nVidia announced the industry's first hybrid technology for PC platforms--Hybrid SLI--that addresses two critical issues: increasing graphics performance and reducing power consumption.
The nVidia Hybrid SLI technology will be incorporated into a wide variety of graphics and motherboard desktop and notebook products that the company is rolling out for both AMD and Intel desktop and notebook computing platforms throughout 2008.
First disclosed in June 2007, nVidia Hybrid SLI technology is based on the company's GeForce graphics processor units (GPUs) and SLI multi-GPU technology. The Hybrid SLI enables nVidia motherboard GPUs (mGPUs) to work discreetly with nVidia GPUs (dGPUs) when paired in the same PC platform. It also provides two new technologies-- GeForce Boost and HybridPower--that allow the PC to deliver graphics performance for today's applications and games when 3D graphics horsepower is required, or transition to a lower-powered operating state when not.
For lower energy consumption and quieter PC operation, HybridPower allows the PC to switch processing from a single GPU or multiple GPUs in SLI configuration to the onboard motherboard GPU. HybridPower is most useful in situations where graphics horsepower is not required, such as high definition movie playback on a notebook platform or simple e-mail or Internet browsing on a desktop. It is also beneficial for those users who want a quiet operating state with reduced thermals and noise. For notebooks, HybridPower can also extend battery life by up to 3 hours. When a game or application is started that requires the additional 3D horsepower, the PC can automatically transition back to the discrete graphics cards and power up the 3D capabilities all transparent to the end user.
For applications where 3D performance is required, GeForce Boost turbo-charges 3D operation by combining the processing power of the traditional NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics card with that of the second GPU integrated into the motherboard core logic. In media-rich applications, both GPUs work in tandem to render the combined images with the end user benefiting from the increase in performance and frame rate. For typical games and 3D applications, GeForce Boost can kick in automatically, resulting in a greatly enhanced consumer experience.
The new Hybrid SLI-capable products include the upcoming nVidia nForce 780a SLI, nForce 750a SLI, and nForce 730a media and communication processors (MCPs) for AMD CPUs, which will be released next month, as well as the new GeForce 8200--the industry's first micro-ATX motherboard solution with an onboard Microsoft DirectX 10-compliant motherboard GPU. nVidia Hybrid SLI notebooks as well as desktop products designed for Intel CPUs will be available next quarter.