NVIDIA CHANGES THE WORLD
NVIDIA is gearing up to do more than just make GPUS
It could be said that Computex is the most important technology exhibition of the year. It may not have the scale or flash of CES, the unveiling of flagship smartphones like MWC or all the smart-home innovations of IFA, but Computex is the place where the chipsets and other technology behind all of our best-loved devices finally get to see the light of day. Nvidia – known for GPUS – unveiled some of its new products in Taiwan during Computex 2018.
The gaming-laptop market is seeing an upturn, with many people coming to appreciate the raw-power advantage over the everyday laptop. The problem laptops had before was that if you were after better frame rates, improved visual detail or true 4K, a desktop PC would have been your only answer. Now, gorgeous 18 mm-thin laptops boasting up to 70 per cent better gaming and equipped with Geforce GTX 1060, 1070 or 1080 GPUS are a reality thanks to Nvidia’s new design approach: Max-q.
According to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Max-q laptops offer 60 per cent improved performance over the standard Playstation 4. Making this even more exciting is the fact that Max-q laptops are designed to run at a maximum of 40 db with a new Whispermode that makes your laptop quieter when plugged in.
MAX-Q was designed with a number of the leading OEMS, so you will be able to get the most advanced laptop-gaming experience from your favourite brands, including ASUS, MSI Alienware, Hewlett- Packard, Gigabyte, and Lenovo.
If, like me, you were hoping that Nvidia would be unveiling new GPUS, you’re out of luck. According to Huang, the next generation of Geforce GPUS will be ‘a long time from now.’ To temper the disappointment, Huang showcased the DGX-2 supercomputer Nvidia calls ‘ The World’s Largest GPU’. One node provides two petaflops of oomph and a 512 GB buffer rate, has 1,5 TB of system memory and can replace 300 servers.
AI is the buzzword in tech. Huang calls AI the automation of automation. To help Nvidia achieve ever more advanced AI capabilities, the company has created Jetson Xavier, according to Huang the most complex SOC (System on a Chip) ever made – the ‘world’s first intelligent machine processor’. It houses nine billion transistors in a 350 mm2 area (on the 12 nm fabrication node), and has a Volta Tensor Core GPU with 512 cores. Huang also announced Nvidia Isaac, the company’s robotics platform powered by Xavier, with the early access devkit available from August 2018 at a cost of US $1 299 – around R17 000.
The company also announced it was partnering with the city of Taipei to ‘supercharge’ the city with Nvidia’s AI tech, with a focus on manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and the smart city. There’s one clear takeaway from the Nvidia announcements at Computex: As the world becomes more reliant on technology, more heavy lifting will need to be done by machines, which means more powerful GPUS. This puts Nvidia in a prime position to become the infrastructure of the future, powering most of your devices in one form or another.
‘AI is the automation of automation,’ says Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. The company is enjoying growth in this pre- quantum computing world.