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NVIDIA GeForce2 Go
High performance graphics to go
by Rick Smith (December 13, 2000)


 

Laptop computers have generally put a premium on style, size and shape and while their processor performance is near that of desktop systems, video performance has tended to be below par. NVIDIA, however, plans to increase the video performance of mobile systems with their new GeForce2 Go GPU (Graphical Processing Unit).

While some processor manufacturers feel that the latest generation of their CPUs (Central Processing Units) are up to the task of increasing this performance, they really aren’t. The rising demand for richer graphical user interfaces, real-time video viewing, larger screen resolutions and multiple monitor usage has made better graphical processing a necessity.

The NVIDIA GeForce2 Go helps mobile users make up this performance gap. Now laptop systems can be used to watch DVD movies, play computer games or display dynamic presentations without having to reduce screen resolution, reduce displayed detail or reduce playback frame rate.

Some key features are:

Improved display of two dimensional graphics. The GeForce2 Go offers some visible benefits to mobile users such as: Multiple windows opening more quickly; Screen redraws occuring much faster (nearly instantaneously); DVD movies running more smoothly, without those annoying skips and stutters

Higher performance 3D graphics. Dynamic requires tremendous graphics computational horsepower. If it’s not there, the video game you are playing or your 3D demonstration of your company’s latest product offering begins to stop and stutter. Your choices are to lower the resolution, lower the amount of details displayed or use a desktop PC that has the performance. The GeForce2 Go has tremendous performance since it is capable of producing 18 million triangles per second on the screen (the more triangles the more realistic the image). It also offers many features that mobile PCs never had in the past. These features are full hardware transform, hardware clipping, hardware lighting, advanced shading and cube environment mapping.

Designed for mobile computing. During typical usage the GeForce2 Go consumes less than one watt of power. During peak processing, it can consume 2.8 watts, which is within 10 percent of competing mobile processors. Because transform and lighting calculations are performed directly by the GeForce2 Go, instead of the main CPU, much less power is consumed. Since the core voltage has been reduced, NVIDIA is able to provide stunning graphics with much lower power consumption. This helps the mobile performance computer achieve good battery life. By allowing the manufacturers to use external spread spectrum components, EMI (electromagnetic interference) can be reduced without have to use shielding techniques, which add more cost and weight to a mobile computer. The GeForce2 Go has also been designed to generate little heat in order to last a lifetime in a notebook with no airflow and no heat sinks. This device can operate in ambient temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius. Imagine working your whole life during a 185 degree heat wave, without a fan.

Better software driver compatibility. NVIDIA uses a unified driver architecture. By carefully designing the hardware interface in each new generation of chip and sophisticated software techniques, graphics processors can be improved, while maintaining compatibility with the existing NVIDIA drivers. No more “video driver of the month” downloads. Each new NVIDIA GPU is tested with older drivers, long before new drivers are even created. This way the stability and robustness of the NVIDIA drivers for desktop GPUs are leveraged to provide stable and reliable notebook drivers. With only one driver for all NVIDIA-based graphics systems, corporate IT departments can keep PCs and notebooks up-to-date more easily.


The NVIDIA GeForce2 Go also:

  • Is the first mobile AGP 4X graphics controller with support for Fast Writes.

  • can display a DVD movie on one screen, while the Windows desktop is active in another using its built-in “TwinView” architecture.

  • can support HDTV resolutions up to 720 progressive.

  • is three times faster than the nearest competitor and more than 10 times faster than today's standard mobile 3D processors.

  • is capable of rendering nearly 300 million pixels per second, 50% faster than the nearest competitor.

  • Supports the new generation of Direct3D and OpenGL game titles

  • Includes anisotropic filtering for better texture quality and texture compression for better performance and higher image quality

  • has better Per-pixel shading effects, multi-texturing and dot3 bump mapping

  • supports 8, 16 or 32 MB of display memory in both SDRAM (Single Data Rate) and DDR (Double Data Rate) memory configurations. This is the first notebook GPU with support for DDR memory, which delivers responsive graphics regardless of frame buffer size.

  • complements Intel Celeron, Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon processor families.

  • Utilizes the latest 0.18 micron silicon process technology.

    The GeForce2 Go GPU is in production now. Systems featuring it are expected to be available in the Spring of 2001, worldwide. Toshiba is the first customer for this device.

    Look for the GeForce2 Go GPU inside an upcoming notebook.

    Copyright © 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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