NVIDIA is working on a new Hybrid SLI technology which will feature two different modes: a Power Saving Mode and a Max Performance Mode. The first mode will switch off discrete graphics core and only use a low-power integrated graphics engine when high performance isn't needed. The Max Performance Mode will make IGP to assist discrete GPUs and boost performance when it is required. X-bit Labs reports:
Even though Nvidia’s multi-GPU SLI technology enables significant performance increases, it also boosts power consumption, which means additional heat and higher noise levels. In this case, hybrid SLI’s power saving mode will allow to disable two high-performance graphics boards, such as Nvidia GeForce 8800-series when their 3D graphics firepower is not needed, Nvidia explained. The same mode will allow to integrate higher-performance graphics cores into notebooks without sacrificing battery life, as in case of battery operation only IGP will be used.
The max performance mode of hybrid SLI will allow systems featuring entry-level or mainstream GPUs from Nvidia to process graphics faster, as IGP will be able to help discrete graphics chip to render complex graphics, according to the company.
“[With] Hybrid SLI you have a discrete and a motherboard GPU in a system. When you switch between GPUs, you don’t have to unplug and plug monitor… What we have [implemented] on the core-logic site is [ability] to render in all cases through motherboard GPU,” explained Jeff Fisher, Nvidia’s general manager of GPU business unit, at a meeting with analysts.
The first systems with NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology should arrive by the end of this year.