Future Graphics Cards May Consume More than 150W of Power

PCI-SIG Rises the VPU Power Consumption Bar to 150W in New Standard

by Anton Shilov
11/30/2004 | 05:12 PM

Meanwhile certain engineers do their best to reduce power consumption of chips for mobiles and handhelds and some others make great efforts to hold power consumption of desktop chips in reasonable envelopes, PCI Special Interest Group preps a forward-looking electrical standard for PCI Express x16 implementation that would allow to feed forthcoming graphics cards with unbelievable amount of power.

 

“PCI-SIG announces the availability of the PCI Express x16 Graphics 150W-ATX Specification 1.0. This is another in a series of specifications that attest to the continued momentum in the adoption of PCI Express architecture as the general-purpose I/O interconnect of choice in computing and communications industries,” the PCI Special Interest Group said in the statement.

The new specification is aimed at high-end graphics applications that require increased power. It defines a standard power connector to meet the growing needs of power-hungry graphics engines. The specification is written for ATX chassis implementations. A companion specification for BTX chassis is currently in development in the PCI-SIG.

Typical PCI Express x16 slot can provide nearly 75W of power. Modern graphics cards, even the most powerful of them like NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra and RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition, do not consume more than 75W, but need higher-quality power input than typical mainboards can provide. Future visual processing units are likely to gain in power consumption and also ascend the bar for quality and stability of power, which is why the new standard that will guarantee 150W for VPUs is developed.

PCI-SIG is the Special Interest Group that owns and manages PCI specifications as open industry standards. The organization defines and implements new industry standard I/O (Input/Output) specifications as the industry's local I/O needs evolve. Currently, more than 900 industry-leading companies are active PCI-SIG members worldwide. Leading visual processing units’ designers, such as ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corp., also participate in PCI-SIG in order to set and develop the standards.