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What to expect from NVIDIA's GTC conference

by Sylvie Barak on 30 September 2009, 13:26


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The Big Picture

With Intel's Developer Forum now done and dusted, the tech press is now slowly turning its attention to NVIDIA, and its three-day GPU Technology Conference (GTC) starting today in San Jose, CA.

Many have been asking whether NVIDIA - thought by some to be a company with an identity crisis of late - will be able to impress attendees with its offerings, as the firm branches out from its discrete graphics roots to discuss supercomputers, smartphones, GPGPU, and more. And by all accounts, NVIDIA plans to make the most of its time in the spotlight.

The conference kicks off with an opening keynote from the firm's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, where, according to a company spokesman, the big chief plans to show off "some really cool stuff." Hardly specific, but we're intrigued.

Jen-Hsun's mysterious keynote will then be followed by another on the important trends in visual computing and, after that, a talk about the breakthroughs in high-performance computing. Then, letting its hair down on Wednesday night, NVIDIA will purportedly be rolling out its own "in-house" executive rock band for a charity event in San Jose.

On day two, NVIDIA aims to keep things a bit more high-brow, with Harvard professor and computing visionary Hanspeter Pfister and the Richard Kerris, CTO of Lucasfilm,  both keynoting.  "All the general sessions and main keynotes will be really good," our NVIDIA spokesman told us enthusiastically.

HEXUS has also learned that the firm plans to host a session about using the GPU as an audio processor, show off some interactive ray-tracing demos, and dazzle us with some "augmented reality" which, apparently, have to be seen to be believed.

Analysts seem upbeat about the event's prospects, with graphics guru Jon Peddie telling HEXUS "I think it's going to be huge - look at the exhibitor's list." Indeed, if it's size that matters, NVIDIA seems to have what it takes, but whether the quality matches the quantity we'll know soon enough.