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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)