Nvidia takes lead in mobile graphics

San Jose (CA) - Nvidia today launched its first mobile PCI Express GPU. The GeForce Go 6800 will soon appear in desktop replacement notebooks and push mobile graphics to a new performance level. Shortly before the launch of the new chip, ATI however revealed first details of its upcoming M28 chip to recapture the lead in this segment.

Nvidia started to challenge ATI in the mobile segment since the announcement of its first notebook chip GeForce2Go in November 2000. Since then, the manufacturer has come closer to its competitor. The new GeForce Go 6800 will take the role of the firm's flagship product for this segment from the GeForce FX Go 5700 and makes the most significant performance jump yet, as tests and benchmark results from Tom's Hardware show.

Twelve pixel pipes, a programmable video processor, support for DirectX Shader Model 3, 2x memory bandwidth for DDR1 and 4x for DDR3 as well as the change of the host interface from AGP 8s to PCI Express allow the GPU a significant leap forward. The GPU is based on the GeForce 6800 (NV40) and includes for the first time includes Nvidia's graphics module MXM. MXM is designed to reduce development cost of individual graphic cards for specific notebook models and will allow more system builders to integrate these GPU's into their devices. As side benefits, users will be able to replace their mobile graphic card within the thermal design limitations of their computer and Nvidia has a new marketing opportunity to sell more GPUs.

The GeForce Go 6800 also includes a programmable video processor, which will be marketed by Nvidia under the term "Pure Video". The technology offers HD-MPEG2 and WMV-HD decode acceleration, improved picture quality with gamma and color temperature correction. According to Nvidia, a new scaling technique allows resizing of videos without artifacts and noise.

The new GPU is available in notebooks from Alienware, Eurocom, Sager, Falcon Northwest, Voodoo PC, Prostar, and MV, Nvidia said.

Just in time for Nvidia's announcement, ATI revealed first details about its successor of the Mobility Radeon 9800 and the direct competitor for the GeForce Go 6800. The processor, developed under the code name M28, currently receives its finishing touches and also will integrate a PCI Express interface.