Sridhar Manthani (ECE 1982) Senior Director of nVIDIA-company develops new chip
Chronicle Editor @ Oct 26, 2008
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2008101953101401.jpgU.S. company unveils ‘most powerful’ graphics chip, made in India


GRAPHICS GEEKS: Some of the Indian engineers who helped to create NVIDIA’s new 9400 graphics processing chip (inset).

BANGALORE: The mathematics is really quite simple: if a new processor delivers five times the number-crunching power over comparable options, in one-half the size, it is a ten-fold improvement of silicon performance. U.S.-based visual computing leader NVIDIA claimed this last week, when it unveiled its latest graphical processing platform for portable application. The 54 gigaflops (that is, 54 billion computer operations per second) that the chip delivers makes it the ‘most powerful integrated graphics processor in the market today,’ said its makers.

Indian engineers at the company’s Bangalore-based Research and Development Centre substantially developed the thumb-nail-sized chip. “From designing the chip architecture to translating it into a form that can be handed over to a silicon foundry to fabricate, pretty much all the hardware work was done by our India team,” Sridhar Manthani, Senior Director, told The Hindu. Software support came from the U.S.-based teams.

The GeForce 9400M is a single-chip solution – in an industry in which at least two chips are normally required to do the job. It has16 cores, or computing units, working simultaneously to handle complex challenges posed by customers. Yet, the chip is much less power-hungry than its predecessors – which means users can view a full-length movie in the upcoming High Definition format without having to recharge the batteries of their notebook computers.

Even as the 70-strong group of engineers here worked for over 18 months to deliver the product, potential customers – PC makers – were trying out early samples. And first off the block, with a family of notebook computers fuelled by the 9400M, is Apple which has used it to fuel the new MacBook family, due to be launched in India next week.


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Interview of Shridhar Manthani in Chronicle

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