Nvidia launches world’s first `GPU’

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Nvidia launches world's first `GPU'

Nvidia Corp. has unveiled a chip it is hailing as the world’s first graphics processing unit, or GPU.

Promising an order-of-magnitude increase in geometry processing power, dynamic lighting and real-time environment reflection capabilities, Nvidia says its new GeForce 256 GPU will enable a whole new level of interactive content not previously possible.

PCs using the GeFore 256 GPU will be able to synthesize extremely realistic environments, Nvidia officials claim, with objects that behave according to complex physics and intelligent characters with lifelike personalities.

The GPU is the first 256-bit 3D processor to integrate a geometry transform engine, a dynamic lighting engine, a 4-pixel rendering pipeline, and Microsoft’s DirectX 7.0 features, including cube environment mapping, projective textures and vertex blending.

The GeForce chip contains nearly 23 million transistors, more than twice that of the Pentium III microprocessor, according to the company. With 50 Gigaflops of floating-point calculation capability dedicated to 3D rendering, the chip delivers an unprecedented 15 million sustained polygons per second and more than 480 million pixels per second, officials say.

Full details are posted at www.nvidia.com.