iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






NVIDIA Quadro2 Go

The NVIDIA Quadro2 Go is a hybrid of a professional and mobile graphics solution. As we may suspect, such development costs NVIDIA only a certification of professional drivers for the GeForce2 Go, which we have already written about. But such certification of drivers for basic professional packets, correspondence to the OpenGL 1.3 standard and some hardware standards (SpeedStep, ACPI etc.) costs much and brings problems. Besides, the company also had to develop these drivers. But in this case it wasn't a problem: the drivers are standard and changes are not great as compared with Quadro MXR. In fact, an identification chip code is different. And that's all. All professional possibilities are enabled in the drivers on a program level, and there is even a utility which can get drivers identify any card based on GeForce 256/2/3 chip as a corresponding professional model.

Let's see what we receive from the name Quadro which covers the case of the GeForce2 Go (together with the corresponding drivers):

  1. Everything that the GeForce 2 Go has in the maximum version (183 MHz 64-bit DDR or 128-bit SDR memory).
  2. Chip and driver certified for operation with Discreet® 3ds max(TM), Autodesk® AutoCAD®, Dassault Catia®, SDRC I-DEAS(TM), Newtek Lightwave 3D(TM), Alias|Wavefront® Maya(TM), Autodesk Mechanical Desktop(TM), Bentley® MicroStation(TM), PTC Pro/Engineer(TM), Softimage®/XSI, UGS® Solid Edge(TM), Solidworks®, UGS Unigraphics(TM) and some other packets.
  3. Special drivers for 3ds max (with MAXtreme(TM) support) and AutoCAD
  4. NVIDIA's application QuadroView for viewing popular 3D formats
  5. Hardware pixel and line anti-aliasing
  6. OpenGL overlay support
  7. Support up to 8 2D clipping regions
  8. Two-side polygon lighting
  9. Multi-processor system support
  10. Certified compatibility with OpenGL 1.3
  11. Drivers for Linux, including OpenGL 1.2

The latter two items are a very useful feature: the Linux is used more and more often on notebooks since it saves memory and consumes less energy.

As compared with the v1.2 the OGL 1.3 has received the following features:

  • Cube map texturing
  • Multisampling for AA
  • New texturing modes:
    • Texture Add Environment Mode
    • Texture Combine Environment Mode
    • Texture Dot3 Environment Mode
    • Texture Filtering Mode

  • Compressed texture formats support

Let's add the key characteristics of the GPU Quadro2 GO:

  • Chip size: 31x31mm, case package: 560 BGA
  • Technological process: 0.18 micron
  • RAMDAC: 350 MHz, integrated, with palette mode support
  • Maximum resolution: 2048x1536 @ 60 Hz
  • Dual-channel LVDS transmitter, 24 bits, maximum resolution on digital monitors - 1600x1200
  • Fillrate: 286 Mpixel/sec
  • HW T&L performance: 17M triangles/sec
  • DDR (64bit bus) or SDR (128bit bus) local memory supported, 32 or 64 MBytes

Well, there are the chip, the drivers and the certificates. What then? As you may remember, production of NVIDIA Quadro-series based cards belongs to ELSA. But such approach doesn't suit notebooks where a chip is installed into a finished sample, and it is necessary to collaborate with several notebook manufacturers in order to get some variety of solutions. First, they chose Fujitsu Siemens Computers which had been connected with NVIDIA by the chipset with integrated graphics - nForce. It will be exactly Fujitsu Siemens which will release the first notebook of the Celsius H series (with NVIDIA Quadro2 Go) of the workstation class.

The price aspect is not that bad, as you may think. First, a notebook costs more than a desktop PC; that is why the price difference between the Quadro2 Go and a usual mobile chip vanishes away. Secondly, the price will be lower than that of desktop systems at the very beginning, because it is a new market and it is necessary to gain the ground there.

The ads of the first notebook demonstrate two workers examining a 3D circuit of some tubes of communication on the notebook. Well, I hope the product will be not only shockproff but also waterproff. But whether it will sell good the time will show...

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