NVIDIA launching their own line of CPUs

NVIDIA announced on Wednesday that they will be releasing their own line-up of ARM based CPU cores, designed for home PCs, servers and even "supercomputers." The shocking announcement means that NVIDIA will be releasing their own line-up, to compete with the likes of AMD, Intel, and IBM.

The new set of ARM based CPUs will be fully integrated on the same chip as the NVIDIA GPU, meaning it will consume less power and increase graphics performance. NVIDIA's line of CPUs are based on ARM's current Cortex A15 processor for its future generation Tegra mobile processors.

Bringing both the CPU and GPU together on the same chip means that the ARM CPU will consume less energy and output up to 20x better performance in graphics in some scenarios. NVIDIA might be a very interesting contender in the mobile CPU market with their ARM based chipsets, offering more consumer choices over Intel or AMD.

This news comes the same day Microsoft announced Windows 8 will be available on the ARM processor, so the future for both NVIDIA and Microsoft just got a little more exciting.

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This is Microsoft creating iWindows and giving you the unified frameworks to make device-independent apps.. err software. Perhaps they are shifting toward Apple's current model?

Now what will be very very interesting if we see motherboards that support booting via ARM cpu on the graphics card to run a basic windows envioment with ultralow energy use for basic browsing of websites or home media center mode and then; the faster more powerful Intel/AMD CPU's along with the graphics GPU kick in when needed to provide the power for things like photoshop and gaming applications.

sagum said,
Now what will be very very interesting if we see motherboards that support booting via ARM cpu on the graphics card to run a basic windows envioment with ultralow energy use for basic browsing of websites or home media center mode and then; the faster more powerful Intel/AMD CPU's along with the graphics GPU kick in when needed to provide the power for things like photoshop and gaming applications.

I don't think dual booting will ever really become mainstream.

Well many laptops already do graphics switching to lower power usage. It's possible that in the future they might figure out a way to do the same with a CPU.

_DP said,

I don't think dual booting will ever really become mainstream.

As much as I would like it to, you are probably right. My mind laptop has a 'web' mode to boot it in seconds into a basic web browser environment (like chrome/ium OS) and I can't remember the last time she used it. It wasn't really very good anyway, based on FireFox 2.x.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
The real question is, just how many Windows applications designed for the x86/x64 platforms will actually work on ARM-based Windows 8 machines?

Everybody forgets that Nvidia has been working on a hardware x86 emulator that work on arm chips for at least a year. I'd say that for the applications that don't get recompiled, that this may be the answer.

joshua.barker said,
Everybody forgets that Nvidia has been working on a hardware x86 emulator that work on arm chips for at least a year.
Do you have a link to this? I would be interested to read more about that. Most of the links I read were conjecture that all pointed to an eventual full-blown x86 chip from nVidia, which they no longer need with the SoC support in Windows 8.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
The real question is, just how many Windows applications designed for the x86/x64 platforms will actually work on ARM-based Windows 8 machines?

.NET will take care of that since Windows 8 will be avaliable for ARM processors.

NVIDIA may actually win over Intel and AMD , GPUs are far more complex then CPUs , which means they have the edge when it comes to the experience in cores and processing.

fizman said,
NVIDIA may actually win over Intel and AMD , GPUs are far more complex then CPUs , which means they have the edge when it comes to the experience in cores and processing.

Urmmm... you may not have noticed but both AMD and Intel have a lot of experience with GPUs, especially AMD!

_DP said,

Urmmm... you may not have noticed but both AMD and Intel have a lot of experience with GPUs, especially AMD!

Point taken !

@torrentthief: Why low end stuff, did you even read the first sentence or just the title? designed for home PCs, servers and even "SUPERCOMPUTERS."

Zarpraz said,
@torrentthief: Why low end stuff, did you even read the first sentence or just the title? designed for home PCs, servers and even "SUPERCOMPUTERS."

Supercomputers consist of hundreds or thousands of CPUs, so that doesn't say much about the speed of a single CPU.

lmathews said,
Wait, why is this "shocking"? ... Also, it was pretty widely known last year that everyone and their brother was working on both netbooks and slates running Tegra 2.
It's not shocking that nVidia is releasing more products based on their Tegra lineup, but it is shocking to see native support in Windows 8, which enables nVidia to release motherboards and a consumer-facing processor lineup.

I think this ties back into Microsoft making a very big bet with Windows 8. Providing native, mainstream support in their flagship products for ARM is a pretty big upset for Intel and even AMD. I would even say it's going further than Apple did with its shift from PowerPC to x86. I must say that I am a bit curious how well x86 software will run--if at all--on ARM processors through whatever form of emulation Microsoft (or chip manufacturers, as joshua.barker mentions below) provide akin to Rosetta in Mac OS X.

Similarly, I wonder if that emulation will go both ways. It will certainly be beneficial to provide x86-to-ARM emulation for short term benefits, but I wonder if they will provide some sort of reverse situation where ARM-to-x86 will run to enable future ARM-specific applications to run on x86 Windows.

This also immediately increases the benefits of using the .NET Framework.

netbooks and slower laptops and desktops will use it. It will make devices very cheap as ARM chips are very cheap, this will force AMD and intel to lower their prices on their lower end chips too.

torrentthief said,
netbooks and slower laptops and desktops will use it. It will make devices very cheap as ARM chips are very cheap, this will force AMD and intel to lower their prices on their lower end chips too.

I doubt many desktops will use it. ARM don't have the capability to contend with proper full-power x86 CPUs. This is aimed at the Tablet, ULPC and netbook market.

9point6 said,

I doubt many desktops will use it. ARM don't have the capability to contend with proper full-power x86 CPUs. This is aimed at the Tablet, ULPC and netbook market.

Arm has huge potential. x86 is just more popularized.

Moustacha said,
Can anyone see this replacing current desktops, or will it be stuck in the mobile field?

ARM typically lacks real computing power, so it's likely only going to be used as a supplementary cpu onboard a video card in desktops. As for mobile platforms, having CPU/GPU integrated typically results in energy efficiency.

Moustacha said,
Can anyone see this replacing current desktops, or will it be stuck in the mobile field?

ARM is evolving very fast. The possibility that ARM replace mainstream laptop, micro desktop and all-in-ones is very likely.
The demo MS made on the ARM platforms wasn't exceptional until they reached the Tesla demo. This one had Aero enabled and multimedia was exceptionally fast. Actually, I would be interested in benchmarking the Tesla 2 CPU to my current TM2 Tablet running an i3 1.2GHz 2C4T, it seemed... faster...

Interesting.. but it's almost certain that this will require specific coding for any real benefit, much like physx and other cuda enabled applications. This basically means that it'll be useless and ill-received for a while until games start supporting it.

I'm curious as to what other benefits this may have.

It appears I misunderstood the article. I was under the impression that they were intending to put supplementary arm cpus in desktop graphic solutions, but this seems to be more aimed at mobile markets.