NVIDIA Unveils Next Generation CUDA GPU Architecture - Codenamed 'Fermi'

New ground-up design gives rise to the world's first computational GPUs

October 1, 2009

4 Min Read
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NVIDIA Corp. today introduced its next generation CUDA(TM) GPU architecture, codenamed "Fermi". An entirely new ground-up design, the "Fermi"(TM) architecture is the foundation for the world's first computational graphics processing units (GPUs), delivering breakthroughs in both graphics and GPU computing.

"NVIDIA and the Fermi team have taken a giant step towards making GPUs attractive for a broader class of programs," said Dave Patterson, director Parallel Computing Research Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley and co-author of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach. "I believe history will record Fermi as a significant milestone."

Presented at the company's inaugural GPU Technology Conference, in San Jose, California, "Fermi" delivers a feature set that accelerates performance on a wider array of computational applications than ever before. Joining NVIDIA's press conference was Oak Ridge National Laboratory who announced plans for a new supercomputer that will use NVIDIA(R) GPUs based on the "Fermi" architecture. "Fermi" also garnered the support of leading organizations including Bloomberg, Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Microsoft.

"It is completely clear that GPUs are now general purpose parallel computing processors with amazing graphics, and not just graphics chips anymore," said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "The Fermi architecture, the integrated tools, libraries and engines are the direct results of the insights we have gained from working with thousands of CUDA developers around the world. We will look back in the coming years and see that Fermi started the new GPU industry."

As the foundation for NVIDIA's family of next generation GPUs namely GeForce(R), Quadro(R) and Tesla(R) "Fermi" features a host of new technologies that are "must-have" features for the computing space, including:  --  C++, complementing existing support for C, Fortran, Java, Python,
      OpenCL and DirectCompute.
  --  ECC, a critical requirement for datacenters and supercomputing centers
      deploying GPUs on a large scale
  --  512 CUDA Cores(TM) featuring the new IEEE 754-2008 floating-point
      standard, surpassing even the most advanced CPUs
  --  8x the peak double precision arithmetic performance over NVIDIA's last
      generation GPU. Double precision is critical for high-performance
      computing (HPC) applications such as linear algebra, numerical
      simulation, and quantum chemistry
  --  NVIDIA Parallel DataCache(TM) - the world's first true cache hierarchy
      in a GPU that speeds up algorithms such as physics solvers,
      raytracing, and sparse matrix multiplication where data addresses are
      not known beforehand
  --  NVIDIA GigaThread(TM) Engine with support for concurrent kernel
      execution, where different kernels of the same application context can
      execute on the GPU at the same time (eg: PhysX(R) fluid and rigid body

  --  Nexus - the world's first fully integrated heterogeneous computing
      application development environment within Microsoft Visual Studio
Images, technical whitepapers, presentations, videos and more on "Fermi" can all be found at: www.nvidia.com/fermi

NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) awakened the world to the power of computer graphics when it invented the graphics processing unit (GPU) in 1999. Since then, it has consistently set new standards in visual computing with breathtaking, interactive graphics available on devices ranging from portable media players to notebooks to workstations. NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing which make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. Fortune magazine has ranked NVIDIA #1 in innovation in the semiconductor industry for two years in a row. For more information, see www.nvidia.com.

Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to, statements as to: the benefits, features, impact, performance and capabilities of Fermi architecture; the GPU computing revolution; and Fermi's support among Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other leading organizations are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: development of more efficient or faster technology; design, manufacturing or software defects; the impact of technological development and competition; changes in consumer preferences and demands; customer adoption of different standards or our competitor's products; changes in industry standards and interfaces; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the reports NVIDIA files with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended July 26, 2009. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on our website and are available from NVIDIA without charge. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, NVIDIA disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

(C) 2009 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, Fermi, Tesla, CUDA, GeForce, Quadro, PhysX, Gigathread, and NVIDIA Parallel DataCache are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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