Nvidia's Optimus to Combine GPU and IGP for Improved Performance [UPDATED]

Nvidia Optimus Due on February 9th

by Anton Shilov
02/04/2010 | 12:59 PM

UPDATE: The news-story has been updated with the additional information presented by Nvidia. We cannot disclose all the details regarding the Optimus technology before the actual launch date.

Nvidia Corp. plans to reveal its Optimus technology on the 9th of February, 2010, X-bit labs has learnt. Even though it looks like Nvidia Optimus will be an improved version of technologies previously known as “Hybrid SLI” and “Hybrid Graphics”, in fact, Optimus will  be a particularly new technology and a new approach to hybrid computing

 

Nvidia Optimus technology allows the system to automatically switch between discrete and integrated graphics cores so that to take advantage of high-performance standalone graphics processing unit (GPU) and keep battery life at maximum level while utilizing integrated graphics processor (IGP). The switching will be completely seamless for the end-users, granted, Microsoft Windows 7 operating system can allow two graphics drivers to be installed at once.

Earlier this year Nvidia said that Optimus technology would revolutionize notebooks. Previously, Nvidia offered similar functionality under Hybrid SLI and Hybrid Graphics monikers. The new technology will offer numerous enhancements compared to previous-generation solutions and will also represent a particularly new approach to the collaboration betwen GPUs and IGPs.

Nvidia needs Optimus technology in order not to lose market share to microprocessors that have built-in graphics core, but to maintaint or gain it. At present Nvidia ships GeForce 9400M IGP for Intel Core 2 processors, however, as Intel’s new mobile platform gains share, Nvidia’s chips may eventually become obsolete as the Core 2 platform fades away. With Optimus, Nvidia wants to keep its graphics technology inside notebooks.