2011-01-12

Project Denver: NVIDIA builds a desktop microprocessor

This is big news (announced 2011-01-05):
  • NVIDIA partners with ARM to build a high-performance processor code-named “Project Denver”. Read as: fast enough for desktops and laptops.
  • ARM is already completely dominating the cell phone and tablet space (chips based on its architecture are in all Android and iOS devices). This will make it a serious contender for desktops and laptops.
    • Case in point: Microsoft will port Windows to ARM.
  • It’s great that Intel will get some competition. AMD has not really been up to that task in recent years. Power consumption is becoming an increasingly bigger issue for servers (electric bill) and for consumer machines (compact, fan-less designs), so Project Denver could be very attractive.
  • Apple is already making many of its desktop machines as small as possible and uses mobile processors in iMacs and Mac minis. Maybe they will use the chip in Macs. This migration would require quite a bit of work (and thus might not be worth it), but Apple has the technology to do so, as poven by its migration from POWERPC to Intel. iOS can already be considered a port of Mac OS to ARM.
As if that wasn’t enough for NVIDIA, Ars reports on “Intel/NVIDIA bombshell: two rivals team up”:
“We have no intentions of building x86 processors,” he stated, before explaining that Project Denver represents the future of processor efforts at NVDIA. “Our intention is to capitalize on the growing popularity of ARM processors... We’ve always felt that building yet another x86 processor when the world is a-flood with them is a pointless exercise.” NVIDIA wants to build “the processor of the future,” he said.

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