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Evolution of Computer and Gaming Components - NVIDIA

Evolution of Computer and Gaming Parts / Components - NVIDIA

Over the years, the evolution in graphics performance for gaming desktops and laptops has seen rapid growth. Today, we look at how NVIDIA has evolved from its humble GeForce 256 to its latest Kepler architecture.


GeForce 256

It all began with the NVIDIA GeForce 256. In 1999, NVIDIA was the first to invent the graphics processing unit. The GeForce 256 was defined as being the first, "single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second." - NVIDIA


Microsoft's XBOX Chooses NVIDIA

For Microsoft's first video game console, they choose NVIDIA's 233 MHz nVidia NV2A GPU. The NV2A was a derivative of the GeForce 3 and featured support for DirectX 8.1 and had a fillrate of 4.0 GPixels.

NVIDIA Acquires 3DFX

3DFX was once considered a pioneer of the graphics processing industry. Unfortunately, in 2002, 3DFX was on the verge of bankruptcy and NVIDIA acquired most of the companies employees and intellectual assets.

GeForce 2

The GeForce 2 was NVIDIA's second-generation of their GeForce GPU. Being that it was a successor to the GeForce 256, it featured much inproved graphics performance and introdouced NVIDIA's Shading Rasterizer and Dual-Display technologies.

GeForce2 Go

The NVIDIA GeForce2 Go was the world's first mobile GPU solution. This now allowed mobile users to experience the same 3D experience as their desktop counterparts.


nForce Integrated Graphics

nForce was NVIDIA's first foray into the integrated graphics market. It was a chipset created by NVIDIA for AMD and Duron CPUs that featured an integrated GPU.

GeForce 3

The GeForce 3 was NVIDIA's third-generation of their GeForce GPU. It introduced more advanced programmable pixels and vertex shaders to further improve graphics fidelity.


Scalable Link Interface (SLI) Multi-GPU Technology

Scalable Link Interface is NVIDIA's name for their Multi-GPU solution that allows you to link more than one GPU to increase performance. The ancronym SLI was first issued by 3DFX for Scan-Line Interleave for their VooDoo2 video cards. SLI allows two-four GPUs to be synced by using a SLI bridge to lower bandwidth constraints. Although it is possible to use SLI without a bridge, higher-end graphics card require much more bandwidth than available on the motherboard chipset.


NVIDIA Develops Graphics Processor for Sony Playstation 3

In conjunction with Sony, NVIDIA co-devolped the RSX Reality Synthesizer, "enable[d] PLAYSTATION 3 games to offer stunning immersive and interactive environments, compelling and believable characters, and experiences beyond what was previously thought possible. RSX connects directly to Cell, the advanced microprocessor developed by IBM, Sony Group, and Toshiba" - NVIDIA


NVIDIA CUDA Technology

NVIDIA introduces CUDA technology "NVIDIA unveils CUDA, a revolutionary architecture for general purpose GPU computing. CUDA will enable scientists and researchers to harness the parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to tackle their most complex computing challenges." - NVIDIA


Tesla Computing Cards

In 2007, NVIDIA launched ther TESLA cards. "The computing power previously available in supercomputers is made widely accessible for researchers in fields such as drug discovery, medical imaging and weather modeling." - NVIDIA


Introduction of Mobile Tegra Chips

2008 marked the launch of NVIDIA's mobile Tegra chip. The Tegra chip was smaller than a dime and consumed 30-times less power than notebook CPUs.

AGEIA Acquisition

PHYSX is now a major part of visual fidelity in modern games. It allows games to produce more life-life physics thanks to its calculations. "AGEIA, a developer of gaming phykics technology, is acquired. Its PhysX software is used in games to replicate how physics impacts objects in the physical world." - NVIDIA


Fermi Architecture

On September 30, 2009, NVIDIA announced its latest GPU architecture codenamed Fermi. Fermi marked the transition for levering the GPU's power for computational purposes.

3D Vision Surround

Having the ability to have three monitors to display content was already a mind-blowing advancement. NVIDIA decided to take it one step further and released 3D Vision for triple-monitor setups bringing the gaming experience to a whole other level.


Kepler Architecture

On March 22, 2012, NVIDIA announced its first Kepler based GPU. The GTX 680 was a major advancement in the world of GPU's as it increased graphics performance while consuming less power. It was this advancement in effeciency that allowed us to create small PCs like the Bolt.



The GRID marks a paradigm shift in the future of computing as more companies start to focus on the cloud. With GRID, you can access games from anywhere and also harness the power of a supercomputer from your average computer thanks to streaming.

GeForce GTX Titan

February 19, 2013 marked the launch of the world's most advanced GPU. Named after the TITAN supercomputer, the GeForce GTX Titan was created to give gamers the best experience possible and professionals the power to do whatever they needed without sacrificing time. It featured almost twice the amount of cores as the GTX 680 and had 7.1 billion transistors.

Graphics and computational power has come a long way since 1999. Going from the GeForce 256 with 23 million transistors on a 180nm die to the GeForce GTX Titan with 7.1 billion transitors on a 28nm process, you can truely see just how far we have come in terms of technology. What's your thoughts on NVIDIA's advancement in technology? Leave your comments below!

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