NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 26 February 2014
In this Issue:
· Maxwell changes everything!
· Mobile World Congress is the launchpad for the first retail devices powered by NVIDIA’s LTE modems.
Maxwell Is Born
NVIDIA took the wraps off its new GPU architecture this week, dubbed Maxwell, which can be described as nothing short of revolutionary.
We have known since 2012 that NVIDIA’s follow-up architecture to Kepler would be Maxwell, but it’s only more recently that we’ve begun to understand the complete significance of Maxwell to the company’s plans. Each and every generation of GPUs brings with it an important mix of improvements, new features, and enhanced performance; but fundamental shifts are fewer and far between. So when we found out Maxwell would be one of those fundamental shifts, it changed our perspective and expectations significantly.
Power = Performance
Using the same .28nm process node as previous GPU generations, Maxwell brings forth dramatic performance efficiencies, delivering up to a 50% performance improvement while reducing power consumption by more than 2X. These new levels of performance per watt are “nothing sort of amazing” and “[easily] impressive.”
First generation Maxwell products now available
By dramatically optimizing the formation of the CUDA cores and control logic to be more intelligent, Maxwell’s performance efficiency is impressive for sure. And now, the first products based on Maxwell are now available—the new GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 GPUs—neither of which requires an external power connector, “completely changes the sub-75W market” and a “game-changer that will surely facilitate future upgrades.” In fact, the GTX 750 Ti “emphasizes efficiency” “and “is the fastest available graphics card that does not have a power connector”.
Great performance for PCs of every size
With awesome performance and unbelievably low wattage, “its excellent features, awesome power consumption numbers and good 1080P performance make it a perfect fit for just about anyone searching for an affordable, efficient GPU.”
And the low power draw “makes it an attractive option for HTPC, mITX or basic store-bought systems” too.
“Think about all of the generic, low-budget boxes out there from Dell and HP with 300W power supplies and outdated or embedded graphics. These were originally sold as internet and email machines; now they can be upgraded to entry-level gaming rigs.”
Overclocking the GPU can add heat and noise and can be a limiting factor in the ultimate clock speed if not properly managed. But…
“The GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 really stays cool even with what amounts to a heat sink smaller than what Intel ships with its current processors. It’s small yet effective at what it does.”
And, for those that have a knack for it, you may find yourself having “no issues hitting a GPU frequency in excess of 1.4GHz. And reference models should be able to hit upwards of 1.3GHz without much effort”, too.
More than Just a Pretty Face
If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, folks are also finding out that Maxwell has greater advantages for Linux and cryptocurrency mining as well.
The best part is you don’t have to wait to check out Maxwell for yourself. Both the GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 were launched with immediate availability across the globe with a starting price of $119 and up. In other words, Maxwell is more than just the paper it’s designed on. It’s the real deal.
NVIDIA’s LTE Modems Ready for Prime Time with Tegra NOTE 7 LTE, Wiko WAX Smartphone
At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, NVIDIA made a splash by introducing the first retail devices powered by its LTE modems – the Tegra NOTE 7 LTE , as well as the Wiko WAX smartphone that comes from one of Europe’s fastest growing local phone makers.
NVIDIA’s LTE modems feature unique software-defined radio technology for quick upgradability and connections everywhere. After introducing our integrated LTE processor, Tegra 4i, last year, we demoed our modem technology on the Tegra 4i-powered Phoenix reference phone. We followed that up by demonstrating CAT 4 LTE Advanced high-speed wireless data , and since then, our LTE modems have been certified by top global carriers, including AT&T and Vodaphone, for both voice and data.
Press took notice of our efforts:
“NVIDIA is demonstrating they can support the world’s largest networks with both voice and data. And not only that, their modem is real.”
“Last year we saw Intel, Broadcom and NVIDIA begin eyeing [the LTE] space. But it’s NVIDIA that has made the biggest headway in that time.”
“…Tegra 4i could provide an alternative to Qualcomm’s products.”
For MWC, NVIDIA added a new family member with the Tegra NOTE 7 LTE, giving the fastest 7” Android tablet around worldwide LTE and 3G connectivity. Global availability of the Tegra NOTE 7 platform was also expanded to Western Europe, Brazil and Ukraine in Q2 of this year, and as a bonus, the entire family received an update to Android 4.4.2 (KitKat). Media were impressed, saying, “…the bottom-line is that [Tegra NOTE 7 LTE] is an extremely affordable tablet with an excellent performance-to-price ratio.”
“If you liked the EVGA Tegra Note 7 but wished it had faster data, then NVIDIA has just the tablet for you.”
“Itching for a Tegra-powered gaming device, but insist on a slate with LTE support? You’re in luck: NVIDIA is building a tablet just for you.” – Engadget
“Users that were looking for a budget priced Android tablet that didn’t skimp on features found a perfect home with the Tegra Note 7.” – PC Perspective
One of Europe’s fastest-growing local phone makers – Wiko – also took the wraps off its WAX smartphone, officially readying Europe for Tegra 4i power. What’s this mean? For starters, 2X higher performance than competing phone chips. And fast web browsing, best-in-class gaming performance, smooth video playback and great battery life. Visitors to our MWC booth were impressed:
“[The Wiko WAX] smartphone is going to be very, very powerful.”
“The Wiko Wax blazes with Tegra 4i”
“If Wiko can release the Wax at an affordable price, I could see this being a success, given Tegra 4i’s power and the high resolution front camera.”