Nvidia preps 'Hybrid SLI' for desktops, notebooks

In its Financial Analyst Day presentation last December, AMD unveiled a notebook technology it called "hybrid graphics." The premise of hybrid graphics is to allow notebooks to feature both integrated graphics and a dedicated graphics module and to switch seamlessly between the two. Dedicated graphics can be switched off when the notebook is running off its battery and turn back on when the system is plugged in. AMD has yet to deliver products with hybrid graphics support, but HKEPC now has word that AMD isn't the only one working on the concept. According to the Hong Kong-based site, Nvidia is developing a similar implementation that it dubs Hybrid SLI.

Unlike AMD's hybrid graphics, Hybrid SLI will allow integrated and discrete graphics processors to combine their processing capabilities—perhaps the IGP could be used to compute physics, for instance. The technology appears to be intended for both notebooks and desktop systems. A purported excerpt from an Nvidia e-mail quoted by HKEPC states the following:

Depending on the processing demands of each application, the discrete GPU may be completely shut-down to save power. For the most powerful of systems, where the combined power of dual Geforce 8800 GTX SLI can reach 400W, both GPUs can be powered down when the user is just doing email, surfing the web, or watching a Blu-ray movie, keeping the system completely quiet and consuming the least possible energy.

But when a game, or other demanding GPU application is launched, the dual 8800 GTX’s are powered up to deliver unrivaled performance.

The excerpt concludes, "Hybrid SLI is our core PC ecosystem strategy for the coming year."
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