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Nvidia Corp., a leading designer of graphics processors and multimedia system-on-chips, on Wednesday announced plans to develop its own ARM-based micro-architecture. The company intends to integrate future custom central processing unit (CPU) cores into its graphics processing units (GPUs) and install the latter into both personal computers and servers.

Known under the internal code-name "Project Denver", this initiative features an Nvidia CPU running the ARM instruction set, which will be fully integrated on the same chip as the Nvidia GPU. This new processor stems from a strategic partnership, also announced today, in which Nvidia has obtained rights to develop its own high performance CPU cores based on ARM's future processor architecture. In addition, Nvidia licensed ARM's current Cortex-A15 processor for its future-generation Tegra mobile processors.

Nvidia's intention to integrate ARM-based microprocessor cores had been known for over a year now. Back in November, 2010, the company even unveiled plans to develop a so-called Echelon design chip that incorporates a large number (~1024) of stream cores and a smaller (~8) number of latency-optimized CPU-like cores on a single chip. As a result, the current announcement is just a formal confirmation of Nvidia's plans to enter the market of accelerated processing units (APUs, the chips that feature both CPU and GPU cores on the same die) eventually.

"ARM is the fastest-growing CPU architecture in history. This marks the beginning of the Internet Everywhere era, where every device provides instant access to the Internet, using advanced CPU cores and rich operating systems. ARM's pervasiveness and open business model make it the perfect architecture for this new era. With Project Denver, we are designing a high-performing ARM CPU core in combination with our massively parallel GPU cores to create a new class of processor," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia.

While it remains to be seen how successful ARM architecture will be in servers, it should be stressed that Nvidia makes no promises about any actual products or time frames. Perhaps, by the time project Denver evolves into actual devices the market of servers will be completely different from today and highly-parallel accelerators will be more important than x86-based AMD Opteron or Intel Xeon microprocessors.

"Nvidia is a key partner for ARM and this announcement shows the potential that partnership enables. With this architecture license, Nvidia will be at the forefront of next generation SoC design, enabling the Internet Everywhere era to become a reality," said Warren East, ARM chief executive officer.

Tags: Nvidia, , Denver, Geforce, Tegra, AMD, Intel, , x86, , Opteron, Echelon

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 01/06/11 01:44:00 AM
Latest comment: 01/08/11 02:01:24 AM
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1. 
No chance ,against Intel ,AMD x86-64.
0 1 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 01/06/11 01:44:00 AM]
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Really?? I think ARM is the future. All mobile devices have this king of processor. If they can develop a CPU that can compete at raw performance with the latest x86, the x86 processors are doomed because of old architecture and conception...
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 01/06/11 02:52:37 AM]
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ARM is not the future. Intel and AMD (I tend to put them in alphobetical order in the news, but here I put them in the order of R&D spending) invest tens of billions every year into development of x86 microprocessors. How many years will it take for an ARM camp to do a similar thing?
0 1 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 01/07/11 07:00:44 PM]
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Too many Nvidia smoke ,but little fire.IT will be ok for Win8 phone OS
0 1 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 01/08/11 02:01:24 AM]
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Very difficult, but not impossible. It's not hard to see ARM servers getting a niche in the server space, butits impossible to see them getting mainstream in this decade.

What nVidia fails to understand is that they need solutions that are not only HPC oriented. High performance computing is only a tiny fraction (that gets loads of attention nontheless).

Anyway, the ARM vs x86 battle has a long road ahead. Lets hope to see some good inovation out of it.
0 0 [Posted by: redhavoc  | Date: 01/07/11 12:26:13 AM]
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2. 
Good. More products and competition is always good for consumers.
0 0 [Posted by: shadowfax  | Date: 01/06/11 02:36:05 AM]
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3. 
ARM is the future once Windows 8 is released it's only a matter of time before it replaces or competes with x86 for ever day usage.

Luckily with windows 8 it will be possible to have x86 along side ARM for the best of both worlds Nvidia GPU's will be even more complete co-processors with this announcement with it's future GPU's.

They will have a distinct advantage over AMD for graphics as well with a integrated processors that don't need to traverse the PCI-E bus to communiciate with a x86 cpu, but will still be able to do that in addition to using the built in ARM co-processor.
0 0 [Posted by: knowom  | Date: 01/07/11 03:20:22 PM]
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4. 
ARM is the future once Windows 8 is released it's only a matter of time before it replaces or competes with x86 for ever day usage.

Luckily with windows 8 it will be possible to have x86 along side ARM for the best of both worlds Nvidia GPU's will be even more complete co-processors with this announcement with it's future GPU's.

They will have a distinct advantage over AMD for graphics as well with a integrated processors that don't need to traverse the PCI-E bus to communiciate with a x86 cpu, but will still be able to do that in addition to using the built in ARM co-processor.
0 0 [Posted by: knowom  | Date: 01/07/11 03:20:59 PM]
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5. 
Guys, remember that things like Serial ATA, PCI Express, USB, etc have been developed by Intel initially.
0 1 [Posted by: Anton  | Date: 01/07/11 07:02:35 PM]
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