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Nov 11, 2011

Nvidia's Project Denver is On-Track, Doesn't Use ARM 64-bit Arch

After ARM announced its v8 core with support for the 64-bit instruction set many were tempted to believe that Nvidia's upcoming Project Denver is based on this new architecture, but the company's CEO has recently stated that this isn't true as the chip will use a 64-bit technology developed by Nvidia.

According to Xbit Labs, Jen-Hsun Huang revealed this fact during the company's latest quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

"Our focus [with Project Denver] is to supplement, add to ARM's capabilities by extending the ARM's architecture to segments in a marketplace that they are not themselves focused on,” said Nvidia's CEO.

“There are some segments in the marketplace where single-threaded performance is still very important and 64-bit is vital.

“So, we dedicated ourselves to create a new [micro-]architecture that extends the ARM instruction set, which is inherently very energy-efficient already, and extend it to high-performance segments that we need for our company to grow [on] our market," continued Mr. Huang.

Project Denver is the code name used by company to describe its upcoming hybrid processor that includes an Nvidia ARM-based CPU which will be fully integrated on the same chip with an Nvidia GPU.

The resulting SoC is rumored to include 256 CUDA cores that will be clocked somewhere between 2.0 and 2.5GHz.

A similar speed is also expected to be used for the CPU, while the memory controller and the remaining components found on the chip's die will work at lower frequencies.

To increase the performance of the chip, Nvidia plans to use a new approach when it comes to accessing memory and both the CPU and the GPU will be able to connect to the fast graphics memory via a controller that is similar to the one used in graphics cores.

Project Denver is currently under development and is described as being on-track by Jen-Hsun Huang, which means that it will arrive in 2013.

"We are busily working on Denver, it is on track. Our expectation is that we will talk about it more, hopefully, towards the end of next year,” said Huang.


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