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Nvidia shoots for film with new chip

Graphics chip leader Nvidia is unveiling what will be the fastest graphics processor on the market, with visual capabilities the company hopes will one day rival the big screen.

As expected, Nvidia will take the wraps off its new GeForce FX chip, once code-named NV30, at a news conference in Las Vegas, just before the Comdex Fall 2002 trade show on Monday.

The new chip, to be shipped in January, will deliver a significant increase in performance thanks to a higher clock speed and greater programmability, company representatives said. The GeForce FX will also improve PCs' capabilities to create realistic graphics more quickly, said Dan Vivola, vice president of marketing at Nvidia. The chip can render graphics as much as four times faster than Nvidia's current GeForce4 Ti 4600 processor.

"We're trying to come up with a graphics processor that can create in real time (on a computer)...what happens on the cinema screen," he said. The new GeForce FX is "a step closer to that goal. We're on a collision course toward film such that what you see on a computer and what you see in a film will look the same."

The new GeForce FX will run at 500MHz, faster than the 325MHz Ti 4600 chip. A new feature lets developers program their own shaders, which are what give graphics their unique look. That means game developers can make graphics more realistic. Using Nvidia's CG language, for example, developers can make things such as skin look more like something you could touch, Vivola said.

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News source: c|net

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