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Appeared on: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Nvidia Releases First Fermi-based Quadro Graphics Cards

Nvidia's Fermi architecture is about to enter the professional graphics market. NVIDIA today introduced its Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) based on NVIDIA Fermi architecture, and the new NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro solution.

The new Quadro GPUs deliver performance that is up to five times faster for 3D applications and up to eight times faster for computational simulation, according to Nvidia.

The NVIDIA Quadro Plex 7000 array, and Quadro 6000, Quadro 5000 and Quadro 4000 GPUs feature the new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engines and leverage NVIDIA Application Acceleration Engines (AXE). Rated at a 1.3 billion triangles per second in raw performance, the Quadro 6000 enables users to interactively work with models and scenes that are five times more complex than ever before.

The new Quadro GPU is also the first professional graphics solution with Error Correction Codes (ECC) memory and fast, IEEE double precision floating point performance.

"In high-end visual effects development, fast iteration is essential," said Olivier Maury, research and development engineer, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). "By using NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, we are seeing up to eight iterations each day of complex fire, dust and air simulations, representing speed improvements of ten to fifteen times. NVIDIA CUDA and Quadro GPUs have entirely changed the way we solve complex visual effects challenges."

The new Quadro GPUs are built on industry standards, including OpenGL 4.1, DirectX 11, DirectCompute and OpenCL. In addition, Quadro leverages technologies that are unique to NVIDIA -- such as the company's portfolio of Application Acceleration Engines (AXE) and NVIDIA CUDA parallel processing architecture. The result is that software developers are able to create next-generation professional applications that incorporate compute-intensive tasks. Among these tasks are ray tracing, physics simulation, computational fluid dynamics and real-time video effects processing.

The new Quadro professional solutions introduced today include:

Scalable Visualization Systems:
Quadro Plex 7000, with 12 GB (total) of memory and 896 CUDA cores

Board and Desktop Workstation Solutions:
Quadro 6000, with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory and 448 CUDA cores
Quadro 5000, with 2.5 GB of GDDR5 memory and 352 CUDA cores
Quadro 4000, with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and 256 CUDA cores

Mobile Workstations:
Quadro 5000M, mobile workstation GPU with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and 320 CUDA cores

Model SPs Memory Mem. interface Mem. bandwidth TDP
Quadro 6000 448 6.0 GB GDDR5 384-bit 144 GB/s 225 W
Quadro 5000 352 2.5 GB GDDR5 320-bit 120 GB/s 152 W
Quadro 4000 256 2.0 GB GDDR5 256-bit 89.6 GB/s 142 W
Quadro 5000M 320 2.0 GB GDDR5 256-bit 76.8 GB/s 100 W
QuadroPlex 7000 896 12.0 GB GDDR5 384-bit 144 GB/s N/A

Additionally, all Quadro products are compatible with the new NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro active shutter-glasses solution (see information below)

Workstation OEMs and System Integrators, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, BOXX Technologies and NextComputing, are among those that are offering the newest Quadro solutions. Quadro products are also available from value added resellers through master distributors PNY Technologies in North America and Europe, Leadtek in Asia Pacific, and ELSA in Japan.

The Quadro 4000 ($1,199 MSRP, USD) and Quadro 5000 ($2,249 MSRP, USD) are available immediately through all channels. The Quadro 6000 ($4,999 MSRP, USD) and Quadro Plex 7000 ($14,500 MSRP, USD) will be available this fall. Mobile workstations based on the Quadro 5000M will be available in the third quarter of 2010 from HP and Dell.

Nvidia Application Acceleration engines

As we previously mentioned, NVIDIA announced today new releases of its Application Acceleration Engines (AXE), optimized for the newest Quadro graphics processing units.

These latest versions, designed for the professional software development community, include: NVIDIA SceniX 6, NVIDIA Cg Tooklit 3, and NVIDIA OptiX 2. Also on display at SIGRRAPH 2010 is the iray renderer from mental images, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NVIDIA, being shown in commercial applications as well as a GPU cloud-based rendering solution.

SceniX 6, Cg Toolkit 3, OptiX 2 technology, and iray rendering solutions from mental images, offer application developers a host of new features and benefits that they can offer to end-users across a broad range of markets, including medical imaging, automotive styling, architectural design and energy exploration. New features and benefits include:


* New Bezier Patch geometry class, using Cg tessellation programs for the smoothest of surfaces on NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs;
* OptiX 2 support for faster, interactive ray tracing;
* Continued improvements in overall performance and fidelity, and;
* Future support for iray by mental images.

NVIDIA Cg Toolkit 3

* New tessellation programs, allowing displacement and procedural surfaces to dynamically adapt their tessellation in real-time on the latest NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs, and;

* OpenGL 4 and DirectX 11 level of programmability for the latest in portable, cross platform effects.


* Optimizations for new NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs, delivering up to 4X performance over previous generation (GT200) GPUs and > 10X over G92;
* Support for all NVIDIA CUDA architecture-capable NVIDIA GPUs (G92 or later) on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, and;
* Direct3D and fast interoperability in Direct3D and OpenGL; for flexible compositing and hybrid rendering opportunities.

iray from mental images

* Physically correct and fully deterministic global illumination rendering;
* Superb scaling between multiple NVIDIA Fermi architecture class GPUs on the same machine, and;
* Distributed rendering support for efficiently leveraging multiple Quadro and Tesla? GPUs in a network.

NVIDIA Application Acceleration Engines are available immediately to developers for download. OptiX, SceniX and the Cg Toolkit are free to acquire and deploy.

Nvidia 3D Vision Pro

Nvidia also announced today the NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro, a new 3D stereoscopic solution empowering engineers, designers, architects and computational chemists who work with complex 3D designs to see their work in greater detail. 3D Vision Pro solutions brings stereo 3D back to the desktop with support for LCD panels.

The system incorporates active shutter glasses and a radio frequency (RF) communication system and supports a wide range of use cases:

- Individuals can experience 3D on LCD panels at their Quadro powered desktop and mobile workstations
- Small groups can view 3D on single or multiple projectors, and
- Larger groups can experience 3D on power walls or in theaters driven by NVIDIA Scalable Visualization Solutions (SVS)

3D Vision Pro provides long range connections, up to 150 feet, with no cross talk, blind spots, or other transmission issues between multiple systems, according to Nvidia.

Key features of NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro stereoscopic solutions include:

* Active shutter glasses technology that delivers a progressive image, which preserves the highest quality texture detail and text;
* Rechargeable batteries with 20 hours of continuous operation;
* Wide range of panel and projector support, and;
* A wide range of professional application support.

Companies such as Siemens Healthcare, Agilent, Cineform, and RTT are already embracing NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro technology as an essential element of new solutions they've recently announced.

NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro stereoscopic solutions will be available in October directly from NVIDIA and from authorized resellers such as PNY Technologies at MSRPs of $349 (USD) for the glasses, and $399 (USD) for the RF transmitter hub.

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