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NVIDIA Project Denver offers 64-bit instruction set

Posted on Tuesday, March 08 2011 @ 21:33:15 CET by

Bright Side of News reports NVIDIA's Project Denver will bring a 64-bit instruction set to the ARM processor architecture. The first Project Denver chips are expected to roll off the band within a year or two, they will become the first GPUs with the ability to boot an operating system. Microsoft's Windows 8 will offer ARM support, and additionally Project Denver is also very suitable for the company's Tesla unit and future console chips.
This was a clear confirmation what our sources were saying about Project Denver: that nVidia is bringing a 64-bit instruction set to the ARM CPU architecture. According to our sources, in order to fully develop a new high-performing CPU architecture, you need to dedicate roughly between 1.1-1.8 billion dollars. The figure comes from companies that actually develop CPU architectures, thus they have previous experience. The cost of Project Denver could be much higher, as nVidia doesn't have previous experience in building a CPU architecture. The company however, has a lot of experience in building a complex GPU architecture, which are now (arguably) more complex than any other computer chip on the planet. GPUs in fact, cover first (nVidia GF100/GF110), second (AMD 6900 "Cayman") and third place (AMD 5800 "Cypress"). Intel's ultra high-end CPU, Itanium "Tukwila" CPU comes in fourth place, with only 50 million transistors more than fifth-placed nVidia's GF110/114, used in mainstream cards such as GeForce GTX 460 and 560 Titanium.

According to Jen-Hsun, nVidia is "working on a CPU internally for about three and half years or so. It takes about five years to build any full custom CPU. And Project Denver has a few hundred engineers working on it for this period of time and our strategy with Project Denver was to extend the reach of ARM beyond the mobile, the handheld computing space."



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