Thursday, December 6, 2007


What is the primary and overridding difference between the CPU and the GPU is a nice consumer computer? It is NOT the speeds at which vectors can be processed, it is NOT the ability or lack of ability to processes double precision numbers.

The most important factor is who makes the most money from that PC you bought. Under the current configuration a nice graphics card can account for 50% of the cost of a computer and the GPU often costs more than the CPU.

This situation does not set well with Intel and AMD. The latter has made a move to change this by purchasing ATI and working on a new computer design that combines the capabilities of the CPU and the GPU and brings more computer revenues to the compined company (AMD+ATI).

Intel, on the other hand, is changing the paradigm from inside the company and inside the CPU. Their Larrabee project is looking to perovide a multi-core chip that includes cores that can handle the graphics that have traditionally been owned by the GPU.

So what is Nvidia doing to defend their very profitable turf? It appears that they are pursuing high-applications with their Tesla product that uses multiple GPUs to handle high-compute problems. Given that the consumer desktop is where all of the money is, you would expect them to be doing their own innovation in the consumer space. That may include multi-core GPU, multi-chip cards, combined CPU/GPU architectures ... Or something entirely different.

THe situation where the GPU pulls in a significant share or the PC price is equivalent to a serious threat to Microsoft's ownership of the O/S and Office productivity tools. The power of Intel HAS to rise up to reclaim these revenues. There will be a new architecture for consumer grade computers in CPU/GPU specifically because of the current revenue share ... Intel will make it happen. The real question is why has it taken so long?

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