Graphics giant Nvidia and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) on Thursday announced the shipment of a billionth GeForce graphics processor.

TSMC, the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry which manufactures the chips designed by Nvidia, noted in a written statement that Nvidia’s ubiquitous chips power games, video and "nearly all forms of 3D content."

The one-billionth processor milestone has been achieved in less than twelve years. The statement also quoted Nvidia’s chief Jen-Hsun Huang:

With our close partnership with TSMC, the complexity of these devices has increased more than 1000 times, enabling enormous progress in computers ranging from handhelds and PCs to workstations and data centers.

Nvidia, which is credited with inventing the GPU, is today seeing its graphics processors chip away at the space occupied by CPUs because GPUs can now run general purpose computing tasks via OpenCL and CUDA architectures. This paints a not-so-distant future where you’ll be able to run your computer’s operating system and applications entirely off a GPU.

The change, needless to say, makes traditional CPU makers like Intel a little uneasy as Nvidia takes the battle to their own turf. Nvidia is also seeing a wide industry acceptance of its Tegra 2 platform that will power a big portion of upcoming tablet, sans Apple’s. Also important, Nvidia recently scored a major win when Microsoft said next Windows version will run on ARM chips because the graphics giant has also taken steps to secure its ARM-based future.

Source: TSMC


Pictured above: Your dream 3D graphics rig based on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 SLI Surround solution