Nvidia unveils GeForce FX graphics processor

NVidia has announced the GeForce FX, a new graphics architecture which the company said delivers "cinematic-quality" graphics and special effects to computers in real time.

The 500MHz graphics processing unit can calculate 375 million programmable vertices per second, 4 billion pixels per second, and 16 billion anti-aliased samples per second.

As a point of comparison, the GeForce FX is significantly faster than Nvidia's current top-of-the-line consumer processor, the GeForce4 Ti 4600, which calculates about 136 million vertices per second and has a fill rate of about 4.8 billion AA samples/per second.

Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said that the new processor has the ability to "bring character emotion to life" through a new type of expression that Nvidia calls "cinematic computing."

The core component in this technology is the CineFX engine, which Nvidia said provides more powerful cinematic visual effects through the use of pixel and vertex shaders. Pixel and vertex shading isn't new -- current and past implementations of Nvidia's and competitor ATI's top-end graphics hardware have long boasted support for such technology, but using it has been complicated and relegated to only a select few developers of games and 3D graphics products.

Nvidia said that CineFX exposes additional capabilities by eliminating "many programming barriers" associated with the use of these detailed technologies. Nvidia has posted and linked various examples of the CineFX engine at work, displaying advanced effects, more detailed surface properties and lighting, and other capabilities associated with the technology.

Other technical aspects of the GeForce FX include 1GHz DDR2 memory support -- the fastest frame buffer ever designed, according to Nvidia -- and complete support for the AGP 8x specification. The GeForce FX unit sports nearly twice the number of transistors as the GeForce4 series; it uses a 0.13 micron and copper manufacturing process.

Although much emphasis today is being made on the GeForce FX's support of Microsoft's own DirectX technology (Nvidia is also a manufacturing partner in Microsoft Xbox video game console operations), Nvidia noted that the CineFX engine that powers the GeForce FX implements OpenGL specifications as well, and the GeForce FX supports Nvidia's Unified Driver Architecture (UDA). These two issues are of significant import to Macintosh users, as they pave the way for GeForce FX to be used on other computing platforms like the Macintosh. Apple has not announced support for the new hardware at this time, and it generally does not discuss plans for new products prior to an actual announcement.

The new GeForce FX offers true 128-bit color with 32-bit floating point components for red, green, blue and alpha values, according to Nvidia. It also has "Intellisample," a new form of anti-aliasing technology that provides gamma-adjusted anti-aliasing and adaptive anisotropic filtering. Anti-aliasing technology removes jagged lines from the edges of polygonal objects rendered in real time 3D environments like games.

Nvidia Corp. said that it's currently sampling the GeForce FX to its add-in card partners and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners. It anticipates that retail graphics cards based on the new chip will hit store shelves in February 2003.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Cohen

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?