Nvidia officially announces first products with new Turing graphics technology

Nvidia Corp. announced the first products containing a long-awaited new generation of graphics technology late Monday, upgrading from its Pascal architecture first released in 2016.

Late Monday, Jensen Huang, the chief executive of Nvidia, announced the rollout of the company’s first chip sets based on its Turing architecture, which will be in a line of products meant for use in designing games and other content. Many analysts had expected Nvidia to make the announcement at the Gamescom 2018 expo in Germany later this month, after Nvidia had teased it would announce some “spectacular surprises.” Huang could still announce cards meant for gamers at that event.

“Turing is Nvidia’s most important innovation in computer graphics in more than a decade,” said Huang on Monday at the annual Siggraph conference in Vancouver, Canada. “Hybrid rendering will change the industry, opening up amazing possibilities that enhance our lives with more beautiful designs, richer entertainment and more interactive experiences. The arrival of real-time ray tracing is the Holy Grail of our industry.”

Ray tracing is a way to render light and shadows more realistically in a computer-generated scene, but the process requires extensive computing power that is very difficult to render in real-time, such as in a video game running on a PC. Nvidia said that Turing “features new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing which, together for the first time, make real-time ray tracing possible.”

In March, Huang showed off real-time ray tracing using Nvidia GPU technology in a CGI “Star Wars” clip expressly made for the demonstration at the company’s GPU Technology Conference.

Nvidia said Turing can render graphics six times faster than their Pascal-based chip sets, and plans to offer three new graphics cards based on it in the fourth quarter: the Quadro RTX 8000, the Quadro RTX 6000 and the Quadro RTX 5000 GPUs.

Nvidia said the 8000 will come with 48GB memory at an “estimated street price” of $10,000, while the Quadro RTX 6000 with 24GB memory should price at $6,300, and the Quadro RTX 5000 with 16GB memory will price at $2,300.

Turing architecture also features Tensor Cores, or processors that accelerate deep-learning training and inferencing, Nvidia said, providing up to 500 trillion tensor operations a second.

This level of performance powers AI-enhanced features for creating applications with powerful new capabilities. These include DLAA — deep learning anti-aliasing, which is a breakthrough in high-quality motion-image generation — denoising, resolution scaling and video re-timing.

Nvidia NVDA, +0.52% shares closed Monday up 0.5% at $256.12, and were up 0.2% after hours. For the year, shares are up 32%, compared with a 5.6% gain in the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.40% and a 13.3% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.25% Nvidia is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday.

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