Rumor patrol: NV20 to hit 50 million transistors?


— 12:20 AM on August 29, 2000

Our keen newshound's eye spotted this interesting bit in an EETimes story about chip verification tools:

While Nvidia's Malachowsky looks forward to the expanded checks, he's already seeing some good results with Verix.

Malachowsky said Nvidia is using Verix on submodules for a 50 million-transistor chip.

Now that is one huge chip. For comparison, the GeForce is large at 23 million transistors. A quick check of our handy CPU table will tell you that a Pentium III contains just over 28 million transistors, while an Athlon T-bird weighs in at 37 million transistors.

Let's assume the chip they're working on is their next-gen graphics core, the NV20. What do you think the NV20 is packing that could make it so hefty? Some totally speculative possibilites:

  • A fair amount of embedded memory on the chip
  • A sound processor, finally fulfilling NVIDIA's orignial vision for an integrated media processor
  • A huge frickin' heap of 3D goodness, with massive complexity
  • Maybe this isn't the NV20; maybe it's a North Bridge motherboard chip with integrated video (and sound?)
But I dunno. It's all just rumor and innuendo until NVIDIA sues Intel and Via for patent infringement. (Heh.) Any better ideas??
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