Nvidia on Tuesday announced new flagship chips for video gamers that use artificial intelligence to enhance graphics, saying it has tapped TSMC to make the processors.
Nvidia has gained attention in recent years with its booming data centre business, which sells chips used in AI work such as natural language processing. But the company’s roots are in graphics chips, which still provided 59% of its US$26.9-billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.
In a streamed online keynote address, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang on Tuesday introduced the company’s newest Ada Lovelace series of graphics chips, named for the 19th-century British mathematician regarded as an early pioneer in computer science.
The flagship GeForce RTX 4090 model of the chip will sell for $1 599 and go on sale on 12 October. Two less costly RTX 4080 models will start at $899 (12GB) and $1 199 (16GB), and go on sale in November.
Nvidia designs its chips but has them manufactured by partners. Huang said the chips will be made by Taiwan’s TSMC with its “4N” chip manufacturing technology, a change from Nvidia’s previous generation of flagship gaming chips, which were made by Samsung Electronics.
The new Lovelace chips use AI to improve videogame graphics. Computing what each pixel on the screen should look like is hard, so Nvidia chips use AI to predict how some pixels should look without doing the entire set of computations. The Lovelace chips have extended that technique to generate entire frames of a game using AI.
In a media briefing, Matt Wuebbling, vice president of global GeForce marketing at Nvidia, said the Lovelace chips will be available for sale globally and are not affected by a recently imposed US ban on selling Nvidia’s top data centre AI chips to China. — (c) 2022 Reuters