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Nvidia Corp. has started to disclose additional information about its project Denver central processing unit, which will differentiate it from other ARM partners. According to the company, Denver is compatible with 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, yet sports certain “secret sauce” that is expected to make it better than the rivals.

“Project Denver is a 64-bit processor, it is a full-custom ARMv8 64-bit processor with some exciting secret sauce and we have not revealed much about it. There are no 64 bits processors shipping today, as you know. ARMv8 [cores] was just announced. […] I guess, the only thing I could tell you is Denver is going great,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

Although last year Nvidia vowed to reveal more information about its project Denver microprocessor initiative towards the end of this year, Nvidia did not present anything at ARM TechCon in October this year, where ARM introduced its Cortex-A50 cores compatible with ARMv8 instructions. By contrast, companies like AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, Samsung and others expressed commitment to develop server-class server system-on-chips with the appropriate Cortex-A53 and A57 cores.

At present, the only thing clear about Nvidia Denver is that it is not based on pure Cortex-A50 cores, but on custom Nvidia-developed cores which are presumably more advanced. In addition, Mr. Huang reemphasized that Denver will be also positioned for servers, though he admitted that it would take some time before ARM will get popular in servers in general. Interestingly, but the head of Nvidia did not mention another interesting project that is developed by Nvidia, project Boulder, which is projected to take on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon high-performance server chips.

“We are big believers in ARM-based servers. […] We have been working on project Denver for two years now, so we are going to have custom ARM designs for this market,” said Mr. Huang in a conversation with the Tech Trader Daily blog.

Known under the internal code-name "project Denver, the Nvidia initiative includes an Nvidia CPU running the ARM instruction set, which will be fully integrated on the same chip as the Nvidia GPU. The hybrid processors which will have both 64-bit ARMv8-compatible general-purpose cores as well as Nvidia's custom compute cores known as stream processors will be aimed at various market segments, most importantly at high-performance computing and data center servers. Nvidia's chief executive does not exclude the chips from entering very energy-efficient high throughput servers. Since technologies developed within project Denver are universal, they will eventually span across the whole lineup of Nvidia products, from Tegra to GeForce to Quadro to Tesla. Obviously, Denver-derivatives may power next-generation game consoles as well.

Tags: Nvidia, ARM, Denver, Boulder, ARMv8, Echelon, Cortex, Geforce, Tegra, Tesla, Quadro, GPGPU

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 11/08/12 11:14:51 PM
Latest comment: 11/11/12 10:43:59 PM
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[1-7]

1. 
Obviously, Denver-derivatives may power next-generation game consoles as well.


Since AMD clean swipe the 3 giants,i am not sure, what you are trying to say.
5 6 [Posted by: Atlastiamhere  | Date: 11/08/12 11:14:51 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
He's trying to say that it is a possible use for the architecture.

Be it the next next gen (if they come to pass) of television consoles, some obscure android box (like the 'oooo-yeah'), or possibly something else. We'll likely see lots contraptions to go right along with the next gen of consoles as well, successors to the vita and perhaps even the DS that may stand on their own, but act as peripherals (think something like the rumored Xbox tab) which could very well use the evolution of Tegra.

He's basically asking you to remember that while the first iteration of 'Colorado' is some time off, and the trickle down the market segments may take several generations/years, there are many possibilities for the use of ARM CPU cores matched with nvidia's GPU/floating point cores.
4 4 [Posted by: turtle  | Date: 11/09/12 03:05:47 AM]
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2. 
Nvidia GPUs are great especially Kepler architecture.
Let see how good they are making CPU or may be GPCPU
5 3 [Posted by: JanGozi  | Date: 11/09/12 05:54:21 AM]
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3. 
So we will have 2 big players in the ARM server stuff.
AMD and Nvidia will establish a new wave of competition in this area.
In maximum 1 year Intel will come into the game ,in spite of the foxy sawer grapes like talking.
1 3 [Posted by: HeadlessBottleneck  | Date: 11/09/12 06:53:23 AM]
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4. 
i don't see intel embrassing ARM since their roadmap consist of beating ARM with their own cpu's in that category.
1 2 [Posted by: SteelCity1981  | Date: 11/10/12 12:02:36 AM]
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5. 
show the post
2 5 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 11/10/12 12:19:14 AM]
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6. 
I'll bet the "secret sauce" as a set of CUDA instructions or something making it compatible with CUDA cores in a GPCGU kind of hybrid.
0 1 [Posted by: mosu  | Date: 11/11/12 12:34:45 PM]
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7. 
I wonder if Nvidia has planned to run simulation and validation of their OWN chip designs on arm64 based farms....
0 1 [Posted by: Marburg U  | Date: 11/11/12 10:43:59 PM]
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