. 0:11:20 Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 10th, 2012
    1. Hard to make a profit when no one can find Kepler cards for sale, NVIDIA
  7. 0:14:25 NVIDIA Reveals GK110 GPU - Kepler at 7.1B Transistors, 15 SMX Units
  8. 0:20:20 Lenovo IdeaCentre Q180: Atom's Wake
  9. 0:24:30 AMD A10-4600M Trinity For Mobile Review: Trying To Cut The Ivy
  10. 0:33:40 Just Delivered: DV Nation RAMRod PC - Sandy Bridge-E, 64GB DDR3, 480GB RevoDrive 3 X2
  11. 0:35:42 Plug and Pray PCIe SSD that you can upgrade; OWC's Mercury Accelsior
  12. 0:40:40 GTC 2012: NVIDIA Announces GeForce GRID Cloud Gaming Platform
    1. NVIDIA Pioneers New Standard for High Performance Computing with Tesla GPUs
    2. NVIDIA Introduces World's First Virtualized GPU, Accelerating Graphics for Cloud Computing
  13. 0:53:00 ZOTAC announces ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series
  14. 0:55:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Jeremy: Only to be used for evil
    2. Josh: Since NV doesn't have an answer yet at this price range...
    3. Allyn: If you need your files secure - without the destruction
  15. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  16. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  17. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  18. Closing

Rumors About Upcoming NVIDIA GTX 680M Emerge

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 16, 2012 - 10:40 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 680m, gpu, mobile, kepler

Videocardz.com managed to get their hands on some rumored details about an upcoming NVIDIA mobile graphics card–the GTX 680M. According to rumors, the mobile chip will be launched at Computex 2012 in Taiwan next month.

alleged gtx680m.jpg

There aren’t many details about the mobile chip, but it is set up to be a scaled down version of it’s Kepler based GTX 680 desktop counterpart. The GTX 680M will have approximately half as many CUDA cores at either 744 or 768 cores depending on the source. Either way, the card keeps the same 256-bit memory interface and can support SLI configurations. In addition, the 680M will be able to have up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Reportedly, it can use as much as 100 Watts of power.

When paired with an Intel Core i7 3720QM processor, the GPU was able to get a score of 4,905 points in 3DMark 11’s Performance present benchmark. It is supposed to be as much as 37 percent faster than the GTX 670M, which is not surprising considering that chip has only 336 CUDA cores and is clocked at 598 MHz (no word yet on what the GTX 680M will be clocked at).

No matter what the GTX 680M turns out to be, you can bet it will only be found in the highest end gaming notebooks where performance is more important than battery life. Until then, feel free to brush up on your Kepler architecture knowledge by visiting our GTX 680 (desktop) review.

Source: Videocardz
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

GK110 Specifications

When the Fermi architecture was first discussed in September of 2009 at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference it marked an interesting turn for the company. Not only was NVIDIA releasing details about a GPU that wasn’t going to be available to consumers for another six months, but also that NVIDIA was building GPUs not strictly for gaming anymore – HPC and GPGPU were a defining target of all the company’s resources going forward.

Kepler on the other hand seemed to go back in the other direction with a consumer graphics release in March of this year without discussion of the Tesla / Quadro side of the picture. While the company liked to tout that Kepler was built for gamers I think you’ll find that with the information NVIDIA released today, Kepler was still very much designed to be an HPC powerhouse. More than likely NVIDIA’s release schedules were altered by the very successful launch of AMD’s Tahiti graphics cards under the HD 7900 brand. As a result, gamers got access to GK104 before NVIDIA’s flagship professional conference and the announcement of GK110 – a 7.1 billion transistor GPU aimed squarely at parallel computing workloads.

Kepler GK110

With the Fermi design NVIDIA took a gamble and changed directions with its GPU design betting that it could develop a microprocessor that was primarily intended for the professional markets while still appealing to the gaming markets that have sustained it for the majority of the company’s existence. While the GTX 480 flagship consumer card and the GTX 580 to some degree had overheating and efficiency drawbacks for gaming workloads compared to AMD GPUs, the GTX 680 based on Kepler GK104 has improved on them greatly. NVIDIA has still designed Kepler for high-performance computing though with a focus this time on power efficiency as well as performance though we haven’t seen the true king of this product line until today.

dieshot.jpg

GK110 Die Shot

Built on the 28nm process technology from TSMC, GK110 is an absolutely MASSIVE chip built on 7.1 billion transistors and though NVIDIA hasn’t given us a die size, it is likely coming close the reticle limit of 550 square millimeters. NVIDIA is proud to call this chip the most ‘architecturally complex’ microprocessor ever built and while impressive, it means there is potential for some issues when it comes to producing a chip of this size. This GPU will be able to offer more than 1 TFlop of double precision computing power with greater than 80% efficiency and 3x the performance per watt of Fermi designs.

02.jpg

Continue reading our overview of the newly announced NVIDIA Kepler GK110 GPU!

Live: First NVIDIA Kepler GK110 GPU Details

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 16, 2012 - 05:14 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTC 2012, gk110

We are posting live from the "Inside Kepler" talk at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference with details on the new GK110 GPU.  Here is what we know so far:

  • 7.1 billion transistors
  • 15 SMX (modified) units
  • 2880 available CUDA cores
  • Greater than 1 TFLOP FP64 (double precision) compute
  • 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus

01.jpg

The block diagram for the GK110 GPU

We will update this post with more photos and information as we have it!

02.jpg

Diagram of the updated SMX for GK110

Don't expect to see this GPU until at least  Q4 of this year.

Check out our full Kepler GK110 deep-dive article we just posted!  

ZOTAC announces ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 15, 2012 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: zotac synergy, zotac, nvidia, gt 630, gt 620, GT 610, GK104, geforce, fermi

Zotac has released ten different graphics cards today, three GT 630s, three GT 620s and four GT 610s if you count the PCI version.  Enjoy all the benefits of the new Kepler architecture without the price of the GTX 680 or 690. These cards are a mix of GF108, GF119 and GK107, essentially rebrands of previous GT series cards as opposed to new ones like NVIDIA would prefer you believed.

630_4gb.jpg

They range from this 4GB GT 630 Synergy Edition which will give you the ability to handle multiple monitors in a work environment.

zotax 610 PCIe.jpg

To this 1GB PCIe 1x GT 610 model for low power, low profile applications where a 16x slot just won't fit.

 

HONG KONG – May 15, 2012 – ZOTAC International, a global innovator and channel manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today expands the successful ZOTAC GeForce 600 series with new value offerings. The ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series deliver a savory taste of Microsoft DirectX 11 technologies for an outstanding visual computing experience.

“ZOTAC is pleased to bring the GeForce 600 series to value shoppers seeking a superior visual experience discrete graphics brings to computing,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “By installing one of our ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 or GT 610 series graphics cards, users can experience faster video and image processing and perfect high-definition video playback with a simple upgrade.”

The ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series are available in a variety configurations with 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB memory options in PCI Express 2.0 x16, PCI Express x1 or PCI interfaces, and active or passive cooling configurations to cater exclusively to all user computing needs.

It’s time to play with ZOTAC and the GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series.

zotac logo.jpg

General details

  • ZOTAC Expands successful GeForce 600 series
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 630 series
    • 96 processor cores
    • 1GB, 2GB and 4GB memory configurations
    • 128-bit memory interface
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 620 series
    • 96 processor cores
    • 1GB & 2GB memory configurations
    • 64-bit memory interface
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 610 series
    • 48 processor cores
    • 512MB, 1GB & 2GB memory configurations
    • 64-bit memory interface
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision capable
  • NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
  • DirectX 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
  • OpenGL 4.2 compatible
  • Hardware-accelerated Full HD video playback
  • Blu-ray 3D ready
  • Loss-less audio bitstream capable

zotac specs.png

Source: Zotac
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

NVIDIA puts its head in the clouds

Today at the 2012 NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC), NVIDIA took the wraps off a new cloud gaming technology that promises to reduce latency and improve the quality of streaming gaming using the power of NVIDIA GPUs.  Dubbed GeForce GRID, NVIDIA is offering the technology to online services like Gaikai and OTOY.  

01.jpg

The goal of GRID is to bring the promise of "console quality" gaming to every device a user has.  The term "console quality" is kind of important here as NVIDIA is trying desperately to not upset all the PC gamers that purchase high-margin GeForce products.  The goal of GRID is pretty simple though and should be seen as an evolution of the online streaming gaming that we have covered in the past–like OnLive.  Being able to play high quality games on your TV, your computer, your tablet or even your phone without the need for high-performance and power hungry graphics processors through streaming services is what many believe the future of gaming is all about. 

02.jpg

GRID starts with the Kepler GPU - what NVIDIA is now dubbing the first "cloud GPU" - that has the capability to virtualize graphics processing while being power efficient.  The inclusion of a hardware fixed-function video encoder is important as well as it will aid in the process of compressing images that are delivered over the Internet by the streaming gaming service. 

 

03.jpg

This diagram shows us how the Kepler GPU handles and accelerates the processing required for online gaming services.  On the server side, the necessary process for an image to find its way to the user is more than just a simple render to a frame buffer.  In current cloud gaming scenarios the frame buffer would have to be copied to the main system memory, compressed on the CPU and then sent via the network connection.  With NVIDIA's GRID technology that capture and compression happens on the GPU memory and thus can be on its way to the gamer faster.

The results are H.264 streams that are compressed quickly and efficiently to be sent out over the network and return to the end user on whatever device they are using. 

Continue reading our editorial on the new NVIDIA GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology!!