NVIDIA's dim future

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The DailyTech reads through recent data on NVIDIA, and isn’t happy. The DT points out that AMD is pulling ahead in the performance wars at the low end, is facing threats from Intel and AMD in the laptop market, and is facing a challenge at the high end with AMD’s 870 X2 (R700) card.

The economic repercussions of NVIDIA’s slippage are already visible. NVIDIA announced yesterday that it was going to turn in revenue of $875 million to $950 million for Q2 2008, which ends July 27. This is significantly lower than the current analyst expectations of $1.1 billion.

And there is more bad news

It announced that it was facing a massive recall, due to overheating GPUs in notebook computers. NVIDIA reported higher than average failures in both the laptop GPUs and in laptop chipsets.

This matters to HPC primarily because of all the recent interest in GPGPUs to accelerate computing. If NVIDIA can’t survive we lose an option. If they do survive but can’t keep hold of the gaming market, that option will become much more expensive as economies of scale are lost.


  1. Are there any HPC solutions using GPGPUs?

    I know some smaller setups, but nothing really comparable to HPC.

  2. Indeed, there are. Both Nvidia and AMD are selling GPU-based products specifically geared towards scientific computing. Neither one claims any extensive deployment quite yet [hundreds->thousands nodes]. There are several HPC-centric vendors that are currently offering solutions based upon one or the other. Verari [see http://insidehpc.com/2008/07/08/verari-announces-sixteen-core-viz-solution/%5D, SGI, GraphStream and several others have solutions built around GPUs capable of performing work other than 2D/3D graphics.