Some say that graphics processing units (GPUs) are going to become an integrated part of central processing units (CPUs) just like floating point processors a couple of decades ago, but the man behind Nvidia Corp., the world’s largest supplier of discrete graphics chips, believes that the GPU has at least fifteen years left for further growth in terms of performance and features.
“Nvidia’s GPU journey is not yet complete. I believe the GPU market can continue to grow for another 15 years,” Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive of Nvidia, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.
Mr. Huang said in an interview that he expected demand for the company’s chipsets to exist even after Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. introduce their microprocessors that feature built-in graphics cores. While Mr. Huang admitted that Nvidia had no top-to-bottom computing platform, he said that performance and feature-set of the firm’s GeForce GPU were the company’s main strong points, which should guarantee prosperity of the graphics chip designer in any scenario.
“I understand that Nvidia doesn't have the advantage of having our own platform, but this also means that the technological capabilities and performance of our GPUs must surpass that of our competitors. This is why we have invested heavily in the development of CUDA and PhysX,” Mr. Huang said.
Apparently, the head of Nvidia is confident that even after the era of integrated graphics processors (IGPs) comes to its end for platforms by AMD and Intel, Nvidia will still be able to sell its own chipsets with built-in graphics engine since there will be demand.
“As for whether CPUs with integrated GPUs will affect Nvidia's market share, there is no direct relationship between the two. It's about whether Nvidia owns strong graphics technologies. As long as our GPUs lead in technology and performance, our competitors’ integrated GPU solutions will just be a waste of resources and people will still continue to adopt Nvidia IGP chipsets and GPUs,” said Mr. Huang.
With both AMD and Intel planning to introduce CPUs with integrated graphics cores, the days of chipsets featuring IGPs are considered to be over: those, who need basic graphics should be satisfied with offerings by AMD and Intel, whereas customers looking for high-performance graphics processors will adopt discrete graphics cards.
Hybrid CPUs with GPU cores are considered to be a threat for Nvidia in both entry-level and mobile markets.