NVIDIA (NVDA 252.22, +4.38, +1.77%) has seen modest gains in trade
today, building on yesterday's intraday advance, which took place after Chief
Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang presented fresh updates to the company's line
of consumer video cards.
Appearing at the Gamescom conference in Cologne, NVIDIA’s CEO discussed the technological progress in the company's next line of GeForce GPUs (graphics processing units) presented for gaming, which use the same architecture as RTX Quadro cards for content creators. The RTX Cards were presented last week.
NVIDIA’s RTX platform, utilizing NVIDIA Turing architecture, enhances the graphics experiences of gamers and developers by enabling real-time ray tracing and new AI capabilities in games and other virtual visualization environments. Essentially, real-time ray tracing is an accelerated method for rendering light graphically with greater ease and nearer verisimilitude than was possible with previous rasterization techniques. It facilitates the inclusion of complex lighting behaviors modeled on accurate, real-world physics -- flickering flames reflecting off water, moonlight filtering through a leafy canopy, shadows shifting in real-time as the camera’s perspective explores a space -- to push the boundaries of gameworld illumination.
Turing architecture, which NVIDIA touts as “the greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU” whose realism-generation is bound to deliver “a new golden age of gaming,” serves as the basis for the GeForce RTX gaming GPUs. This architecture’s innovations, as are supported by the new GPUs, include RT Cores (ray-tracing processors), Tensor Cores (used to “perform lightning-fast deep neural network processing” to accelerate artificial intelligence features), Variable Rate Shading and other texture and detail-rendering graphics processing, and more. Serious computing power can be needed to render such detailed 3D environments in real-time, and the hardware of the GeForce RTX GPUs delivers this functionality, as their memory systems and bandwidth connections support high-speed, high-resolution gaming on even the most advanced titles.
During yesterday's presentation, it was announced that the RTX 20 series will be launched in staggered fashion. Higher-priced RTX2080 Ti ($1,200) and RTX2080 ($799) models are expected to appear on store shelves on September 20 while RTX2070 ($599) will become available a bit later. If the company maintains its past launch schedule, lower priced cards like RTX2060 and RTX2050 should become available in the following months.
The company also named a set of PC game titles that are being developed on the NVIDIA RTX platform and will feature real-time ray tracing. Included among these are Electronic Arts’ (EA) Battlefield V and Square Enix’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, both due for release in Fall 2018.
Yesterday's presentation offered some additional insight on the company's cautious guidance for the third quarter. With the new product launch just a month away, it is not unreasonable to expect that many users who planned to buy a new video card in the very near future will wait until the RTX2000 series cards become available. Furthermore, supply bottlenecks are not uncommon during new product launches, meaning early demand might not be satisfied immediately. The September 20 launch will occur after 2/3 of NVIDIA's current fiscal quarter is complete, meaning the true revenue upside associated with the new product launch will not fully materialize until the fourth fiscal quarter.
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