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Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Nvidia Plans Multithreading Support

Nvidia plans to add multithread support to its ForceWare drivers, expecting to futher boost performance of dual-core CPUs, when running 3D applications.

According to the website, Nvidia's vice president of GPU software, Ben de Waal, is cited to confirm the introduction of such support starting with ForceWare release 80. De Waal said that graphics performance could see a 5% to 30% increase with dual-core processors running the new driver.

Multithreading in the video driver should allow performance increases when running 3D games and applications on dual-core CPUs and multiprocessor PCs. De Waal estimated that dual-core processors could see performance boosts somewhere between five and 30% with these drivers.

De Waal cited several opportunities for driver performance gains with multithreading. Among them: vertex processing. He noted that NVIDIA's drivers currently do load balancing for vertex processing, offloading some work to the CPU when the GPU is busy. This sort of vertex processing load could be spun off into a separate thread and processed in parallel.

Some of the driver's other functions don't lend themselves so readily to parallel threading, so NVIDIA will use a combination of fully parallel threads and linear pipelining.

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