NVIDIA Event on March 3rd. Why?

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | February 11, 2015 - 03:25 PM |
Tagged: Tegra X1, nvidia, mwc 15, MWC, gdc 2015, GDC, DirectX 12

On March 3rd, NVIDIA will host an event called “Made to Game”. Invitations have gone out to numerous outlets, including Android Police, who published a censored screenshot of it. This suggests that it will have something to do with the Tegra X1, especially since the date is the day after Mobile World Congress starts. Despite all of this, I think it is for something else entirely.

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Image Credit: Android Police

Allow me to highlight two points. First, Tech Report claims that the event is taking place in San Francisco, which is about as far away from Barcelona, Spain as you can get. It is close to GDC however, which takes also starts on March 2nd. If this was going to align with Mobile World Congress, you ideally would not want attendees to take 14-hour flight for a day trip.

Second, the invitation specifically says: “More than 5 years in the making, what I want to share with you will redefine the future of gaming.” Compare that to the DirectX 12 announcement blog post on March 20th of last year (2014): “Our work with Microsoft on DirectX 12 began more than four years ago with discussions about reducing resource overhead. For the past year, NVIDIA has been working closely with the DirectX team to deliver a working design and implementation of DX12 at GDC ((2014)).”

So yeah, while it might involve the Tegra X1 processor for Windows 10 on mobile devices, which is the only reason I can think of that they would want Android Police there apart from "We're inviting everyone everywhere", I expect that this event is for DirectX 12. I assume that Microsoft would host their own event that involves many partners, but I could see NVIDIA having a desire to save a bit for something of their own. What would that be? No idea.

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February 11, 2015 | 04:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes, but what happened to Denver, it had twice the IPC per core as the reference ARM cores that Nvidia switched to in the X1, so why the movement away from the custom ARM core K1, it could this be an attempt to get DX into the mobile sphere, who knows, but Nvidia's attempts at reaming proprietary will not sit well with the mobile market, that uses OpenGL, and the Khronos graphics APIs, including the OpenCL GPGPU API. Going in with M$, in mobile, is a bit risky with so many others using the open standard in the, not controlled by M$, mobile market. It's a long way away from Barcelona to try to piggyback on the buzz of the mobile world congress, JHH really likes milking the buzz, but will the market pay him any mind. It does sound like Nvidia is chaining itself to that M$ anchor, I'll wait for AMD's K12, as I think AMD will get the custom ARM core APUs performing, without having to backtrack to a non custom reference design, Apple will have the lead all to itself, until 2016, and AMD's entry in to the custom ARM market, who knows what Nvidia is doing with its tricky math, 3.5 = 4, and all.

February 11, 2015 | 04:48 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Do you think amd will be able to make any real money in the ARM market?

February 11, 2015 | 05:12 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah probably. There'll be a few enterprises that want to deal with a single vendor but want multiple architectures (x86, ARM, and don't forget the GCN GPU). Also, I expect that AMD will be much more willing to take on custom designs than Intel and other chip producers, so they can probably scoup up customers over time there too. May take a while to build a Rolodex, though.

February 11, 2015 | 06:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD, and AMD's graphics can compete in the tablet space, once AMD gets some custom ARMv8 ISA based custom wider order superscalar design/s, those 6 IPC custom Apple Cyclone, now Cyclone 2, designs are being used in phones, and tablets. If Jim Keller's design department can get a custom ARMv8 ISA core, that can run power efficient in a mobile phone, and have all of the HSA and graphics ability baked into an AMD custom ARM SKU, then there is a whole non Apple market of phone OEMs that will be knocking on AMD's door. It's the custom wider order superscalar designs, that have twice the IPC per core as ARM Holdings' reference designs, that will take that high end mobile phone market, and the tablet market also, why try and shoehorn the x86 CISC ISA into a mobile market, when the mobile market has no legacy software requirements, the RISC designs are inherently more power efficient, just look at Apple's Cyclone variants, and imagine getting an AMD APU based on the ARMv8 ISA with the ability to match the Apple Cyclone IPC to IPC, and add to that AMD graphics, for sure Imagination technologies makes a powerful GPU, and one with the option for hardware Ray Tracing in the GPU, should a customer order that, but AMD should be up to the task of matching the PowerVR in performance, at least in the non ray tracing enabled mobile GPU IP. AMD needs to double down on a custom ARMv8 very wide order superscalar core design, and for its ARMv8 based server SKUs, just as much as the Tablet, and phone markets, AMD's current server SKU is based on an Narrower 3 IPC ARM Holdings reference core, and AMD will be needing a 6+ IPC per core custom ARMv8 ISA based SKU, more so in the server space, the more power efficient the better for mobile, and the high density server market.

AMD has a server line to think about, in addition to its traditional x86, and GPU lines, and AMD will be bringing skybridge online, and those reference ARM cores, will need to be replaced with a custom variant for AMD's long term goals in the nascent ARM based server market, the custom AMD ARMv8 server ISA based IP will work its way down into AMD's consumer offerings, same as for the other makers of CPUs and SOCs. And Apple for sure is not in the server business, other than maybe the possibility of Apple creating some internal high density in house use, ARM based server SKUs for its server farms/services. Nvidia is all over the place, and appears to be without focus, as far as its custom ARM Denver Line, who knows(?).

February 11, 2015 | 04:28 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

nGreedia lied, pixels died. In other words - nobody cares.

February 11, 2015 | 05:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm going to say this will be a X1 tablet showcase. If you look at the picture it looks like the square edge of a tablet design with green led glow.

How big will the battery be this time? Same claims of 10hrs of usage when in reality your lucky to get 4hrs of game play. If you dim the screen to almost pitch dark you can get 15mins extra.

February 12, 2015 | 03:04 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Probably a new proprietary tech based on an open standard.

Or a new shiny Geforce driver with DX12 support that will roll back to DX11 if AMD hardware is in the system (second gpu, APU or cpu, Radeon memory, or Radeon SSD).

Or their own version of Mantle.

Anyway something with locks on it. Many locks.

February 12, 2015 | 04:43 AM - Posted by Mioracle (not verified)

Half-Life 3 on DX12 "The way it's meant to be played" with new tech presented by nVidia and Valve together.

Valve will show HL3 on glNext @GDC 2 days later on March 5th.

February 12, 2015 | 08:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I heard they were skipping HL3 and going right to HL4.

February 12, 2015 | 09:40 AM - Posted by Mioracle (not verified)

I thought it was GL HF Take 5 ;)

But serisously, something big is happening. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but a lot of things points to HL3 or another new game, game engine and tech from Valve.

February 16, 2015 | 07:27 AM - Posted by collie

This is probably a dead article, but I have a hope of what it could be.

Nintendo is working on a new console. The other 2 consoles are not all that powerful, powered by amd.

How cool would it be if they were announcing the new Nintendo with Tegra CPU and the power of a 970. It would be the hands down winner of this gen

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