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nVidia's HSI and PCI Express Plan Documentation

By: Cameron Wilmot | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: Mar 23, 2004 5:00 am

HSI Documentation


We will start by looking at the HSI documentation which explains HSI and the theory behind it. All we will do is explain briefly about each slide where we feel clarification is needed.


Please click on each image for the full size version of the slide. A new window will popup.



Explanation: The opening page.



Explanation: This is the introduction page which outlines nVidia's HSI bridge chip technology. nVidia mentioned in the conference call the main reason for the design and implementation of the HSI technology is to deliver PCI Express compliant parts into the market as quickly as possible based on its current range of GPUs. This would also help save money by not having to invest research and development into producing pure PCI Express GPU parts, at least for the time being.


It is important to note nVidia also mentioned "probably" before the end of the year native PCI Express GPUs will be released.


When asked if the change from AGP8x to PCI Express (or AGP16x in nVidia's case) will benefit the mainstream user at launch (next month), no answer could be confidently provided. We will need to wait until we have the products in our hands to give you all an independent answer on performance - I am sure we will see some benefit but it remains to be seen exactly how much when the products first hit the market with current PC games and applications.



Explanation: This slide explains the amount of bandwidth required by PCI Express 16x and how nVidia's overclocked AGP16x bus can provide enough to satisfy it - at least on paper. Real world benchmarks may show an entirely different story, either to benefit or disadvantage nVidia. We simply cannot say yet.


On paper, it proves nVidia have done their math and their overclocked AGP bus system will work in the fashion it was designed.



Explanation: This slide goes further into the bandwidth requirements of PCI Express.



Explanation: This slide talks about latency issues which nVidia say should not be of any concern with the HSI bridge chip. It also talks about how upcoming native PCI Express GPUs can be converted back to AGP via the HSI bridge chip which should come in handy for nVidia as decent motherboards with AGP ports will be around for much longer yet.



Explanation: The final slide is the conclusion of the HSI Tech Brief which wraps up nVidia's intentions for the new bus standard.


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