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Nvidia Pushes Kepler for Cloud Gaming With GeForce Grid

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

Nvidia announced a new gaming-focused cloud implementation of its Kepler GPU technology.

Although the majority of focus at Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference is on the enterprise, scientific and business uses for graphics processors, the company didn't forget that many people buy its products for gaming.

Today, Nvidia announced what it calls the GeForce Grid cloud gaming platform, which is all about streaming next-generation games to virtually any device, without the amount of lag that hampers current offerings.

 

Using the Kepler architecture, GeForce Grid GPUs minimize power consumption by simultaneously encoding up to eight game streams. This allows providers to cost-effectively scale their service offerings to support millions of concurrent gamers.

Featuring two Kepler architecture-based GPUs, each with its own encoder, the processors have 3,072 CUDA technology cores and 4.7 teraflops of 3D shader performance. This enables providers to render highly complex games in the cloud and encode them on the GPU, rather than the CPU, allowing their servers to simultaneously run more game streams. Server power-consumption per game stream is reduced to about one-half that of previous implementations, an important metric for data centers.

 

At GTC, Nvidia and Gaikai demonstrated a virtual game console, consisting of an LG Cinema 3D Smart TV running a Gaikai application connected to a GeForce Grid GPU in a server 10 miles away. What appeared was relatively lag-free play through just an Ethernet cable and wireless USB game pad connected to the TV.

At the post-event keynote Q&A, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in response to a question clarified some of the latency claims. Nvidia's slide claims that it's able to drop more than 100ms from current cloud services and be even better than today's local consoles.

Digging a bit deeper into those numbers, Huang said that today's consoles are using technology that's 6-7 years old. With that hardware stretched to the very limit, machines are already straining to deliver the most latency-free play. In comparison, he says, Kepler can deliver 60 frames-per-second without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, images rendered by Kepler now skip the framebuffer, further cutting down time in the hardware.

 

Much of the speed increase comes right from the faster hardware in Kepler, with the external factor of the display remaining static. There's no doubt in our minds that GeForce Grid – which is essentially a brand of Nvidia Kepler-powered cloud gaming hardware – is faster than what we had yesterday, but then again, what we will have tomorrow will always be faster than what we have today.

 

The real interesting possibility to come out of the savings afforded by  more advanced hardware is what Nvidia hopes to become a Netflix-like economy of scale. Instead of devoting one GPU to one user, Kepler in servers can split the load to achieve bigger cost and power efficiencies. Nvidia envisions this to lead to a flat $10 monthly games subscription, and that's something everyone would want.

Read more about what Nvidia's CEO announced today at the keynote.

Read more from @MarcusYam on Twitter.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Plasmid , May 16, 2012 3:10 AM
    They'll have to take my gaming pc out of dead cold hands !!!!
  • 11 Hide
    cumi2k4 , May 16, 2012 2:39 AM
    with the bandwidth throttling trend nowadays...not only you will not be able to browse comfortably, watch streaming movie, now you can't even play your game? great move to push people to go back reading books again.....
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    Youngmind , May 16, 2012 2:09 AM
    Hopefully, this will help to drive videogame development and bring the focus back to the PC because it'll help to attract some of the mainstream gamers because of its cheapness. Then, because of that focus on the PC games and their graphics, should help to fuel video card innovation.
  • -1 Hide
    alxianthelast , May 16, 2012 2:28 AM
    I think an important question is HOW this could impact actual nexgen console experiences, including MMOs, IF servers are supported by 3rd parties to begin with.

    An argument could be made for encouraging Microsoft to invest in a cloud gaming service for their next evolution of Xbox and Xbox Live. If it means justifying $15 a month or more for an Xbox Live subscription.. AND for developers that their games can't be pirated AND they can push updates whenever they wanted..

    Asking if someone wants an overkill $1000 toaster to get that much more performance from a directx 9.0c game because Devs 'can't afford PC game development, and whatever more the computer will cost to run, versus Xbox 3, Xbox LIVE, and games powered by a cloud service.. the console seems much more appealing especially if you can pay to scale up your games performance.. or split it into even more processes running on each GPU when you're idling in a lobby or not doing anything not very intensive.
  • 11 Hide
    cumi2k4 , May 16, 2012 2:39 AM
    with the bandwidth throttling trend nowadays...not only you will not be able to browse comfortably, watch streaming movie, now you can't even play your game? great move to push people to go back reading books again.....
  • -2 Hide
    TheBigTroll , May 16, 2012 2:52 AM
    heard they were using gk110 gpus for this job
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , May 16, 2012 3:00 AM
    I think I will get a cloud server supercomputer in my house to play games directly on. Sure all my bills would be huge but I'll be making a profit because when I'm not playing games on it then it can automatically rent itself out to other users over the internet to use for their computationally intensive work or whatever.
  • 1 Hide
    crapfacednoob , May 16, 2012 3:02 AM
    So we are paying more for 100+ ping in just our local network.....
  • 4 Hide
    Plasmid , May 16, 2012 3:08 AM
    crapfacednoobSo we are paying more for 100+ ping in just our local network.....


    I don't know how this will be a pleasant gaming experience with such ping. For me 150 ping is pretty mediocre despite their praise.
  • 14 Hide
    Plasmid , May 16, 2012 3:10 AM
    They'll have to take my gaming pc out of dead cold hands !!!!
  • 1 Hide
    atikkur , May 16, 2012 3:16 AM
    this is not cool.. dont too much focus on this, you know everyone loves to see real hardware to play with.
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , May 16, 2012 5:01 AM
    Oh, here we go, I predicted this bullshit... nVidia and AMD aren't going anywhere, they'll just switch to providing cloud BS for us instead of proper gaming. That sucks.
  • 2 Hide
    aznshinobi , May 16, 2012 5:10 AM
    With cloud, big brother is watching even more carefully.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , May 16, 2012 5:39 AM
    network ping is not a fixed factor, also, faster hardware does not improve ping times. Furthermore, ping times increase as the network becomes more saturated.

    then you run into issues of shared internet connections which is very popular today

    overall, most of their response time claims are based on assuming a fixed nature of factors that are historically random and heavily influenced by the actions of your neighbors, distance from the server, and random issues or bandwidth management on the ISP's backbone

    based on their claims, just having your ping go over 30ms, sends you over their proposed delays offered by current gen consoles (which seem a bit exaggerated (most likely a word case scenario since a 166ms delay is very noticable

    anything above 20ms is very noticeable, ant 166ms for you to see a response to user input will be felt as extreme sluggishness

    (you ever run a game that your system cant handle properly and the mouse cursor feels very sluggish but is still able to move smoothly (that sluggish feeling comes from the a noticeable delay in how it responds to your movement. When using the mouse, you are constantly adjusting your movement speed and direction and getting something like even a 50ms delay would cause a sense of sluggishness as you will constantly adjust your movements either too late or too soon

    When you game your PC or console and it is running very smoothly, those delays are most likely well under 20ms

    (PS understand that human reaction time is different from the amount if time delta needed for detecting a delay)
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , May 16, 2012 5:58 AM
    Big "console lag" is BS.
    TVs (many of them) do typically add 40-80ms of lag due to post processing, but only if you use HDMI input.
  • 0 Hide
    elcentral , May 16, 2012 5:59 AM
    all i c is ping problems you gonna need at least 50 servers spread out all over Sweden to get got latency.
  • 1 Hide
    USHypertraxx , May 16, 2012 6:28 AM
    So soon we can download our hardware... kinda of. Maybe theres a crack for an card than :) 
  • 0 Hide
    dreadlokz , May 16, 2012 6:49 AM
    ty! but no ty!
  • 3 Hide
    arlandi , May 16, 2012 7:51 AM
    good idea!
    i can see this catching on very quick!
    internet connections in every part of the world are very fast and there are no bandwidth cap.
    great! sign me up!
  • 0 Hide
    EDVINASM , May 16, 2012 7:56 AM
    I like the idea though if masses move to this there will be fek all on the market to buy for those who don't want to game this way. Also, to those who have crappy internet (i.e. me where ping is 50ms to my next door neighbour) this is not an option. Am a bit scared where this 'cloud' is taking us. Though this is kind of future..
  • 0 Hide
    goodguy713 , May 16, 2012 8:05 AM
    it will fail .. to much network interferance .. at least here in my state.. US is actually behind significantly compaired to other countries .. internet costs for 24Mbit is around 60 a month plus you have to buy the modem.. comcast is about the same I got a 1 year deal were i pay 39.99 a month for 18Mbit service .. im just saying and i wont play on any server with a ping higher than 60 i just wont do it.. typically i look for 20, to 30 which usually means chicago or cininatti texas usually pings around 50 ... just saying i couldnt imagine adding another 30 to 60 to that ping it just wouldnt be worth it to me .. especially for something like battle field 3... and fyi theres still people who use dial up.. because they cant get access and typical dsl here is only good for 3-6Mbit and most only have 12Mbit.. just saying .. its the most common
  • -1 Hide
    Timendo , May 16, 2012 10:49 AM
    Seriously considering NVDA Stock now more than ever.
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