Nvidia, a leader in the desktop graphics chip market, unveiled its first graphics processing unit (GPU) for laptops at Comdex last week.
The GeForce2 Go will be first seen in Toshiba's Satellite notebooks during the first quarter of 2001, said Steve Andler, vice president of marketing at Toshiba America Information Systems. Other vendors using the graphics chip are expected to be announced shortly after Toshiba's launch.
Strong emphasis was given by company officials to the importance of the new laptop chip during a party at the Harley Davidson Cafe in Las Vegas.
"It is one of the most important events in the history of the company," said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia president and chief executive officer. "We believe that with the GeForce2 Go we will change how people use and think about the laptop forever."
As of now, ATI Technologies, Trident Microsystems and NeoMagic are the primary players in the laptop graphics chip market, said Peter Glaskowsky, an analyst with MicroDesign Resources. Canada-based ATI holds more than 50 per cent of the mobile graphics chip market.
Nvidia's introduction of its GeForce2 Go will establish a beachhead in the laptop GPU market, Glaskowsky said. The new chip power consumption is too great to grab a large market share, but the GeForce2 Go will grab 5 to 10 percent of the market, he said.
GeForce2 Go incorporates transform and lighting capabilities in hardware and offers 3D rendering. The chip is manufactured to a .18 micron process technology and it is able to process more than 17 million triangles per second and 286 million pixels per second. The GeForce2 Go also provides Nvidia's Shading Rasterizer, which provides per-pixel lighting and shading effects in a single pass and Digital Vibrance Control for crisp, bright visuals.
Nvidia did not detail plans of putting an on-chip buffer on the GeForce2 Go, which would assist in power reduction.