Nvidia Corp. said its new graphics chips will double the performance of their predecessors, offering gamers more realistic images at the speed they demand.
The new Ampere range is the second by Nvidia that uses ray-tracing technology to simulate how light interacts with virtual objects in video games and other computer graphics.
The new top-of-the-line GeForce RTX 3090 will go on sale for $1,499 and head a list of graphics cards that start at $499, Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said in a video briefing from his kitchen at home in Silicon Valley. Wearing his signature leather jacket, the executive unveiled the product by taking it out of an oven.
Ray tracing has taken a while to catch on in the video game industry, but Nvidia said hundreds of games use the approach, or will take advantage of it soon. While the technology makes images more lifelike, it requires a lot more computing power, Huang said. That has slowed the frame rate, or how fast images are updated in video games. The new Ampere design will address this, the CEO added.
Nvidia is trying to stay ahead of renewed challenges fromAdvanced Micro Devices Inc. andIntel Corp., while keeping PC-gaming competitive with new consoles fromMicrosoft Corp. andSony Corp. later this year.
In its most recentquarter Nvidia had games-related sales of $1.65 billion, up 26% from a year earlier. It’s predicting a similar expansion this quarter. PC gaming has become a widespread pastime and billion-dollarsport, creating a market with millions of consumers who will pay more for one Nvidia component than most people will spend for a whole computer.
As the largest maker of graphics chips, Nvidia has ridden this wave of growth, while expanding into other markets such as data center processors. That’s fueled a surge in its stock. Nvidiashares ended 2010 at just over $15 and closed at $534.98 in New York on Monday.
The top-end Ampere product will have 28 billion transistors and the chips will be manufactured bySamsung Electronics Co. using its 8-nanometer process. Nvidia remains aTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. customer for its outsourced production as well, executives said.
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