By Stephen Nellis
– Nvidia Corp. announced new flagship chips for video gamers using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve graphics on Tuesday, saying it has tapped Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make the processors.
Nvidia has gained attention in recent years with its thriving data center business, which sells chips used in artificial intelligence, such as natural language processing. But the company’s roots are in graphics chips, which still accounted for 59% of $26.9 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.
In a streamed online keynote address on Tuesday, Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang introduced the company’s latest “Ada Lovelace” line of graphics chips, named after the 19th-century British mathematician considered an early pioneer of computer science.
The flagship GeForce RTX 4090 model of the chip retails for $1,599 and goes on sale October 12. Two cheaper RTX 4080 models start at $899 and $1,199 respectively and go on sale in November.
Nvidia designs its chips, but has partners make them. Huang said the chips will be made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) with its “4N” chip manufacturing technology, a change from Nvidia’s previous generation flagship gaming chips, which were made by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
The new Lovelace chips use AI to improve video game graphics. It’s difficult to calculate what each pixel on the screen should look like, so Nvidia chips use AI to predict what some pixels should look like without doing the whole series of calculations. The Lovelace chips have expanded that technique to generate full frames of a game using AI.
In a media briefing, Matt Wuebbling, vice president of global GeForce marketing at Nvidia, said the Lovelace chips will be available for sale worldwide and will not be affected by a recently-imposed US ban on the sale of Nvidia’s best data center AI chips. to China.
Wuebbling also said the chips will not include a so-called hash-rate limiter, a technology Nvidia has used in its previous generation of chips to limit its use in mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum, due to recent changes in the way that currency is used. followed.