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Nvidia CEO: The PC Has Lost its Magic

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 108 comments

Thanks to the maturity of hardware, the PC just doesn't dazzle us anymore.

Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently told the BBC News that the PC has lost its magic... or, at least, the PC as we've come to know it today. While he's not condemning the platform in any way, he does offer a valid point: hardware has reached a mature level, making it one of the reasons why PCs no longer amaze us as they once did. But what's the next level? Where does technology go from here?

The Nvidia CEO foresees a future where gesture recognition and computer "vision" come into play, when a PC knows that its owner is sitting in front of the screen simply by observing the user's face, the way he moves and speaks. While that may sound a bit far-fetched and ripped straight out of a science fiction movie, Huang believes it to be a possibility in the next generation.

"These kinds of capabilities are certainly within the next generation, because we have created a processor for the GPU that makes it possible to do parallel processing so much faster on a PC," he told the BBC. "We think this GPU technology is going to transform computing in a way that will bring back the magic to consumers."

Huang's lengthy interview with the BBC spans the history of Nvidia, going back seventeen years when the market was saturated with over 70 companies churning out GPUs, to the recent CES 2010 trade show where Nvidia was boasting about its latest GPU-powered movie, Avatar. But during the interview, Huang made one thing perfectly clear: even though the company is expanding into new areas, PC gaming will still be its primary focus.

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    alikum , January 20, 2010 7:03 AM
    I don't know what's in this guy's head but to say that hardware has reached a mature level is an understatement. Show me a 1 sec boot PC then I'll agree with you. For software developers like me who run instances of database, server, design tool and development tool, I still find Quads to be slow.
  • 26 Hide
    darraghcoy , January 20, 2010 9:14 AM
    He's right.

    I miss being able to go into a computer store and actually have a decent selection of PC games to choose from. I miss having unique titles exclusive to the PC instead of all half-arsed console ports. I miss being able to pop in the CD, install and then play the game without downloading 2GB of data to 'authenticate' my copy. I miss being able to install and uninstall the game as many times as I like, or on newly purchased machines. I miss the simplicity of buying and comparing hardware, 200 MHz CPU vs 300 MHz? I miss operating systems that don't take 5 minutes to boot and which can actually keep up with my typing (on high end hardware). I miss not having popups or antivirus software or other nagware bothering me in the middle of a game.

    There's a lot to be annoyed about if your PC gamer these days.
  • 24 Hide
    masterjaw , January 20, 2010 7:12 AM
    "mature" huh? So, where's Fermi?

    IMO, Nvidia should stop talking and just get to work for them to be able to put their paper-based GPU into reality.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Onyx2291 , January 20, 2010 6:51 AM
    Well I am behind on technology so it will continue to "wow" me when I upgrade :3
  • 30 Hide
    alikum , January 20, 2010 7:03 AM
    I don't know what's in this guy's head but to say that hardware has reached a mature level is an understatement. Show me a 1 sec boot PC then I'll agree with you. For software developers like me who run instances of database, server, design tool and development tool, I still find Quads to be slow.
  • 24 Hide
    masterjaw , January 20, 2010 7:12 AM
    "mature" huh? So, where's Fermi?

    IMO, Nvidia should stop talking and just get to work for them to be able to put their paper-based GPU into reality.
  • 22 Hide
    r3t4rd , January 20, 2010 7:22 AM
    Quote:
    spans the history of Nvidia, going back seventeen years when the market was saturated with over 70 companies churning out GPUs

    Yeah and its because of Nvidia there is hardly any competition left except for ATI. Two Companies (little advancement and inovation) vs 70 Companies (Sky is the limit for advancement and inovation). Brings back the good old days of 3DFX, Diamond Mult, Trident...

    Quote:
    These kinds of capabilities are certainly within the next generation, because we have created a processor for the GPU that makes it possible to do parallel processing so much faster on a PC

    Sounds awfully similar to Intel and Rambus Memory fiasco. You have to remember, Rambus Memory was much more faster and better than DDR. But, DDR was cheaper.

    Jen-Hsun Huang is really saying: "ATI is kicking our behinds. We can't get Fermi out the door. People are catching onto our re-hash of older GPU's. Intel's a bitch. Um...nevermind that, look we know you guys will buy into our GPGPU processing because we are going to charge you an arm and a leg for something mediocre."
  • 21 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 20, 2010 8:02 AM
    This amounts to Nvidia bailing PC for consols. So be it. ATI will gladly take the monopoly.
  • 12 Hide
    trinix , January 20, 2010 8:08 AM
    Can we please consider the words from Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang worthless talking to air and stop making newsposts about it. It's not like anything intelligent ever leaves his mouth. I hope Nvidia fires him and starts putting his gpu's where it's words are.
  • 9 Hide
    4ILY45 , January 20, 2010 8:25 AM
    Nvidia abandoning GPUs??
  • 5 Hide
    blaze15301 , January 20, 2010 8:50 AM
    technology always amazes me because i went from a 200mghz cpu with like 28 mb of ram to a whooping tri core 2.8 cpu with all the trimmings
  • -3 Hide
    Maxor127 , January 20, 2010 8:52 AM
    If you put it that way, I haven't been dazzled by a PC since 1992, and technically that was a Mac. And really, who cares? It does what I want it to do, and that's all I want from it. Gesture recognition sounds (almost) completely worthless and certainly wouldn't dazzle me. Reminds me of when I had a voice recognition login screen for my computer, which was fun and cool for about a week.
  • 6 Hide
    kokin , January 20, 2010 9:04 AM
    The PC is ever-changing. It's not like advancements have been slow over the years.
  • 26 Hide
    darraghcoy , January 20, 2010 9:14 AM
    He's right.

    I miss being able to go into a computer store and actually have a decent selection of PC games to choose from. I miss having unique titles exclusive to the PC instead of all half-arsed console ports. I miss being able to pop in the CD, install and then play the game without downloading 2GB of data to 'authenticate' my copy. I miss being able to install and uninstall the game as many times as I like, or on newly purchased machines. I miss the simplicity of buying and comparing hardware, 200 MHz CPU vs 300 MHz? I miss operating systems that don't take 5 minutes to boot and which can actually keep up with my typing (on high end hardware). I miss not having popups or antivirus software or other nagware bothering me in the middle of a game.

    There's a lot to be annoyed about if your PC gamer these days.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , January 20, 2010 9:16 AM
    There is still much to do before personal computing stops "wowing" users. Let's see warp-speed boot and run times, Matrix-like holographic interfaces, voice recognition that actually works and limitless storage before anyone cries foul.
  • -7 Hide
    BartG , January 20, 2010 9:29 AM
    wtf does IMO mean?
  • -9 Hide
    IronRyan21 , January 20, 2010 9:42 AM
    BartGwtf does IMO mean?


    Are you serious? IMO = "In My Opinion"
    Bart You Failed.
  • 1 Hide
    lucuis , January 20, 2010 9:58 AM
    It has all been said before, and yet we still improve upon tech.
  • 21 Hide
    joejamesatou , January 20, 2010 10:24 AM
    "Blah blah blah. Blah blah. Blah. Don't focus on our lack of DirectX 11 cards since AMD has sold over 1 million. I am scared."

    -Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang
  • 3 Hide
    pertshire , January 20, 2010 10:50 AM
    Well PC did kinda lost it's magic. I mean there are very few innovations on today's PCs. On GPUs they only almost double whatever that was necessary from previous generations to be called fast or shrinking of the manufacturing process or improved software. There are no "blow your mind" sci-fi, radical innovations. What the guy was trying to say is that advancement was not as fast as it used to be.

    Although this gesture recognition does intrigue me. Sony already has tech on their Tvs that recognise presence of humans and other elements.
  • 11 Hide
    KT_WASP , January 20, 2010 11:02 AM
    "These kinds of capabilities are certainly within the next generation, because we have created a processor for the GPU that makes it possible to do parallel processing so much faster on a PC,"

    So, basically he is saying that the magic is lost, and the only way your going to get it back is through using one of their products. This statement is just self-serving rhetoric that basically comes down to "Buy Nvidia, we are your saviors."

    This is a non-story from a company that is back-peddling to take the spotlight off of their tardiness to get products to the market.

  • 8 Hide
    coolkev99 , January 20, 2010 11:02 AM
    So... devs keep chaining themselves to console specs to make games, and then they say that PC's don't dazzle anymore?
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