Category: Graphics cards

USITC tells Nvidia to go forth and multiply

nvidiaA US trade body upheld its earlier decision that rejected Nvidia’s patent violation claims against  Samsung and Qualcomm over their use of “Nvidia’s” graphics chip technology.

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) decided not to review an initial order by an administrative law judge who found no violation of Nvidia’s patents related to graphics-processing chips.

Judge Thomas Pender had said Samsung did not infringe two Nvidia patents, and while it did infringe a third, he ruled that the patent was invalid because it was not a new invention.

Nvidia claimed to have invented the first graphics processing chip and released it in 1999, had accused Korea’s Samsung and San Diego-based Qualcomm of using its patents on graphics chip technology without permission or compensation.

Nvidia alleged the companies infringed its patents with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors and Samsung’s Exynos processors, and was seeking to prevent the import of several Samsung products, including its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

The USITC can stop the import of products that it determines infringe a US patent and companies frequently sue at the USITC to win an import ban.

Nvidia said it will appeal the USITC’s decision.

“We remain firm in our belief that our patents are valid and have been infringed,” Nvidia wrote in its bog.

Nintendo joins Khronos for open source Vulkan

spokeNintendo has quietly joined the Khronos Group which is a not-for-profit consortium of academics and media companies dedicated to managing open-standard graphics APIs like OpenGL and its successor, Vulkan.

A NeoGaf post, noted that Nintendo’s name was added to the list of Khronos Group contributing members earlier this month.

The news is somewhat surprising. Nintendo failed to make its membership public and it puts it on track to head down an unexpected route.

Practically it means Nintendo has joined up with companies like Microsoft, AMD, Sony, Oculus and Nvidia to exert some influence over the development and promotion of license-free, royalty-free products using Khronos.

As a Khronos Group contributor Nintendo has full voting rights and is empowered to participate in the group’s API development, but it doesn’t have a seat on the Khronos Group board and can’t participate in the final ratification process of new API specifications.

If all of them went with it, it could see the big names in the graphics business focused on a single open sauce standard. Vulkan does seem to be moving forward with AMD saying it should have a chip using the standard next year. The only problem AMD is facing is that some of the hardware needed might be proprietary, but will move to pure Open Sauce eventually.

Add in board market fell in Q2

AMD logoThe add in board (AIB) graphics market showed a decline of 18.77 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to Q2 of 2014.

Jon Peddie Research, a consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, said that’s much greater than the fall in the desktop PC market – down 14.77 percent in the quarter.

But there’s good growth in the PC gaming sector, and tablets and embedded graphics helped that “bright spot”, the analyst firm reported.

The company said that the attach rate of AIBs to desktop PCs fell from its high of 63 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 37 percent in the second quarter of this year.

All in all, AIB shipments amounted to 9.4 million units, with both AMD and Nvidia showing falls of 33.3 percent and 12 percent respectively, quarter to quarter.

Nvidia now has 81.9 percent of the market. There are only four graphic chip manufacturers in the segment, as the table below shows.

Add in board market Q2 2015

Powercolor names GPU after Devil

tumblr_m0l8xh1BCN1rppc0go1_1280Powercolor has released a new card which has 8GB of GDDR5 memory, with a clever new cooling system and dubbed it after the infernal prince of darkness.

The Devil R9 390X will go down like a bucket of projectile vomit in the US Bible Belt, but Powercolor is Chinese. So, trying to flog its Radeon graphics card named after personification of evil invented by a 4th century Christian monk who avoided sex by spending his life in the desert is not going to be a problem.

xxl Powercolor Devil R9 390X 970 80

Diabolic features include a core clock speed of 1100MHz, with the memory clocked at 1525MHz featuring a 512-bit memory interface, and 2816 stream processors.

Powercolor also promises the new card will offer impressive power efficiency and stability, and it won’t run as hot as the fires of hell thanks to a new hybrid cooling system. Whores of Babylon will be sold separately.

The hybrid system uses a Smart Air Cooling function to automatically control the speed the fan spend. This means that you can overclock the hell out of it.

No word on price yet, but you might have to sell your soul for it.

ATI Firepro V8800 reviewed

3D Professor has got its mitts on the ATI Firepro V8800 3D workstation graphics accelerator and has given it the thumbs up.

According to the review, ATI has gained a big chunk of market share over Nvidia in the last 18 months in the professional graphics workstation market.

The site said the card is much more scaleable than its predecessor the V8750 with test results showing an increase in performance by 40 performance in some benchmarks.

Intel Westmere processors also get a round of applause. The reviewer says that AES encryption and decryption algorithms are a bonus and an aid to performance. The CPU tested is the X5680 3.3GHz Xeon

The rest rig also uses a new Western Digital Silicon Edge solid state drive and has “blistering write/read speeds”. Here’s some Westmere figures, courtesy of 3D Professor. The complete review is here.