Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said on Wednesday that gaming systems will likely reach a performance of "tens of teraflops" by 2019, and be capable of rendering real-time visuals equal to the pre-rendered cutscenes and cinematics we currently see in games today. These systems will eventually have the same level of performance as some of today's supercomputers, he said.
As it stands now, the PlayStation 3 has a peak speed of only a several hundred gigaflops. But by the end of the decade, gaming systems will feature computing speeds matching the Red Storm supercomputer which was initially designed to reach 41.5 teraflops (a trillion floating point operations per second). Despite that kind of horsepower, they won't require megawatts of power to operate, but instead will consume the same amounts of power as today's machines.
"We will be able to deliver that level of capability in 2019 in a game console with a 100 watts," Huang said.
Huang went on to talk about making improvements to the performance of GPUs in supercomputers a top priority. Currently Nvidia has GPUs installed in some of the world's fastest supercomputers which, when paired with CPUs, allow for higher speeds and better performance without the need for extra loads of power. Huang said this should allow for a supercomputer to have a peak speed of an exaflop (quintillion operations per second) by the year 2019 using only 20 megawatts.
IDG News reports that U.S.-based supercomputer Titan will use 18,000 Nvidia GPUs when construction is finally completed, and will feature a peak speed of 20 petaflops. The world's fastest supercomputer, Japan's K computer, only has a peak speed of 8 petaflops and consumes around 10 megawatts of juice.