Friday, February 19, 2010

Hina Guru Lewat Facebook, 4 Siswa di keluarkan dari sekolah

Pekanbaru - Facebook makan korban lagi. Empat siswa SMU Negeri 4 Tanjungpinang, ibukota Provinsi Kepulauan Riau (Kepri) dikeluarkan bersamaan karena dianggap menghina guru lewat jaringan sosial facebook.

Keempat siswa itu adalah Al, Ya, Ha dan siswi berinisial Am. Kabarnya keempat siswa ini kesal atas tugas rumah yang diberikan seorang guru wanita bidang keterampilan karena terlalu berat.

Lantas salah satu dari mereka melampiaskan kekesalan terhadap guru itu di facebook. Kalimat yang tertulis di facebook itu telah menyinggung guru yang bersangkutan.

“Saya bersama istri sudah minta maaf kepada pihak sekolah atas kejadian tersebut. Kami bermohon sekali agar anak kami tidak dikeluarkan. Namun permohonan kami ditolak. Anak saya pun akhirnya di keluarkan,” kata Edy Trisno, ayah dari Al, dalam perbincangan lewat telepon dengan detikcom, Minggu (14/2/2010).

Pertama kali yang membuat status di facebook itu adalah Ha, yang selanjutnya tiga rekannya ikut nimbrung.

Mereka menulis di facebook karena yakin guru tersebut tidak familiar dengan situs jejaring sosial itu. Lantas komentar para murid di facebook beredar di sekolah dalam bentuk lembaran kertas kopian.

Dari sanalah, lantas pihak SMU Negeri 4 Tanjungpinang, tidak memberi ampun kepada muridnya. Pihak sekolah mengeluarkan murid tersebut.

Sumber : Detik News.

Wah kasian ya, gara-gara ngehina guru di facebook langsung di keluarin dari sekolah.
lain kali berfikir dulu sebelum bertindak.. hehehe

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ati Technologies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ATI Technologies Inc. (ATI) was a major Canadian designer and supplier of graphics processing units and motherboard chipsets. In 2006, the company was acquired by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and was renamed the AMD Graphics Product Group (or sometimes named ATI Technologies ULC), although the ATI brand was retained for graphics cards.
The AMD Graphics Product Group is a fabless semiconductor company conducting in-house research and development and outsourcing the manufacturing and assembly of its products. Its main competitor is NVIDIA in the graphics and handheld market. The flagship product, the Radeon series of graphics cards, directly competes with NVIDIA's GeForce. These two companies' dominance of the market forced other manufacturers into niche roles.

ATI Technologies Inc.
Fate Acquired by AMD
Founded 1985
Defunct 2006
Headquarters 1 Commerce Valley Drive East Canada Markham, Ontario, Canada
Key people Adrian Hartog, president, AMD Canada
Rick Bergman, Sr. VP and GM
Industry Semiconductors
Products Graphics processing units
Video capture cards


In 1985, ATI was founded as Array Technologies Incorporated by Lee Ka Lau, Benny Lau and Kwok Yuen Ho. Working primarily in the OEM field, ATI produced integrated graphics cards for PC manufacturers such as IBM and Commodore. By 1987, ATI had grown into an independent graphics card retailer, introducing EGA Wonder and VGA Wonder graphic card product lines under its brand that year. In May 1991, the company released the Mach8, ATI's first product able to process graphics without the CPU. Debuting in 1992, the Mach32 offered improved memory bandwidth and GUI acceleration performance. ATI Technologies Inc. went public in 1993 with stock listed at NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange.

AMD Markham at the former ATI headquarters.

ATI's former Silicon Valley office.

ATI VGA Wonder with 256 KB RAM.
In 1994, the Mach64 accelerator debuted, powering the Graphics Xpression and Graphics Pro Turbo, offering hardware support for YUV-to-RGB color space conversion in addition to hardware zoom; early techniques of hardware-based video acceleration.
ATI introduced its first combination of 2D and 3D accelerator under the name 3D Rage. This chip was based on the Mach 64 but it featured elemental 3D acceleration. The ATI Rage line powered almost the entire range of ATI graphics products. In particular, the Rage Pro was one of the first viable 2D-plus-3D alternatives to 3Dfx's 3D-only Voodoo chipset. 3D acceleration in the Rage line advanced from the basic functionality within the initial 3D Rage to a more advanced DirectX 6.0 accelerator in the 1999 Rage 128.
The All-in-Wonder product line introduced in 1996 was the first combination of integrated graphics chip with TV tuner card and the first chip that enabled to display computer graphics on a TV set. The cards featured 3D acceleration powered by ATI's second generation 3D Rage II, 64-bit 2D performance, TV-quality video acceleration, analog video capture, TV tuner functionality, flicker-free TV-out and stereo TV audio reception.
ATI made an entrance into the mobile computing sector by introducing 3D-graphics acceleration to laptops in 1996. The Mobility product line had to meet requirements different from desktop PC, such as minimized power usage, reduced heat output, TMDS output capabilities for laptop screens, and maximized integration. In 1997, ATI acquired Tseng Labs's graphics assets, which included 40 engineers.
The Radeon line of graphics products was unveiled in 2000. The initial Radeon graphics processing unit was an all-new design with DirectX 7.0 3D acceleration, video acceleration, and 2D acceleration. Technology developed for a specific Radeon generation could be built in varying levels of features and performance in order to provide products suited for the entire market range, from high-end to budget to mobile versions.
In 2000, ATI acquired ArtX, which engineered the Flipper graphics chip used in the Nintendo GameCube game console. They have also created a modified version of the chip (codenamed Hollywood) for the successor of the GameCube, the Wii. ATI was contracted by Microsoft to create the graphics core (codenamed Xenos) for the Xbox 360. Later in 2005, ATI acquired Terayon's Cable Modem Silicon Intellectual Property strengthening their lead in the consumer digital television market. K. Y. Ho remained as Chairman of the Board until he retired in November 2005. Dave Orton replaced him as the President and CEO of the organization.
On July 24, 2006, AMD and ATI announced a plan to merge together in a deal valued at $5.4 billion. The merger closed on October 25, 2006. The acquisition consideration included over $2 billion financed from a loan and 56 million shares of AMD stock. ATI retained its name, logos and trademarks. ATI's then CEO Dave Orton was made the Executive Vice President of Visual and Media Businesses.
It was reported that in December 2006 AMD/ATI, along with its main rival NVIDIA, received subpoenas from the United States Department of Justice regarding possible antitrust violations in the graphics card industry.
In July 2007, AMD announced the resignation of Dave Orton. ATI, a subsidiary of AMD, is called the Graphics Product Group (GPG) inside the company. The top-level management of the Graphics Product Group consists of Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President and General Manager and Adrian Hartog, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Electronics Group. Both report to Dirk Meyer, CEO of AMD.


ATI's Ruby fictional female character.
In addition to developing high-end GPUs (originally called a VPU, visual processing unit, by ATI) for PCs, ATI also designs embedded versions for laptops (Mobility Radeon), PDAs and mobile phones (Imageon), integrated motherboards (Radeon IGP), and others.
ATI promotes some of its products with the fictional "Ruby" female character, described as a "mercenary for hire." Computer animated videos produced by RhinoFX about Ruby on a mission (being a sniper, saboteur, hacker and so on) are displayed at large technology shows such as CeBIT and CES.

Computer graphics chipsets

  • Graphics Solution / "Small Wonder" - Series of 8-bit ISA cards with MDA, Hercules and CGA compatibility. Later versions added EGA support.
  • EGA / VGA Wonder - IBM "EGA/VGA-compatible" display adapters (1987)
  • Mach Series - Introduced ATI's first 2D GUI "Windows Accelerator". As the series evolved, GUI acceleration improved dramatically and early video acceleration appeared.
  • Rage Series - ATI's first 2D and 3D accelerator chips. The series evolved from rudimentary 3D with 2D GUI acceleration and MPEG-1 capability, to a highly competitive Direct3D 6 accelerator with then "best-in-class" DVD (MPEG2) acceleration. The various chips were very popular with OEMs of the time. The Rage II was used in the first ATI All-In-Wonder multi-function video card, and more advanced All-In-Wonders based on Rage series GPUs followed. (1995–2004)

    • Rage Mobility - Designed for use in low-power environments, such as notebooks. These chips were functionally similar to their desktop counterparts, but had additions such as advanced power management, LCD interfaces, and dual monitor functionality.
  • Radeon Series - Launched in 2000, the Radeon line is ATI's brand for their consumer 3D accelerator add-in cards. The original Radeon DDR was ATI's first DirectX 7 3D accelerator, introducing their first hardware T&L engine. ATI often produced 'Pro' versions with higher clock speeds, and sometimes an extreme 'XT' version, and even more recently 'XT Platinum Edition (PE)' and 'XTX' versions. The Radeon series was the basis for many ATI All-In-Wonder boards.

    • Mobility Radeon - A series of power-optimized versions of Radeon graphics chips for use in laptops. They introduced innovations such as modularized RAM chips, DVD (MPEG2) acceleration, notebook GPU card sockets, and "PowerPlay" power management technology. AMD recently announced DirectX 11-compatible versions of its mobile processors.
    • ATI CrossFire - This technology was ATI's response to NVIDIA's SLI platform. It allowed, by using a secondary video card and a dual PCI-E motherboard based on an ATI Crossfire-compatible chipset, the ability to combine the power of the two video cards to increase performance through a variety of different rendering options. There is an option for additional PCI-E video card plugging into the third PCI-E slot for gaming physics, or another option to do physics on the second video card.
  • FireGL - Launched in 2001, following ATI's acquisition of FireGL Graphics from Diamond Multimedia. Workstation CAD/CAM video card, based on the Radeon series.
  • FireMV - For workstations, featuring multi-view, a technology for the need of multiple displays for workstations with 2D acceleration only, usually based on the low-end products of the Radeon series.
  • FirePro - The follow-on to the FireGL cards, for workstations.

Personal computer platforms and chipsets

  • IGP 3x0, Mobility Radeon 7000 IGP - ATI's first chipsets. Included a DirectX 7-level 3D graphics processor.
  • 9100 IGP - 2nd generation system chipset. IXP250 southbridge. It was notable for being ATI's first complete motherboard chipset, including an ATI-built southbridge. It included an updated DirectX 8.1 class graphics processor.
  • Xpress 200/200P - PCI Express-based Athlon 64 and Pentium 4 chipset. Supports SATA as well as integrated graphics with DirectX 9.0 support, the first integrated graphics chipset to do so.
  • Xpress 3200 - similar to Xpress 200, but designed for optimal CrossFire performance.

  • 690G, Xpress 1250 - for AMD and Intel platforms. Includes DirectX 9 graphics processor improved over Xpress 200  and industry first native HDMI implementation on motherboards.
  • AMD 700 chipset series - exclusively for AMD processors, this is a chipset family supporting Phenom processors and Quad FX enthusiast platform (790FX), enthusiast chipset (790X), IGP (790GX, 785G, 780G, 740G) and single graphics card variants (770, 740) aimed at mainstream and value computing systems available.
In addition to the above chipset ATI has announced that a deal has been struck with CPU and Motherboard manufacturers as of 2005, particularly Asus and Intel, to create onboard 3D Graphics solutions for Intel's new range of motherboards that will be released with their range of Intel Pentium M-based desktop processors, the Intel Core and Intel Core 2 processors, the D101GGC and D101GGC2 chipset (codenamed "Grand County) based on the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset. However, high-end boards with integrated graphics processor (IGP) will still use Intel GMA integrated graphics processors. The deal with Intel was deemed to be officially ended with the purchase of ATI Technologies from AMD in July 2006, with Intel announcing SiS IGP chipset (D201GLY chipset, codenamed "Little Valley") for entry-level desktop platform, replacing the "Grand County" series chipsets.

Multimedia and Digital TV products

  • All-In-Wonder series - A series of multimedia graphics cards which incorporating TV tuner and Radeon family graphics cards onto one add-in card, which, after being seemingly discontinued was relaunched as All-In-Wonder HD on June 26, 2008.
  • TV tuners

    • TV Wonder and HDTV Wonder - a chipset family providing TV reception of various analog TV and digital TV signals (PAL, NTSC, ATSC, DVB-T and so on) with first generation AVIVO technology, also supporting CableCARD, and Clear QAM technologies.
    • Theater - a family of QAM and VSB demodulators for the Digital Cable ready and ATSC environments.
  • Remote Wonder, wireless remote control series for ATI multimedia products. Operates using radio frequency, away from mainstream implementations using infrared.

Console graphics products

  • Flipper - The Nintendo GameCube contains a 3D accelerator developed by ArtX, Inc, a company acquired by ATI during the development of the GPU. Flipper is similar in capability to a Direct3D 7 accelerator chip. It consists of 4 rendering pipelines, with hardware T&L, and some limited pixel shader support. Innovatively the chip has 3 MiB of embedded 1T-SRAM for use as ultra-fast low-latency (6.2 ns) texture and framebuffer/Z-buffer storage allowing 10.4 GB/second bandwidth (extremely fast for the time). Flipper was designed by members of the Nintendo 64 Reality Coprocessor team who moved from SGI. The Flipper team went on to have a major hand in development of the Radeon 9700.
  • Xenos - Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console contains a custom graphics chip produced by ATI, known as "R500", "C1", or more often as Xenos. Some of these features include the embedded DRAM (eDRAM). The Xenos also features the “True Unified Shader Architecture” which dynamically loads and balances pixel and vertex processing amongst a bank of identically capable processing units. This differs greatly from past-generations PC graphics chips that have separate banks of processors designed for their individual task (vertex/fragment). Another feature presented in Xenos is the hardware surface tessellation to divide a surface into smaller triangles, similar to TruForm in terms of functionality, which is an advanced feature as it is not presented even in the most up-to-date DirectX 10 specification. The recent generation Radeon R600 GPU core inherited most of the features presented in Xenos, except eDRAM.
  • Hollywood - Successor to Flipper. Part of Nintendo's latest gaming console, Wii.

Handheld chipsets

  • Imageon - System-on-a-chip (SoC) design introduced in 2002 to bring integrated 2D and 3D graphics to handhelds devices, cellphones and Tablet PCs. Current top-of-line product is the Imageon 2298 which includes DVD quality recording and playback, TV output, and supports up to a 12 megapixel camera, with another line of Imageon products, the 2300 series supporting OpenGL ES 1.1+ extensions. The Imageon line was rebranded under AMD, after AMD acquired ATI in Q3 2006, as AMD Imageon.
  • Imageon TV - Announced in February 2006, allowing handhelds devices to receive digital broadcast TV (DVB-H) signals and enables watching TV programs on these devices, the chipset includes tuner, demodulator, decoder, and a full software stack, operates alongside the Imageon chip.
  • Besides full products, ATI has also supplied 3D and 2D graphics components to other vendors, specifically the Qualcomm MSM7000 series SoC chips of handheld and upcoming Freescale i. MX processors .
  • ATI claimed in May 2006, that it had sold over 100 million 'cell phone media co-processors,' significantly more than ATI's rival NVIDIA, and announced in February 2007 that the firm had shipped a total of 200 million of Imageon products since 2003 .

High Performance Computing

ATI graphics drivers

ATI currently provides proprietary drivers, called ATI Catalyst, for Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. Linux users have the option of both proprietary (R600 and above) and open source drivers.
In an interview with AMD official Hal Speed, it was suggested that AMD were strongly considering making at least the functional part of the ATI drivers open source. However, at least until the merger with AMD was complete, ATI had no plans to release their drivers as open source code:
Proprietary, patented optimizations are part of the value we provide to our customers and we have no plans to release these drivers to open source. In addition, multimedia elements such as content protection must not, by their very nature, be allowed to go open source.

Source : Wikipedia



Thursday, February 4, 2010


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nvidia (NASDAQNVDA pronounced /ɛnˈvɪ.di.ə/) is a multinational corporation which specializes in the development of graphics processing units and chipset technologies for workstations, personal computers, and mobile devices. Based in Santa Clara, California, the company has become a major supplier of integrated circuits (ICs), designing graphics processing units (GPUs) and chipsets used in graphics cards, in personal-computer motherboards, and in video game consoles.
Notable Nvidia product lines include:

Nvidia Corporation
Type Public (NASDAQNVDA)
Founded 1993
Founder(s) Jen-Hsun Huang
Chris Malachowsky
Headquarters 2701 San Tomas Expressway
Santa Clara, California
Area served Worldwide
Key people Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder, President and CEO
Chris Malachowsky, Co-founder, Nvidia Fellow, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Operations
Jonah M. Alben, Vice President, GPU Engineering
Debora Shoquist, Senior Vice President, Operations
Dr. Ranga Jayaraman, CIO
Industry Semiconductors — Specialized
Products Graphics processing units
Revenue $ 3.424 billion (2009)
Operating income $ 70.70 million (2009)
Net income $ 30.04 million (2009)
Total assets $ 3.350 billion (2009)
Total equity $ 2.394 billion (2009)
Employees over 4,985 (as of June 2008)



Company history

Three people co-founded Nvidia in 1993:
The founders gained venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital.
In 2000, Nvidia acquired the intellectual assets of its one-time rival 3dfx, one of the biggest graphics companies of the mid- to late-1990s.
On December 14, 2005, Nvidia acquired ULI Electronics, which at the time supplied third-party southbridge parts for chipsets to ATI, Nvidia's competitor.
In March 2006, Nvidia acquired Hybrid Graphics
In December 2006, Nvidia, along with its main rival in the graphics industry AMD (which had acquired ATI), received subpoenas from the Justice Department regarding possible antitrust violations in the graphics card industry.
Forbes magazine named Nvidia its Company of the Year for 2007, citing the accomplishments it made during the said period as well as during the previous 5 years.
On January 5, 2007, Nvidia announced that it had completed the acquisition of PortalPlayer, Inc.
In February 2008, Nvidia acquired Ageia Technologies for an undisclosed sum. "The purchase reflects both companies' shared goal of creating the most amazing and captivating game experiences," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "By combining the teams that created the world's most pervasive GPU and physics engine brands, we can now bring GeForce-accelerated PhysX to twelve million gamers around the world." (The press-release made no mention of the acquisition-cost nor of future plans for specific products.)


The company's name combines an initial n (a letter usable as a pronumeral in mathematical statements) and the root of video (from Latin videre, "to see"), thus implying "the best visual experience" or perhaps "immeasurable display." The sound of the name Nvidia suggests "envy" (Spanish: envidia; Latin, Italian, or Romanian: invidia); and Nvidia's GeForce 8 series product (manufactured 2006-2008) used the slogan "Green with envy."
The company name appears entirely in upper-case ("NVIDIA") in the company's technical documentation. The mixed-case form ("nVIDIA," with a full-height, lower-case "n") appears only in the corporate logo.


Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara

A graphics processing unit on an Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT
Nvidia's product portfolio includes graphics processors, wireless communications processors, PC platform (motherboard core logic) chipsets, and digital media player software. The community of computer users arguably has come to know Nvidia best for its "GeForce" product line, which consists of both a complete line of discrete graphics chips found in AIB (add-in board) video cards and core graphics technology used in nForce motherboards, the Microsoft Xbox game console, and Sony's PlayStation 3 game console.
In many respects Nvidia resembles its competitor ATI. Both companies began with a focus on the PC market and later expanded their activities into chips for non-PC applications. As part of their operations, both ATI and Nvidia create reference designs (circuit board schematics) and provide manufacturing samples to their board partners. However, unlike ATI, Nvidia does not sell graphics boards into the retail market, instead focusing on the development of GPU chips. As a fabless semiconductor company, Nvidia contracts out the manufacture of their chips to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. (TSMC). Manufacturers of Nvidia video cards include BFG, EVGA, Foxconn, and PNY. The manufacturers ASUS, ECS, Gigabyte Technology, MSI, Palit, and XFX produce both ATI and Nvidia cards.
December 2004 saw the announcement that Nvidia would assist Sony with the design of the graphics processor (RSX) in the PlayStation 3 game console. In March 2006 it emerged that Nvidia would deliver RSX to Sony as an IP core, and that Sony alone would organize the manufacture of the RSX. Under the agreement, Nvidia will provide ongoing support to port the RSX to Sony's fabs of choice (Sony and Toshiba), as well as die shrinks to 65 nm. This practice contrasts with Nvidia's business arrangement with Microsoft, in which Nvidia managed production and delivery of the Xbox GPU through Nvidia's usual third-party foundry contracts. Meanwhile, Microsoft chose to license a design by ATI and to make its own manufacturing arrangements for the Xbox 360 graphics hardware, as has Nintendo for the Wii console (which succeeds the ATI-based Nintendo GameCube).
On February 4, 2008, Nvidia announced plans to acquire physics-software producer Ageia, whose PhysX physics engine program formed part of hundreds of games shipping or in development for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and gaming PCs. This transaction completed on February 13, 2008 and efforts to integrate PhysX into the GeForce 8800's CUDA system began.
On June 2, 2008 Nvidia officially announced its new Tegra product line. The Tegra, a system-on-a-chip (SoC), integrates an ARM CPU, GPU, northbridge and southbridge onto a single chip. Commentators opine that Nvidia will target this product at the smartphone and mobile Internet device markets.

Graphics chipsets

Desktop motherboard chipsets

  • nForce series

    • nForce: AMD Athlon/Athlon XP/Duron K7 CPUs (System Platform Processor (SPP) and Media and Communications Processor (MCP) or GeForce2 MX-class Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP) and MCP, SoundStorm available)
    • nForce2: AMD Athlon/Athlon XP/Duron/Sempron K7 CPUs (SPP + MCP or GeForce4 MX-class IGP + MCP, SoundStorm available)
    • nForce3: AMD Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Opteron/Sempron K8 CPUs (unified MCP only)
    • nForce4

      • AMD: Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Opteron/Sempron K8 CPUs (unified MCP, SPP + MCP, or MCP paired with GeForce 6100 series/Quadro NVS 210S IGP)
      • Intel: Pentium 4/Pentium 4 Extreme Edition/Pentium D/Pentium Extreme Edition/Celeron/Celeron D NetBurst CPUs (SPP + MCP only)
    • nForce 500

      • AMD: Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Opteron/Sempron K8 CPUs (unified MCP or SPP + MCP)
      • Intel Pentium 4/Pentium 4 Extreme Edition/Pentium D/Pentium Extreme Edition/Pentium Dual-Core/Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Extreme/Celeron/Celeron D NetBurst and Core 2 CPUs (SPP + MCP only)
    • nForce 600

      • AMD: Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Opteron/Sempron K8 CPUs, Quad FX-capable (unified MCP or MCP paired with GeForce 7000 series/GeForce 7100 series IGP)
      • Intel: Pentium 4/Pentium 4 Extreme Edition/Pentium D/Pentium Extreme Edition/Pentium Dual-Core/Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Quad/Celeron/Celeron D NetBurst and Core 2 CPUs (SPP + MCP or MCP paired with GeForce 7000 series/GeForce 7100 series IGP)
    • nForce 700

      • AMD: Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Athlon X2/Opteron/Phenom X3/Phenom X4/Sempron K8 and K10 CPUs
      • Intel: Pentium 4/Pentium 4 Extreme Edition/Pentium D/Pentium Extreme Edition/Pentium Dual-Core/Core 2 Duo/Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Quad/Celeron/Celeron D NetBurst and Core 2 CPUs
    • nForce 900: AMD Athlon 64/Athlon 64 X2/Athlon 64 FX/Athlon X2/Athlon II X2/Athlon II X3/Athlon II X4/Opteron/Phenom X3/Phenom X4/Phenom II X2/Phenom II X3/Phenom II X4/Sempron K8 and K10 CPUs

Documentation and drivers

Nvidia does not publish the documentation for its hardware, meaning that programmers cannot write appropriate and effective open-source drivers for Nvidia's products (compare Graphics hardware and FOSS). Instead, Nvidia provides its own binary GeForce graphics drivers for X.Org and a thin open-source library that interfaces with the Linux, FreeBSD or Solaris kernels and the proprietary graphics software. Nvidia also supports an obfuscated open-source driver that only supports two-dimensional hardware acceleration and ships with the X.Org distribution. Nvidia's Linux support has promoted mutual adoption in the entertainment, scientific visualization, defense and simulation/training industries, traditionally dominated by SGI, Evans & Sutherland, and other relatively costly vendors.
The proprietary nature of Nvidia's drivers has generated dissatisfaction within free-software communities. Some Linux and BSD users insist on using only open-source drivers, and regard Nvidia's insistence on providing nothing more than a binary-only driver as wholly inadequate, given that competing manufacturers (like Intel) offer support and documentation for open-source developers, and that others (like ATI) release partial documentation.Because of the closed nature of the drivers, Nvidia video cards do not deliver adequate features on several platforms and architectures, such as FreeBSD on the x86-64 architecture and the other BSD operating systems on any architecture. Support for three-dimensional graphics acceleration in Linux on the PowerPC does not exist; nor does support for Linux on the hypervisor-restricted PlayStation 3 console. While some users accept the Nvidia-supported drivers, many users of open-source software would prefer better out-of-the-box performance if given the choice. However, the performance and functionality of the binary Nvidia video card drivers surpass those of open-source alternatives following VESA standards.
X.Org Foundation and have started the Nouveau project, which aims to develop free-software drivers for Nvidia graphics cards by reverse engineering Nvidia's current proprietary drivers for Linux.

Market share

According to a survey conducted in the third quarter of 2007 by market watch firm Jon Peddie Research, Nvidia occupied the top slot in the desktop graphic devices market with a market share of 37.8%. However, in the mobile space, it remained third with 22.8% of the market. Overall Nvidia has maintained its position as the second-largest supplier of PC graphic shipments, which includes both integrated and discrete GPUs, with 33.9% market share, their highest in many years, which puts them just behind Intel (38%).
According to the Steam hardware survey conducted by the game developer Valve, Nvidia had 64.64% of PC video card market share (as of 1 December 2008 (2008 -12-01)). ATI had 27.12% of the PC video card market share. But this could relate to Valve releasing trial versions of The Orange Box compilation to Nvidia graphics card users: the compilation provided a link to the survey. However, free copies of The Orange Box were also released to purchasers of ATI cards, notably to those who purchased the Radeon 2900XT.

Market history

Before DirectX

An Nvidia RIVA 128 AGP video card
Nvidia released its first graphics card, the NV1, in 1995. Its design used quadratic surfaces, with an integrated playback-only sound card and ports for Sega Saturn gamepads. Because the Saturn also used forward-rendered quadratics, programmers ported several Saturn games to play on a PC with NV1, such as Panzer Dragoon and Virtua Fighter Remix. However, the NV1 struggled in a marketplace full of several competing proprietary standards.
Market interest in the product ended when Microsoft announced the DirectX specifications, based on polygons. Subsequently NV1 development continued internally as the NV2 project, funded by several millions of dollars of investment from Sega. Sega hoped that an integrated chip with both graphics and sound capabilities would cut the manufacturing cost of the next Sega console. However, Sega eventually realized the flaws in implementing quadratic surfaces, and the NV2 project never resulted in a finished product.

Transition to DirectX

Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang realized at this point that after two failed products, something had to change for the company to survive. He hired David Kirk as Chief Scientist from software developer Crystal Dynamics. Kirk would combine Nvidia's experience in 3D hardware with an intimate understanding of practical implementations of rendering.
As part of the corporate transformation, Nvidia sought to provide full support for DirectX, and dropped multimedia functionality in order to reduce manufacturing costs. Nvidia also adopted the goal of an internal six-month product cycle, based on the expectation that it could mitigate a failure of any one product by having a replacement moving through the development pipeline.
However, since the Sega NV2 contract remained secret, and since Nvidia had recently laid off employees, it appeared to many industry observers that Nvidia had ceased active research and development. So when Nvidia first announced the RIVA 128 in 1997, the market found the specifications hard to believe: performance superior to market-leader 3dfx Voodoo Graphics, and a fully hardware-based triangle setup engine. The RIVA 128 shipped in volume, and the combination of its low cost and high performance made it a popular choice for OEMs.

Ascendancy: RIVA TNT

Having finally developed and shipped in volume a market-leading integrated graphics chipset, Nvidia set itself the goal of doubling the number of pixel pipelines in its chip, in order to realize a substantial performance gain. The TwiN Texel (RIVA TNT) engine which Nvidia subsequently developed could either apply two textures to a single pixel, or process two pixels per clock cycle. The former case allowed for improved visual quality, the latter for doubling the maximum fillrate.
New features included a 24-bit Z-buffer with 8-bit stencil support, anisotropic filtering, and per-pixel MIP mapping. In certain respects (such as transistor count) the TNT had begun to rival Intel's Pentium processors for complexity. However, while the TNT offered an astonishing range of quality-integrated features, it failed to displace the market leader, 3dfx's Voodoo2, because the actual clock rate ended up at only 90 MHz, about 35% lower than expected.
Nvidia followed with a refresh part: a die shrink for the TNT architecture from 350 nm to 250 nm. A stock TNT2 now ran at 125 MHz, a TNT2 Ultra at 150 MHz. Though the Voodoo3 beat Nvidia to the market, 3dfx's offering proved disappointing; it did not run much faster and lacked features that were becoming standard, such as 32-bit color and textures of resolution greater than 256 x 256 pixels.
The RIVA TNT2 marked a major turning point for Nvidia. They had finally delivered a product competitive with the fastest on the market, with a superior feature set, strong 2D functionality, all integrated onto a single die with strong yields, and that ramped to impressive clock rates. Nvidia's six-month cycle refresh took the competition by surprise, giving it the initiative in rolling out new products.

Market leadership: GeForce

A GeForce4 MX 64 MB card. Nvidia produced such cards from 2002 to 2003
The northern-hemisphere autumn of 1999 saw the release of the GeForce 256 (NV10), most notably introducing on-board transformation and lighting (T&L) to consumer-level 3D hardware. Running at 120 MHz and featuring four pixel pipelines, it implemented advanced video acceleration, motion compensation, and hardware sub-picture alpha blending. The GeForce outperformed existing products - including the ATI Rage 128, 3dfx Voodoo3, Matrox G400 MAX, and RIVA TNT2 - by a wide margin.
Due to the success of its products, Nvidia won the contract to develop the graphics hardware for Microsoft's Xbox game console, which earned Nvidia a $200 million advance. However, the project drew the time of many of Nvidia's best engineers away from other projects. In the short term this did not matter, and the GeForce2 GTS shipped in the summer of 2000.
The GTS benefited from the fact that Nvidia had by this time acquired extensive manufacturing experience with its highly integrated cores, and as a result it succeeded in optimizing the core for higher clock-rates. The volume of chips produced by Nvidia also allowed the segregation of parts: Nvidia could pick out the highest-quality cores from the same batch as regular parts for its premium range. As a result, the GTS shipped at 200 MHz. The pixel fillrate of the GeForce256 nearly doubled, and texel fillrate nearly quadrupled because multi-texturing was added to each pixel pipeline. New features included S3TC compression, FSAA, and improved MPEG-2 motion compensation.
In 2000 Nvidia shipped the GeForce2 MX, intended for the budget and OEM market. It had two fewer pixel pipelines and ran at 165 MHz (later at 250 MHz). Offering strong performance at a mid-range price, the GeForce2 MX became one of the most successful graphics chipsets. Nvidia also shipped a mobile derivative called the GeForce2 Go at the end of 2000.
Nvidia's success proved too much for 3dfx to recover its past market share. The long-delayed Voodoo 5, the successor to the Voodoo3, did not compare favorably with the GeForce2 in either price or performance, and failed to generate the sales needed to keep the company afloat. With 3dfx on the verge of bankruptcy near the end of 2000, Nvidia purchased most of 3dfx's intellectual property (in dispute at the time). Nvidia acquired anti-aliasing expertise and about 100 engineers, but not the company itself, which filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
Nvidia developed the GeForce3, which pioneered DirectX 8 vertex and pixel shaders, and eventually refined it with the GeForce4 Ti line. Nvidia announced the GeForce4 Ti, MX, and Go in January 2002, one of the largest releases in Nvidia's history. The chips in the Ti and Go series differed only in chip and memory clock rates. The MX series lacked the pixel and vertex shader functionalities; it derived from GeForce2 level hardware and assumed the GeForce2 MX's position in the value segment.

Stumbles with the FX series

At this point Nvidia dominated the GPU market. However, ATI Technologies remained competitive due to its new Radeon product, which had performance comparable to the GeForce2 GTS. Though ATI's answer to the GeForce3, the Radeon 8500, came later to market and initially suffered from issues with drivers, the 8500 proved a superior competitor due to its lower price. Nvidia countered ATI's offering with the GeForce4 Ti line. ATI concentrated efforts on its next-generation Radeon 9700 rather than on directly challenging the GeForce4 Ti.
During the development of the next-generation GeForce FX chips, many Nvidia engineers focused on the Xbox contract. Nvidia also had a contractual obligation to develop newer and more hack-resistant NV2A chips, and this requirement left even fewer engineers to work on the FX project. Since the Xbox contract did not anticipate or encompass falling manufacturing costs, Microsoft sought to re-negotiate the terms of the contract, and relations between Nvidia and Microsoft deteriorated as a result. The two companies later settled the dispute through arbitration without releasing the terms of the settlement to the public.
Following their dispute, Microsoft did not consult Nvidia during the development of the DirectX 9 specification, allowing ATI to establish much of the specification themselves. During this time, ATI limited rendering color support to 24-bit floating point, and emphasized shader performance. Microsoft also built the shader compiler using the Radeon 9700 as the base card. In contrast, Nvidia's cards offered 16- and 32-bit floating-point modes, offering either lower visual quality (as compared to the competition), or slower performance. The 32-bit support made them much more expensive to manufacture, requiring a higher transistor count. Shader performance often remained at half or less of the speed provided by ATI's competing products. Having made its reputation by designing easy-to-manufacture DirectX-compatible parts, Nvidia had misjudged Microsoft's next standard and paid a heavy price: As more and more games started to rely on DirectX 9 features, the poor shader performance of the GeForce FX series became more obvious. With the exception of the FX 5700 series (a late revision), the FX series did not compete well against ATI cards.
Nvidia released an "FX only" demo called "Dawn," but a hacked wrapper enabled it to run on a Radeon 9700, where it ran faster despite translation overhead. Nvidia began to use application detection to optimize its drivers. Hardware review sites published articles showing that Nvidia's driver auto-detected benchmarks and that it produced artificially inflated scores that did not relate to real-world performance. Often tips from ATI's driver development team lay behind these articles. While Nvidia did partially close the performance gap with new instruction-reordering capabilities introduced in later drivers, shader performance remained weak and over-sensitive to hardware-specific code compilation. Nvidia worked with Microsoft to release an updated DirectX compiler that generated code optimized for the GeForce FX.
Furthermore, GeForce FX devices also ran hot, because they drew as much as double the amount of power as equivalent parts from ATI. The GeForce FX 5800 Ultra became notorious for its fan noise, and acquired the nicknames "dustbuster" and "leafblower." Nvidia jokingly acknowledged these accusations with a video in which the marketing team compares the cards to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Although the quieter 5900 replaced the 5800 without fanfare, the FX chips still needed large and expensive fans, placing Nvidia's partners at a manufacturing cost disadvantage compared to ATI.
Seemingly as a culmination of these events at the corporate level and the subsequent weaknesses of the FX series, Nvidia ceded its market leadership position to ATI.

GeForce 6 series and later

A former Nvidia logo, in use until 2006
With the GeForce 6 series Nvidia moved beyond the DX9 performance problems that had plagued the previous generation. The GeForce 6 series not only performed competitively against other Direct 3D shaders, but also supported DirectX Shader Model 3.0, while ATI's competing X800 series chips only supported the previous 2.0 specification. This proved an insignificant advantage, mainly because games of that period did not employ extensions for Shader Model 3.0. However, it demonstrated Nvidia's desire to design and follow through with the newest features and deliver them in a specific timeframe. What became more apparent during this time was that the products of the two firms, ATI and Nvidia, offered equivalent performance. The two firms traded the performance lead in specific titles and specific criteria (resolution, image quality, anisotropic filtering/anti-aliasing), but the differences were becoming more abstract. As a result, price/performance ratio became the reigning concern in comparisons of the two. The mid-range offerings of the two firms demonstrated consumer appetite for affordable, high-performance graphics cards. This price segment came to determine much of each firm's profitability. The GeForce 6 series emerged at a very interesting period: The game Doom 3 had just been released, and ATI's Radeon 9700 was found to struggle with OpenGL performance in the game. In 2004, the GeForce 6800 performed excellently, while the GeForce 6600GT remained as important to Nvidia as the GeForce2 MX a few years previously. The GeForce 6600GT enabled users of the card to play Doom 3 at very high resolutions and graphical settings, which had been thought to be highly unlikely considering its selling price. The GeForce 6 series also introduced SLI, which is similar to technology that 3dfx had employed with the Voodoo2. A combination of SLI and other hardware performance gains returned Nvidia to market leadership.

Badge displayed on products certified by Nvidia to utilize SLI technology
The GeForce 7 series represented a heavily beefed-up extension of the reliable 6 series. The introduction of the PCI Express bus standard allowed Nvidia to release SLI (Scalable Link Interface), a solution that employs two similar cards to share the workload in rendering. While these solutions do not equate to double the performance, and require more electricity (two cards vis-à-vis one), they can make a huge difference as higher resolutions and settings are enabled and, more importantly, offer more upgrade flexibility. ATI responded with the X1000 series, and with a dual-rendering solution called "ATI CrossFire". Sony selected Nvidia to develop the "RSX" chip (a modified version of the 7800 GPU) used in the PlayStation 3.
Nvidia released a GeForce 8 series chip towards the end of 2006, making the 8 series the first to support Microsoft's next-generation DirectX 10 specification. The 8 series GPUs also featured the revolutionary Unified Shader Architecture, and Nvidia leveraged this to provide better support for General Purpose Computing on GPU (GPGPU). A new product line of "compute only" devices called Nvidia Tesla emerged from the G80 architecture, and subsequently Nvidia also became the market leader of this new field by introducing the world's first C programming language API for GPGPU, CUDA.
Nvidia released two models of the high-end 8 series (8800) chip: the 8800GTS (640 MB and 320 MB) and the 8800GTX (768 MB). Later, Nvidia released the 8800 Ultra (essentially an 8800GTX with a different cooler and higher clocks). All three of these cards derive from the 90 nm G80 core (with 681 million transistors). The GTS model had 96 stream processors and 20 ROPS and the GTX/Ultra had 128 stream processors and 24 ROPS.
In early 2007 Nvidia released the 8800GTS 320 MB. This card resembles an 8800GTS 640 MB, but with 32 MB memory chips instead of 64 MB (the cards contained 10 memory chips).
In October 2007 Nvidia released the 8800GT. The 8800GT used the new 65 nm G92 GPU and had 112 stream processors. It contained 512 MB of VRAM and operated on a 256-bit bus. It had several fixes and new features that the previous 8800s lacked.
Later in December 2007 Nvidia released the 8800GTS G92. It represented a larger 8800GT with higher clocks and all of the 128 stream processors of the G92 unlocked. Both the 8800GTS G92 and 8800GT have full PCI Express 2.0 support.
In February 2008 Nvidia released a GeForce 9 series chip, which supports Microsoft's DirectX 10 specification, in response to ATI's release of the Radeon HD3800 series. After March, Nvidia released the GeForce 9800 GX2, which effectively packaged two GeForce 8800 GTS G92s working in an internal SLI configuration on a single card.
In June 2008 Nvidia released its new flagship GPUs: the GTX 280 and GTX 260. The cards used the same basic Unified Architecture deployed in the previous 8 and 9 series cards, but with a upgrade in power. Both of the cards use the GT200 GPU as a basis for their design. This GPU contains 1.4 billion transistors on a 65 nm fabrication process. The GTX 280 has 240 shaders (stream processors) and the GTX 260 has 192 shaders (stream processors). The GTX 280 has 1 GB of GDDR3 VRAM and uses a 512-bit memory bus. The GTX 260 has 896 MB of GDDR3 VRAM on a 448-bit memory bus (revised in September 2008 to include 216 shaders). The GTX 280 allegedly provides approximately 933 GFLOPS of floating point power.
In January 2009 Nvidia released a 55 nm die shrink of GT200 called GT200b. Cards using this chip include an update to the GTX 280 card (called GTX 285) which allegedly provides 1062.72 GFLOPS of floating point power), an update to the GTX 260 (still called the GTX 260) with 216 shaders, and a multi-chip card (called GTX 295) which features two GT200b chips. Distinctively, each individual GPU features 240 stream processors, but only a 448-bit memory bus. The GTX 295 has 1.75 GB (1792 MB, 896 MB per GPU) of GDDR3 VRAM. The GTX 295 allegedly provides approximately 1788.48 GFLOPS of floating point power.
March 2009 saw the release of the GTS 250 mainstream chip, based on a 55 nm die shrink of G92, called G92b. The GTS 250 derives from the 9800GTX+ (some cards consist of rebranded 9800GTX+s) and has 128 shaders (stream processors) with a 256-bit memory bus and 512 MB or 1 GB of GDDR3 VRAM.
On May 12, 2009, Nvidia released images of a new revised edition of the GTX 295. This design, while similar to ATI's HD4870x2, differs from the original. The first production run of the GTX 295 literally consisted of two separate graphics accelerators sandwiched in the same casing and connected by an SLI ribbon cable. The new design encompasses both GPUs on one PCB. The card still has the same specifications of the first production run, although speculation admits it will sell for less due to lower manufacturing costs for the more compact device.
Nvidia plans to launch the Geforce 300 series - based on the Fermi architecture. - postponed to March 2010.

Defective mobile video adapters

In July 2008, Nvidia noted increased rates of failure in certain mobile video adapters. In response to this issue, Dell and HP released BIOS updates for all affected notebook computers which turn on the cooling fan at lower temperatures than previously configured in an effort to keep the defective video adapter from reaching higher temperatures. Leigh Stark of APC Magazine has suggested that this may lead to the premature failure of the cooling fan. This resolution/workaround may possibly only delay component failure past warranty expiration.
But at the end of August 2008, Nvidia reportedly issued a product change notification announcing plans to update the bump material of GeForce 8 and 9 series chips "to increase supply and enhance package robustness." In response to the possibility of defects in some mobile video adapters from Nvidia, some manufacturers of notebooks have allegedly turned to ATI to provide graphics options on their new Montevina notebook computers.
On August 18, 2008, according to the blog, Dell began to offer a 12-month limited warranty "enhancement" specific to this issue on affected notebook computers worldwide.
On September 8, 2008, Nvidia made a deal with large OEMs, including Dell and HP, that Nvidia would pay $200 per affected notebook to manufacturers as compensation for the defects.
On October 9, 2008, Apple Inc. announced on a support page that some MacBook Pro notebook computers had exhibited faulty Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics adapters. The manufacture of affected computers took place between approximately May 2007 and September 2008. Apple also stated that it would repair affected MacBook Pros within three years of the original purchase date free of charge and also offered refunds to customers who had paid for repairs related to this issue.

Source : Wikipedia