SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 8 – A $90 million supercomputer made for nuclear weapons simulation cannot yet be rivaled by a single PC chip for a serious video gamer. But the gap is closing quickly�
Indeed, a new breed of consumer-oriented graphics chips have roughly the brute computing processing power of the world’s fastest computing system of just seven years ago. And the latest advance came Wednesday when the Nvidia Corporation introduced its next-generation processor, capable of more than three trillion mathematical operations per second.
Nvidia and its rival, ATI Technologies, which was recently acquired by the microprocessor maker Advanced Micro Devices, are engaged in a technology race that is rapidly changing the face of computing as the chips � known as graphical processing units, or G.P.U.�s � take on more general capabilities.
In recent years, the lead has switched quickly with each new family of chips, and for the moment the new chip, the GeForce 8800, appears to give the performance advantage to Nvidia.