Mind shifting from CPU to GPU – Intel vs. NVIDIA

After Intel dragged its case against NVIDIA to the court, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang of NVIDIA could not resist in making the repeated statement that GPUs have arrived leaving CPUs outdates in the finely indirect reference to the credo of graphics chip maker that PC processor mind share would soon shift from to NVIDIA from Intel. The statement which Huang inserted in the recent NVIDIA release about Intel’s court filing read as at the core of the issue is that CPU has already run its course and the essence of PC is quickly shifting to GPUs. It also said that it is clearly an effort to smother innovation to safeguard a vanishing business.

It is not the first time NVIDIA’s CEO Huang said this as he had mentioned openly last year that the company can “open up a can of whoop-ass” over Intel when he was responding to questions regarding the forthcoming Larrabee graphics technology of Intel. Huang has also said many times in forums that CPUs of Intel are good enough and are not so finely indirect code, where the CPU technology of Intel is past its principals.

However some questions should be posed as is Huang right? Would consumers place more importance on GPUs than CPUs? And finally more important is, would chipmakers and PC makers put significantly more marketing and development resources in the GPUs? So, a quick solution to the first question is consumers often expect computers to perform better when handling web-based games, graphics and videos and so unconsciously or consciously consumers might put more emphasis on GPUs. There is also a small answer to the later question, as for instance, if you look at the Puma laptop platform of AMD, there is an increased emphasis on graphics as the platform is performance driven. Therefore surely as a chipmaker the graphics technology from their ATI units is making a broader mark these days compare to CPUs.

This however does not mean that impetus is necessarily in the favor of NVIDIA. A great change happening in the PC market is not just the drive from CPU to GPU but also a shift from conventional laptops to inexpensive laptops or netbooks and currently most of the market is all of Intel. An analyst at Investment Bank Collins Stewart Ashok Kumar said that the dramatic change which is happening in the PC industry is altogether migration to inexpensive solutions which are netbooks. He said that Intel integrated graphics only in a sense that it might pose more of a challenge for NVIDIA in the future.

In fact the netbook market shows probably more compared to anything what a consumer mindset is. It is not necessary for the graphics to be great or good but they should be adequate. Although the CEO of NVIDIA is right when he said GPU technology is far beyond integrated graphics, he is also not necessarily right when he says that there is massive mind share shift to the NVIDIA standard GPU centric universe.

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