NVIDIA officially announced a couple of new technologies at CES 2008. Hybrid SLI is a new hybrid technology that aims to improve graphics performance and reduce power consumption. It will be incorporated in NVIDIA-powered desktop motherboards and notebooks throughout 2008:
First disclosed in June 2007, NVIDIA Hybrid SLI technology is based on the Company’s market-leading GeForce graphics processor units (GPUs) and SLI multi-GPU technology. Hybrid SLI enables NVIDIA motherboard GPUs (mGPUs) to work cooperatively with discrete NVIDIA GPUs (dGPUs) when paired in the same PC platform. Hybrid SLI provides two new technologies— GeForce Boost and HybridPower—that allow the PC to deliver graphics performance for today’s applications and games when 3D graphics horsepower is required, or transition to a lower-powered operating state when not.
For lower energy consumption and quieter PC operation, HybridPower allows the PC to switch processing from a single GPU or multiple GPUs in SLI configuration to the onboard motherboard GPU. HybridPower is most useful in situations where graphics horsepower is not required, such as high definition movie playback on a notebook platform or simple e-mail or Internet browsing on a desktop. It is also beneficial for those users who want a quiet operating state with reduced thermals and noise. For notebooks, HybridPower can also dramatically extend battery life by up to 3 hours. When a game or application is started that requires the additional 3D horsepower, the PC can automatically transition back to the discrete graphics cards and power up the 3D capabilities all transparent to the end user.
For applications where 3D performance is required, GeForce Boost turbo-charges 3D operation by combining the processing power of the traditional NVIDIA GeForce-based graphics card with that of the second GPU integrated into the motherboard core logic. In media-rich applications, both GPUs work in tandem to render the combined images with the end user benefiting from the increase in performance and frame rate. For typical games and 3D applications, GeForce Boost can kick in automatically, resulting in a greatly enhanced consumer experience.
The upcoming NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI, nForce 750a SLI and nForce 730a MCPs for the AMD platform which will be released in February will be among the first chipsets to support Hybrid SLI. Next month we can also expect the GeForce 8200 - a new micro ATX motherboard with onboard DX10 graphics. Hybrid SLI for the Intel platform will arrive in Q2 2008.