NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra: The Next Step Forwardby Derek Wilson on April 14, 2004 8:42 AM EST
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Programmable Encoding Anyone?
That's right, NV4x includes a dedicated programmable video processor. The video processor is made up of an address, scalar, vector, and branch unit. The vector unit is a 16 way SIMD (a single instruction can operate on 16 different pieces of data at once) vector unit.
We don't have anything to test this thing with right now, but there is a whole lot this thing can do, including inverse 3:2 pulldown (conversion from interlaced TV format to progressive format better suited to computer monitors), colorspace conversion, gamma correction, MPEG 2 MPEG 4 WMV9 DiVX decoding and encoding, scaling, frame rate conversion, and anything else you'd like it to do for you.
This a very exciting feature to be included on the GPU. It essentially means that anyone with an NV4x chip including the video processor will be able to stream video all over the place, do very fast encoding, and offload a lot of work from the processor when it comes to video processing. Also, it could really help in multimedia and PVR style systems by lowering the necessary CPU power to something more affordable (that is, as long as this functionality is included across the board on NV4x chips).
This could actually really help even the playing field between Intel and AMD if it catches on ...