Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney is on record as being stanchly against GPGPU computing in the past, but in a recent keynote delivered at the High Performance Graphics conference he further downplayed its future. From a developer standpoint he claims that GPGPU based applications can cost nearly 10x as much as a single threaded versions, with multi-core based software being the current sweet spot.
This isn’t the first time Sweeney has predicted the demise of GPGPU based computing technologies, but he has now further expanded his list of endangered technologies to include DirectX and OpenGL. In his speech last year Sweeny claimed that “In the next generation we’ll write 100-percent of our rendering code in a real programming language--not DirectX, not OpenGL, but a language like C++ or CUDA. Whether that runs on Nvidia hardware, Intel hardware or ATI hardware is really an independent question. You could potentially run it on any hardware that's capable of running general-purpose code efficiently."
Some might consider Sweeny’s comments a bit misguided considering that both Apple and Microsoft are strongly backing OpenCL, and ultimately if it turns out to be a more efficient way of doing certain tasks, couldn’t the development costs be justified? Clearly the GPU has future potential in the transcoding market, but do you think Sweeney has a point here?
DirectX 11 which will debut with the release of Windows 7 is arguably a pretty big deal. The new APIs will enjoy a much larger installed base than its predecessor thanks to backwards compatibility with Vista, and graphical improvements that were teased in DirectX 10 should see a pretty significant performance boost. With the release of Windows 7 nearly upon us, many have been holding off on GPU upgrades until the DX11 parts to start rolling off the line, and this time it appears AMD will beat Nvidia out of the gate with its “Evergreen” series.
This hunch was further re-enforced by a live hands on demonstration provided to PC Perspective at QuakeCon showing a working DX11 graphics card in action. The GPU code named “Future Card” was running several live DirectX 11 SDK simulations, but even more impressive was its ability to launch and run existing DirectX 9 titles. Its one thing to show a tech demo, but it’s even more impressive to prove you have a fully functional card.
It looks like the Radeon HD 5000 series will among the first DX11 cards on the market, and AMD could well be on track for a late 2009 release. Is the race to DirectX 11 a battle Nvidia can afford to lose?
Last month we reported on the rather bleak fortunes of the gaming industry, and it appears as though the trend that was identified in June has carried over to July. According to the NPD Group, July marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year video-game sales declines. Not only is the gaming industry no longer considered recession proof, but it managed to shed a staggering 29 percent compared to the same period last year. Sales of software and hardware for July 2009 were approximately $848.9 million, down from $1.1 billion in 2008.
NPD blames the summer tailspin on lackluster new game releases, and fewer hardware purchases. The industry on a whole is expected to pick up some steam in the traditionally strong Q4 period with several high profile launches expected. "This isn't the best time of year for video-game sales. In a down economy it makes it all that tougher said Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret. "Of course, there's nothing that's ultimately going to be recession-proof if the recession goes on long enough."
“Video games have large amounts of entertainment value beyond short-term enjoyment," Gartenberg said. "That's typically one of the reasons video games have done well." Would you agree?
Trademark has been a way for creators to indicate the source of their work for hundreds of years. It makes sense—one of the reasons I don’t buy that email-pitched V1agra is that I’m not sure I can trust Pf1zer. Trademark is in the same class of property rights that give us copyrights and patents.
No one else can call their drug Viagra, it’s Pfizer’s property. Recently, trademark law has been used to get domain squatters off common brand names, which I like when it really pertains to domain squatters and feel weird about when it targets the unfortunately named Viagra family’s website.
Colleen Bell is an Austin roller derby girl who skates under the name Crackerjack, a word that means expert, but is more fun to say. She’s trying to trademark her handle for inclusion in an upcoming video game featuring roller derby girls, presumably beating the crap out of each other. Fun!
Samsung this week announced two new point-and-shoot digital cameras -- the TL225 and TL220 -- both of which sport two LCD screens, a 3.5-inch one on the back (slightly smaller on the TL220) and a less traditional placement on the front with a 2.5-inch display. So what's the point of a front-mounted LCD?
"With one LCD located on the front of the camera and other one on the back of the camera, photographers can now step out from behind the camera and join their subjects in the photo," Samsung wrote in a blog post.
Samsung also says the front-mounted display will come in handy for taking profile pics for social networking sites. We think it's the perfect feature who can't stop looking at themselves.
Both cameras also boast a 12.2MP, 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor, 27- to 124.2mm, f/3.5-5.9 8.6x zoom lens, and the ability to shoot 720p HD videos at 30fps.
The TL225 and TL220 will be available in September for $350 and $300 respectively.
Many motherboard makers believe that the desktop PC market is unlikely to see a comeback in the near future.
Intel recently held a summit in China in the interest of remedying this, but there are still those that hold their concerns. Many are already focusing on diversification into other markets, and have been for some time. Though, there are others that see Intel’s effort slowing the decline of desktop PCs.
What do you think? Are desktop PCs going to be a thing of the past, or will be they around for decades to come? Let us know in the comments.
Samsung has faced a lot of adversity when it comes to getting their fancy new SSDs to consumers. While they’re responsible for producing nearly half of the NAND flash in SSDs sold, they can’t seem to sell their own boxes.
That’s why they’re aiming their sights on the gamer crowd. According to Jim Elliott, Vice President of Memory Marketing for Samsung, “In addition to processing power, advanced graphic cards and high-resolution monitors, gamers want a fast storage drive for reduced loading times and faster game performance. Our 256GB SSD provides much better overall performance than conventional HDDs, as well as longer battery life for the notebook gamer. Clearly, all PC gamers will benefit from the blistering speeds and dazzling photorealism enabled by the Samsung 256GB SSD.”
Sure, the SSDs do cost a pretty penny, but if there’s any crowd that will pay a premium for the latest piece of hardware that will give them a competitive edge, it’s gamers. No official word yet as to when we can expect the adverts.
Microsoft's upcoming Zune HD will get more than a little help from Nvidia in going toe-to-toe against Apple's iPod and every other handheld media player on the market. Providing extra processor oomph, the Zune HD will use Nvidia's multi-core Tegra processor.
"Nvidia brings power graphics to the portable media player. This is a unique capability," said Jeff Orr, senior analyst for mobile content at ABI Research.
What makes Nvidia's Tegra so special -- and the Zune HD so promising -- are eight independent processors, which will go a long ways in helping the Zune HD handle high definition video and Flash content on its OLED touch screen without necessitating a bulky formfactor.
"Apple probably builds a pretty good SoC [System-on-Chip], but in terms of what they have already enabled [on the iPod Touch], I don't believe it has nearly the graphics and power management that Tegra does," said Mike Rayfield, a general manager at Nvidia. "We've benchmarked against everyone out there, and we are the most advanced in terms of graphics and overall power management."
The Zune HD will be just one of many devices to make use of Nvidia's Tegra processor. According to Nvidia, there are about 50 other gadgets in design right now with Tegra.
If you've been surfing long enough to remember the heated browser battle between Netscape and Internet Explorer, then you also remember how Microsoft buried its competitor in the ground, unfairly some would claim. Netscape isn't making a come back, but its developer, Marc Andreessen, is barging back into the browser scene by backing a start-up called RockMelt, a company determined to build a new browser.
According to The New York Times, Andreessen isn't yet ready to elaborate on the project, but he did suggest the new browser would be unlike any that are currently available.
"There are all kinds of things that you would do differently if you are building a browser from scratch," Andreessen added.
RockMelt appears to be a good fit for Andreessen. The company was founded by Eric Vishria and TimHowes, both of which held executive spots at Opsware, a company Andreessen co-founded before selling off to HP for a cool $1.6 billion. Howes also was part of the Netscape team.