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Nvidia's president and CEO has delivered a tantalising glimpse of the kind of performance he expects future generations of Geforce boards to give.
Addressing a group of European System builders, Jen-Hsun Huang's made a presentation which included slides suggesting the GeForce 6 will be out in 2003 and built using 100 million transistors and running at 500MHz. The board will shift between one and five million polygons per frame.
Looking beyond, his spiel suggested that by 2006 there could be a GeForce 10 boasting 300 million transistors and running at 750MHz. Again this would render between one and five million polygons per frame.
Huang was on stage at the IFE/Systems Builders Summit in Monte Carlo. He didn't come out directly and say the GeForce 6 and 10 were on any specific roadmap but coyly put question marks against the board names and the years he suggested they might appear. The future casting seemed to be based on extrapolating the performance of the NV1 back in 1994 and how it handled Sega's Virtua Fighter, and then chuck in a bit of Moore's law.
Huang got quite hung up on what Nvidia boards, and the 3D graphics they generate, will mean to the world. He believe's the company's technology is riding a youth cult wave but is also part of something far more culturally significant. Being the subject of fevered roadmap speculation and hardcore gaming reviews pleased him greatly. "We're nearly the heroes of every 18 year old," he said. "3D graphics - it's cool," said his Powerpoint slide.
But later in his address he offered up quite lofty ambitions for his company's products. "3D graphics is going to be one of the most important art forms in the 21st century," he said. "The Geforce 3 provides an infinite palette for artists."
He then went beyond this. "In 10 years time we're going to transform your computer into a lifeform." It's possible he meant this literally, but he was probably looking towards more and more realistic Avatars - those computer generated folk who wish you a 'nice day' when you turn on your PC.
But before then Nvidia is going to "show you some exciting, shocking and innappropriate things in 3D graphics." Ooh er missus.