As previously reported last week during CES 2011, Nvidia excited all of us with news that the company would be using an ARM design to create a CPU/GPU hybrid dubbed as Project Denver. Currently Nvidia already has hands-on experience using ARM-based designs for its Tegra chips, however this new processor will "usher in a new era for computing" for PCs, servers, supercomputers and beyond.
"ARM is already the standard architecture for mobile devices," said Nvidia's chief scientist Bill Dally. "Project Denver extends the range of ARM systems upward to PCs, data center servers, and supercomputers. ARM’s modern architecture, open business model, and vibrant eco-system have led to its pervasiveness in cell phones, tablets, and other embedded devices. Denver is the catalyst that will enable these same factors to propel ARM to become pervasive in higher-end systems."
id Software mastermind John Carmack seems equally excited about Nvidia's Project Denver, enough so to show his support via Twitter. "I have quite a bit of confidence that Nvidia will be able to make a good ARM core," he said. "Probably fun for their engineers."
Given that Nvidia is taking such a huge leap forward in creating its CPU/GPU processor, it's probably good to know that the highly respected designer behind the DooM, Quake and Wolfenstein series has their support. It will be interesting to see what Carmack and id Software does in the future in regards to support for the new Project Denver hardware.
In other ARM-related news, sources at Taiwanese laptops makers claim that AMD is currently working on GPUs to support the ARM architecture. The drawback is that AMD's pace is slower compared to the success of Nvidia's current Tegra 2 hotness. "AMD will be able to change the ecosystem and score points in the global notebook market if it moves faster," sources said.