Nvidia shows GPU Roadmap and Tegra is late

After crashing the gates of Nvidia’s GPU Technology conference, we ending up wearing dark glasses. It took a while to adjust to the 3D big screen and the high decibel volume. Finally, Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang came on stage in Levis and a black Polo shirt.
An hour and fifteen minutes of Nvidia congratulating themselves about their Fermi, Tesla, and Quadro GPGPUs along with the nine Tesla developers who joined them this past year – up from one last year. Then some more 3D glasses wearing for a simulated robotic fight by the CEO and the VP Tony Tamasi fighting – wonder how near real life that was? One of the best presentations was by Dr. Michael Black, MD. He talked about robotic heart surgery on a beating heart. He said they could do them because of Nvidia’s high powered GPUs. The video made this reporter want to see this guy if we feel a twinge or three.

NvidiaHuang talked about the CUDA x86 compiler and the CUDA programming platform. The promise is CUDA will run on other GPU’s. We are sure the folks at DAMIT will be enthusiastic supporters of that one – NOT!  Nvidia has to thank their partnership with The Portland Group, for bringing the CUDA parallel computing framework to x86. Previously CUDA was limited to Nvidia GPUs they say now CUDA applications will run on “any computer, or any server in the world.”

Magically at the end of the Keynote a Roadmap slide popped up. On the left side of the screen was Tesla (which came out in 2007 or maybe it was 2008), then Fermi in 2009, next will be Kepler in 2011, and Maxwell in 2013. Huang said they would soon be bumping up Fermi’s performance. On the way out we had to give back those “free” 3D glasses. Some of the hacks were going to the other end of the conference to hear Huang talk some more. And we followed the lemmings.

Sitting in the back of the room we heard Huang admit Tegra was late, that Apple owned the tablet market for the moment. He also said Tegra 3 will be on 28nm from their strategic partner. So that tosses into the scrap bin the 2009 and 2010 rumors about Nvidia marching over to GloFlo. But, you can never tell when there is all that Abu Dhabi/ ATIC money being tossed about.