NVIDIA Announces Hybrid SLI Technology

The nForce 780a SLI and its Derivative MCPs

The nForce 780a SLI and its Derivative MCPs

The nForce 780a SLI mostly shares the same capabilities of the nForce 780i SLI launched late last year, while the nForce 750a SLI is a performance oriented board minus the enthusiast touches. Both the nForce 780a and 750a platforms have integrated GPU solutions that incorporate the GPU prowess equivalent to that on the GeForce 8200 MCP - which has the graphics crunching power to tackle Full HD videos with its PureVideo HD engine (though NVIDIA declined to comment on which VP engine it is running at the moment). Take note however that the mainstream nForce 730a does not support HybridPower but will still feature GeForce Boost for the added performance.

A block diagram of the nForce 780a SLI chipset

The nForce 200 companion chip to the nForce 780a SLI and nForce 750a SLI handles the full bandwidth PCIe 2.0 busses on these motherboard platforms just as it has done so for the Intel equivalent platform. However, NVIDIA has recently been awarded patents to some of the technologies incorporated on the nForce 200 chip which were not shared previously disclosed and we'll cover them in brief:-

  • PW Shortcut - When one GPU issues a command to other GPUs to perhaps move/transform a particular set of vertices or color a section red, this instruction normally goes all the way to the CPU before it is directed back to the chipset which again directs it to the nForce 200 to dispatch the command to the respective GPUs. Now with PW Shortcut in the nForce 200, it intercepts such command requests and immediately issues to multiple GPUs (or any one GPU) without having to intervene the CPU/chipset as well conserve precious bandwidth and time.
  • CPU Broadcast - When a graphics instruction is dispatched from the CPU, this feature in the nForce 200 helps to duplicate and target multiple GPUs, thus conserving PCIe bandwidth and CPU cycles to reissue the instruction multiple times.

The GeForce 8200 MCP

The GeForce 8200 MCP itself is targeted as the new low cost entry level DX10 capable GPU that has potential to set a new baseline for Vista Premium mGPU certified board. Other features of the GeForce 8200 MCP is its PureVideo HD engine that fully offloads processing of all CODECs used on Blu-ray and HD DVD discs (MPEG-2 , VC-1 and H.264) so that low cost CPUs can be used, Hybrid SLI, MediaShield with RAID 5 and Gigabit with FirstPacket technologies. The GeForce 8200 is mighty robust for a single-chip platform solution.

A block diagram of the GeForce 8200 MCP chip

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