Nvidia Unveils GeForce 400M Processor - InformationWeek

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Nvidia Unveils GeForce 400M Processor

Built to power 3D laptops, as well as mid-level systems, the GPUs are designed with Nvidia's Fermi architecture and include the company's battery-saving Optimus technology.

Nvidia has introduced the GeForce 400M series of graphics processors, which are expected to provide the 3D platform for upcoming laptops. The new series include the GeForce GTX 470M and GTX 460M for gamers and computer enthusiasts, and the GeForce GT 445M, GT 435M, GT 425M, GT 420M and GT 415M for mid-level laptops. All of the new mobile GPUs are designed with Nvidia's Fermi architecture and are built for native support of Microsoft's DirectX 11, game-powering graphics technology in Windows 7.

The GPUs are also enabled with Nvidia's battery-saving Optimus technology. The feature switches between a laptop's integrated graphics embedded in the motherboard and the new GeForce discrete graphics cards. In this way, the additional power needed to drive the latter is only tapped during particular tasks, such as driving games or watching 3D video. In releasing its latest graphics cards, Nvidia is helping computer makers in building upcoming 3D-capable laptops. Manufacturers that have announced support for the 400M series include Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba.

Nvidia unveiled the latest series of processors Thursday at the IFA show in Berlin, where Acer and Asus debuted 3D laptops powered by Nvidia's latest GPUs.

Nvidia rival Advanced Micro Devices is also making progress in getting its high-end technology into 3D laptops. Hewlett-Packard introduced this week its first such notebook, the Envy 17 3D, which is powered by AMD's ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 discrete graphics.

Key to the latest products in Nvidia's Fermi architecture, which features up to 512 CUDA cores. CUDA, or compute unified device architecture, is the computing engine in Nvidia's GPUs. The engine is accessible to software developers through industry standard programming languages.


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