GeForce

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GeForce is a brand of graphics processing units (GPUs) designed by Nvidia. As of 2009, there have been eleven iterations of the design. The first GeForce products were discrete GPUs designed for use on add-on graphics boards, intended for the high-margin PC gaming market. Later diversification of the product-line covered all tiers of the PC graphics market, from cost-sensitive (Proof) motherboard-integrated GPUs to mainstream add-in retail-boards. Most recently, Geforce technology has been introduced into Nvidia's line of embedded application processors, designed for electronic handhelds and mobile handsets.

With respect to discrete GPUs, found in add-in graphics-boards, Nvidia's GeForce and ATI's Radeon GPUs are the only remaining competitors in the high-end market. With the recent announcement of Larrabee, Intel has stated its intention to (eventually) compete in the same high-end GPU market as AMD and Nvidia.

Along with its nearest competitor, the AMD (ATI) Radeon, the Geforce architecture is moving toward GPGPU (General Purpose-Graphics Processor Unit). GPGPU is expected to expand GPU functionality beyond the traditional rasterization of 3D graphics, to turn it into a high-performance computing device able to execute arbitrary programming code in the same way a CPU does.

Contents

Name origin

The "GeForce" name originated from a contest held by Nvidia in early 1999. Called "Name That Chip", the company called out to the public to name the successor to the RIVA TNT2 line of graphics boards. There were over 12,000 entries received and 7 winners received a RIVA TNT2 Ultra graphics card as a reward.[1][2]

Generations

Future development

  • In September 2010, nVidia officially revealed general information regarding two future lines of GeForce cards, codenamed "Kepler" and "Maxwell". The Kepler architecture, which nVidia states will be available in 2011, will be the successor to Fermi and will be produced on a 28 nm fabrication process. Maxwell, the probable successor to Kepler, is currently expected to be available in 2013.[17]

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