nVidia Looking to the Future
Simon Telford / 5 years ago
During ECGC 2011, Nvidia senior vice president of content and technology Tony Tamasi made a startling prediction during his keynote presentation called “The Future of Graphics Processing.” He claimed that GPU performance will increase 1000-percent by 2015, allowing graphics cards to generate real-time ray tracing and procedurally generated smoke at 30 to 60 frames per second.
To put this into perspective, Nvidia’s latest GPU can churn out the same photo-realistic graphics at 2 frames per second. Obviously that’s not practical for gamers at this point. But for digital artists, product and automobile designers, this is a virtual holy grail. Gone are the days of making simple changes and then having to wait an hour or two for the image to be redrawn. Instead, it could take mere second depending on the artwork’s complexity. But in a FPS environment, one or two frames per second isn’t even worth a glance.
To back up his claim, Tamasi presented a timeline on how the GPU has progressed since the days of GLQuake using screenshots of several games (Quake 2, Call of Duty, Battlefield 3) to represent stages in the evolution. At the same time, he also detailed hardware features that have been added along the way including transform and lighting, programmable shading and so on.
But he also threw up a chart on the big screen that listed GPU specs dating 2007, 2011 and 2015. In 2007, GPUs featured a texture performance of 12.3 giga-transfers per second (GT/s), an antialiasing performance of 10.3 giga-samples per second (GS/s), a memory bandwidth of 63.4 gigabytes per second (GB/s), geometry running at 0.3 triangles per second (Gtri/s) and a floating point of 228 giga-flops (Gflop/s). In 2011, Nvidia’s latest GPU features a texture performance of 84.5 GT/s, antialiasing performance of 37.0 GS/s, a memory bandwidth of 192.4 GB/s, geometry running at 3.1 Gtri/s and a floating point of 2703 Gflop/s.
Now here’s the kicker. Based on the compound annual growth rate between 2007 and 2011 (1.94, 1.56, 1.47, 2.34 and 2.35 respectively), Nvidia predicts that a 2015 GPU will feature a texture performance of 579.7 GT/s, antialiasing performance of 133.8 GS/s, and a memory bandwidth of 584.1 GB/s. Geometry will be at a staggering 37.2 Gtri/s and the floating point will be up to 32039.8 Gflop/s.
Will we see these performance increases in 2015, or is this just corporate stir?