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Professional Graphics CGW Webinar. Evolution of Professional Graphics Yesterday’s Landscape. Pro graphics distinguished from consumer/corporate graphics by most every metric Vendor, chips, boards, bus, memory, video I/O, OS, middleware/APIs, usage, performance, price

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Evolution of professional graphics yesterday s landscape
Evolution of Professional GraphicsYesterday’s Landscape

  • Pro graphics distinguished from consumer/corporate graphics by most every metric

    • Vendor, chips, boards, bus, memory, video I/O, OS, middleware/APIs, usage, performance, price

  • Excusive domain of Traditional Proprietary Workstation (TPW) vendors

    • Sgi, Sun, HP, DEC and IBM drove the innovation

    • Proprietary UNIX/VMS were the only OSes

Evolution of professional graphics today s landscape
Evolution of Professional GraphicsToday’s Landscape

  • Hardware migration from “in-house” to IHV

    • IHVs are vertical: chips and AIBs

    • TPW vendors no longer build graphics chips

      • Enable IHV hardware with drivers for proprietary Unix

      • A few unique high-end board configurations

  • Gaming is driving innovation

    • E.g. programmable shaders, floating-point precision

    • Even $1K+ multi-board monsters: Alienware and Nvidia’s SLI

  • Much harder to distinguish from consumer AIBs

    • Cost premium has dropped considerably

Graphics hardware differentiation professional vs consumer
Graphics Hardware DifferentiationProfessional vs. Consumer

  • Brand

  • Reliability

    • ISV certification

  • Customer support

  • Breadth of driver support

    • OpenGL ICDs

    • 64-bit Linux and Windows drivers

  • Performance and price can be a low priority

    • Legacy requirements can sustain lagging hardware

Graphics hardware differentiation professional vs consumer1
Graphics Hardware DifferentiationProfessional vs. Consumer

  • Remaining GPU differences artificial and/or minor

    • (Virtually) no difference in “raw” die

    • Nvidia and ATI lead with same GPU/VPUs from consumer line

      • relatively minor driver, package and or board-exposed features

  • Board-level differences significant at high-end only

    • Value varies by application

    • Physical memory

      • DCC and vis-sim have never-ending appetite for textures

    • Display support optimized for pro applications

      • Framelock, genlock, interface type (e.g. SDI)

      • Number and datarate of video interfaces

      • Ultra-high resolution (e.g. dual dual-link for up to 9 Mpixel displays)

2003 professional graphics hardware market
2003 Professional Graphics Hardware Market

  • Nearly 2.1 million professional graphics AIBs sold

  • Almost $1B in revenue

  • Legacy “in-house” graphics from TPW vendors small but significant

    • Only 5% of units shipped, but 16% of revenue

    • Incremental opportunity for IHVs

  • Units are in the low-end, but revenue is in the mid-range

Vendor profile
Vendor Profile

  • 5% (units) and 11% (revenue) share in 2003

    • but 26% and 44% unit share in high and ultra-high

  • Pro Gfx flagship: Realizm

  • What sets Realizm apart

    • Exclusive focus on professional apps

    • Chip-level scalability

    • 16-bit FP format in frame buffer

    • Virtual, paged video memory

  • Where 3DLabs is going

    • Fighting hard to keep high-end dominance

      • Largest physical memory, Multi-chip AIBs, Genlock / framelock

    • Realizm trickle-down to mid-range and low-end?

Vendor profile1
Vendor Profile

  • 17% (units) and 15% (revenue) share in 2003

    • Unbranded presence in “2D” applications

  • Pro graphics flagship: Fire GL 7100

  • What sets Fire GL apart

    • A strong mid-range focus (31%)

    • Subjective edge in quality and quality/performance

    • Perf/W has won mobile and embedded sockets

      • ATI dominant in mobile workstations (67%)

  • Where ATI is going

    • Best positioned to ride growth in mobile workstation

    • Can it (should it) ignore high end of market?

Vendor profile2
Vendor Profile

  • JPR estimates* 9% (units) and 11% (revenue) share in 2003

    • But ~17% in “2D” segment

  • Slanted heavily toward direct sales

  • Not directly targeting “power renderers”

    • Appeal on basis of image quality and specific, niche features

  • Where is Matrox going?

    • Road ahead looks difficult in keeping pace on GPUs

      • Last major introduction, Parhelia, was out in May 2002

      • Move to programmable shaders and floating-point requires overhaul

    • Some key competitive advantages going away

      • More “2D” competition from Nvidia, ATI and maybe soon IGPs

      • Fewer areas of differentiation, e.g. super-high res (9 Mpixel)

    • OEM presence declining

    • Continued focus on custom-fit solutions for large customers

* Matrox is private and does not disclose financials

Vendor profile3
Vendor Profile

  • 67% (units) and 47% (revenue) share in 2003

  • Pro gfx flagship: Quadro FX 4000 (NV40 GPU)

  • What sets Nvidia apart

    • Breadth of offerings, entry to ultra-high end

    • Shader Model 3.0 vs. 2.0

    • SLI: Board level scalablity

    • Custom offerings for DCC, vis-sim

  • Where Nvidia is going

    • Trying to take share in existing segments

      • From 3Dlabs in the high/ultra-high end

        • Think margin, not units

        • Sales synergy

      • From ATI in the mobile space (MXM and Axiom)

    • Getting GPUs into new segments, like render farms

Pro graphics technology trends
Pro Graphics Technology Trends

  • Final stage of migration to fully programmable architecture

    • Richer, “cleaner” programming: large code, predication, branching

    • Changing how graphics hardware vendors will compete

  • Leveraging parallelism

    • Today’s flagship GPUs: 6 vertex and 16 pixel pipelines (ATI/Nvidia)

    • Chip-level (3DLabs) and Board-level (Nvidia) scalability

  • Continuing to “annex” upstream processing

    • Physics, kinematics, simulation, animation, tessellation

  • Vehicle for general purpose computing (GPGPU),

    • Why Intel’s biggest threat may someday be not AMD but Nvidia

  • Floating-point precision

  • GDDR3 memory

Pci express for graphics
PCI Express for Graphics

  • Serial, point-to-point, packets

    • More a network interconnect than a traditional I/O bus

  • Variable number of “lanes”

    • Graphics design center: 16-lane

  • More bandwidth, but remember:

    • Directionally constrained: 4GB/s up, 4GB/s down

    • In-band command, control and packet overhead reduces bw

  • Just in time to carry the load

    • Most apps on most hardware today not constrained by AGP 8X

    • Some may be … it all depends

      • HD video editing

      • Hybrid CPU/GPU render for DCC


Pci express graphics aibs
PCI Express Graphics AIBs

  • Form factor derived from PCI

  • Power budgets

    • 10W: ×1 cards (<= 6.6” length)

    • 25W: ×1 cards (> 7.0” length), ×4 cards, ×8 cards, ×16 low-profile graphics and ×16 server I/O

    • 75W: full-height graphics cards

    • High-end Graphics Spec will allow auxiliary power for up to 150W


Pci express connectors
PCI Express Connectors

  • “Up-plugging” allowed

  • OEMs encouraged to support wider connectors

    • Link width not determined by connector or interface, negotiated at config time

    • More end-user flexibility

    • Allows dual high-bw (≥ AGP 8X) graphics AIBs


Gpu interfaces to pci express to bridge or not to bridge
GPU Interfaces to PCI ExpressTo bridge or not to bridge

  • Initial plans spurred some mud-slinging

    • ATI planned all native PCIe interfaces

    • Nvidia indicated plans to bridge with on-board HSI (“AGP 16X”)

    • 3DLabs’ Realizm depends on configuration

  • In the end, it will most likely be a non-issue

    • Speedup of full-speed PCIe interface is exception and debatable

    • ATI will likely bridge back to AGP

    • HSI does not preclude native PCIe – NV45 is out already

    • 3DLabs likely to fill in low-end PCIe offerings, too

  • Dell should ship Nvidia and ATI PCIe AIBs July, 3DLabs later this quarter

Pro graphics market trend forecast
Pro Graphics Market Trend Forecast

  • Strong growth in Mobile Workstations

  • Final phase in transition to all-IHV graphics

  • AIBs configured for specific applications

    • Genlock and SDI for DCC studio apps

    • Framelock for vis-sim and wall-display applications

  • IGPs for pro graphics? Never say never.

    • What about Grantsdale for “2D workstation” apps?

    • Why Nvidia/ATI/3DLabs’s biggest competitor may someday be Intel

  • GPUs to final frame rendering?

Nvidia s application specific aib configurations
Nvidia’s Application-specific AIB Configurations

Nvidia Quadro FX 4000 SDI I/O

Nvidia Quadro FX 3000G I/O

Gpus in the render farm
GPUs in the Render Farm?

  • Graphics hardware is absent in the render farm

  • ISVs/IHVs looking to final-frame speedup as well

    • Enablers

      • Primary: advent of programmable hardware shaders with compilers

      • Secondary: FP color precision, more flexible programming (larger code, predication, branching)

    • Nvidia Gelato, Mental Images’ Mental Ray 3.3

  • Vendors would welcome 10K’s of incremental professional GPUs

  • Not a slam-dunk

    • Global illumination, raycasting techniques (e.g raytracing and volume rendering) don’t map very well (at least not yet) to GPUs

Technology forecast impact of longhorn
Technology ForecastImpact of Longhorn

  • Image quality

    • Gamma, sRGB, 32-bit FP, Text enhancements

  • Virtualization to support Avalon, “Presentation Manager”

    • Virtual memory, mostly under OS/driver interaction

    • GPU: “Hyper Threading”-like context management

  • Pixel rates will be especially stressed

    • Lots of temporary textures, surfaces to be warped, composited, blended

  • Dual, cascaded vertex shaders

  • Moving to (optional) programmable hardware tessellation

  • Security & stability

    • simpler drivers, hang prevention

  • OpenGL ICDs should be upgraded for Longhorn (but not required)

Windows graphics foundation longhorn and beyond
Windows Graphics FoundationLonghorn and Beyond

Src: Microsoft, WinHEC 2004