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Sunday, September 13, 2020

nVIDIA : The New PowerHouse In The Making

My son recently came with a chart to assemble a computer for himself at home and when I looked at the price, 50% of the price went to nVIDIA’s new launch GPU. There comes the news Softbank is likely to sell ARM Holdings to nVIDIA. nVIDIA and ARM have reportedly been in exclusive talks for several weeks and reports suggest that the deal may be finalized as soon as early next week if there are no last-minute issues. This acquisition of ARM, as it happens, will be a game-changer for nVIDIA, as it may potentially catapult Nvidia to be far bigger reach than rivals Intel and AMD.

nVIDIA is known for its graphics chips that power video games, but it has developed other markets including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and data centers. With ARM under its fold, nVIDIA will now get to focus on creating what the computers of the future may be. Over the last three decades or so, we have seen a major transition in the core markets - whereby many functions previously requiring dedicated chips were replaced by software running on increasingly fast CPUs. Two decades back, it was thought that 3D graphics would be the next wave of growth. The bottlenecks in general purpose CPU’s meant that , it was not technically possible, as these CPU’s are very bad at several essential operations required to render 3D images. And GPUs, initially created just for 3D graphics, in a turn around started taking over a portion of many computations previously performed by CPUs. All the current supercomputers are built with at a minimum as many 64-bit GPUs as CPUs. More silicon area is now taken by GPUs than CPUs in a large percentage of many system-on-a-chip 'computers': smart phones, PDAs, and many laptops. The trend is that in the future 'computer chips' could consist of by area 90% GPUs, with CPUs taking only a small region the corner. If Augmented Reality becomes mainstream, it will only accelerate this.

Currently, AMD and INTEL have the most dominant marketshare of the cpu market. There's no real market where a combinations makes nVIDIA a monopoly. The main bet is ARM will be bigger in CPUs in the future. That was an aspiration for the ARM world when it began the journey. Now with this coming together, the ARM worlds domination could very well happen.

nVIDIA remains 1-2 steps ahead of competitors with rollout of its leading Ampere-based architecture for its next-gen GeForce RTX 30xx series of gaming graphic processors. During the GeForce event, Jen-Hsun Huang, nVIDIA’s CEO introduced its leading Ampere-based architecture for its next-gen GeForce RTX 3000 series of gaming graphic processors. The new GPUs have significant performance advantages vs the previous Turning-based RTX 20xx generation (2x performance and 1.9x power efficiency). Architecturally, the GeForce RTX 30xx series is built on Samsung’s 8nm process (unlike the Tesla A100 on TSMC's 7nm process) representative of its dual fab strategy and optimized with Micron’s next-gen GDDR6X memory (3080/3090). Analysts observe that the New products are rich in features – including ray tracing, AI cores, and high-speed memory and should solidify NVIDIA’s leadership in gaming GPUs.nVIDIA already has leadership in Compute Acceleration and Networking With Multiple Vectors Of Growth. As the company pivots to a total solutions approach with silicon/hardware performance and strong development of software and ecosystem. Nvidia is inching towards leadership in the data analytics space and is working in booting up the developer ecosystem (e.g Apache Spark 3.0). In the fast-growing Edge AI and IoT applications, nVIDIA is working closely with OEM’s to roll out the EGX platform. Truly a historic moment in evolution is unfolding with Nvidia gaining center stage now. An inflection point for sure!

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