Developer Newsletter: Issue #24


In This Issue:



NVIDIA Developer Resources Win Front Line Awards

Game Developer Magazine has announced that NVIDIA SDK 8.0 and our GPU Gems book have both won prestigious Front Line Awards. These awards recognize products that enable faster and more efficient game development, advancing the state of the art. Several NVIDIA products received honors:

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SDK 8.5 Released

This release of the NVIDIA SDK includes hundreds of code samples, effects, and libraries to help you take advantage of the latest in graphics technology.

New in this release: HDR using 2x fp16 render targets, DXSAS implementation, GPU video filtering, PBO texture performance analysis, relief mapping, dozens of new HLSL FX examples for FX Composer and more... The code samples also include Shader Model 3.0 examples, High Dynamic Range Rendering, Deferred Shading, Instancing, Multiple Render Targets, Vertex Texturing, Soft Shadows, Perspective Shadow Maps, GPU Video Filtering, and many more.

The FX Composer effects include Flame, Glow, Gooch Shading, Metals, Multitexture-Based BRDFs, Color Controls, a selection of Image Filters, and much more.

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NVIDIA GPU Programming Guide Now Available in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean

We have translated the NVIDIA GPU Programming Guide into Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This document provides useful advice on how to identify bottlenecks in your applications, as well as how to eliminate them by taking advantage of features in the Quadro FX, GeForce 6 Series, and GeForce FX families.

If you have corrections or suggestions, please send them to with TRANSLATION in the subject line.

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GPU Gems 2 Coming Soon

GPU Gems 2: Programming Techniques for High-Performance Graphics and General-Purpose Computation, published by Addison-Wesley, is a compilation of chapters covering the latest programming techniques for today’s graphics processing units (GPUs). Real-time graphics programmers will discover the latest algorithms for creating advanced visual effects, strategies for managing complex scenes, and techniques for advanced image processing. Readers will also learn new methods for using the substantial processing power of the GPU in other computationally intensive applications, such as scientific computing and finance.

GPU Gems 2 is hard bound, approximately 800 pages, and printed in full color throughout, with over 300 diagrams and screenshots. It will be released at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (March 7 - 11, 2005). You can sign up to be notified when the book is available.

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Cg 1.3 Released

This 1.3 release of Cg introduces several significant new features:

  • New 'vp40' profile, that enables texture sampling from within vertex programs
  • New 'fp40' profile, that provides a robust branching model in fragment programs, and support for output to multiple draw buffers (‘MRTs’)
  • Support for writing more than one color output (i.e. ‘MRTs’) in the arbfp1 and ps_2* profiles
  • New semantics to access OpenGL fixed-function state vectors from within ARB_vertex_program and ARB_fragment_program
  • New ‘-fastprecision’ option for arbfp*, fp30, and fp40 profiles, to use reduced precision storage (fp16) when appropriate.
  • (New in Cg 1.2.1) The 'arbfp1' profile will attempt to generate code differently if the 'MaxTexIndirections' option is set to some non-zero value.

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NVShaderPerf for Forceware 71.80 Drivers Released

This latest version of the NVShaderPerf command line utility uses the same technology as the Shader Perf panel in FX Composer to report shader performance metrics for Forceware 71.80 drivers. It supports DirectX and OpenGL shaders written in HLSL, GLSL, Cg, !!FP1.0, !!ARBfp1.0, VS1.x, VS2.x, VS3.x, PS1.x, PS2.x, and PS3.x. You can get performance reports for your shaders on the entire family of NVIDIA GPUs, including cycle count, register usage and pixel throughput metrics.

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Become a Registered Developer Today

Joining our Registered Developer program is free and gives you access to a number of benefits:

  • Developer Forums
  • Prerelease Tools
  • Prerelease Drivers
  • Bug Reporting

Joining is easy!  Simply fill out one of applications below:

Please note that it may take a few weeks to receive a decision on your application, due to the large number of applicants.

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GPGPU Feature: GPGPU Course at the University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2005

Suresh Venkatasubramanian will be teaching a GPGPU class at the University of Pennsylvania in Spring 2005. The class, titled "GPU Programming and Architecture" will focus on the stream programming abstraction of the GPU, and will cover the basic tools and techniques for designing and implementing algorithms for general purpose computations on the GPU.

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Game Developers Conference 2005

The Game Developers Conference attracts over 10,000 attendees and provides educational, networking, and business opportunities for game development professionals driving the $10 billion video game industry. It is the main global forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals and others involved in the development of interactive games gather to exchange ideas, network, and shape the future of the industry.

The NVIDIA Developer Technology team will be heavily involved at GDC, presenting at the following sessions:

  • Advanced Visual Effects with Direct3D - Full-Day Tutorial (Monday, March 7)
  • Next-Generation Rendering with OpenGL - Full-Day Tutorial (Tuesday, March 8)
  • NVIDIA Sponsored Sessions (Wednesday, March 9 -- Room 2016)
    • Next-Gen Special Effects Showcase
    • Coming to a Pixel Near You: Mobile 3D Graphics on the NVIDIA GoForce WMP
    • The NVIDIA Performance Analysis Tools
    • Shader Workflow with FX Composer
    • GPU Gems 2 Showcase

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nForce Professional

Introducing the NVIDIA nForce™ Professional family of MCPs (media and communications processors), designed for professional users who demand stable, reliable, high-performance computing. The NVIDIA nForce Professional line offers a scalable architecture for AMD Opteron™ multiprocessor servers and workstations, including a proven fifth-generation HyperTransport™ design, and a flexible PCI Express™ bus interface. By continuing to build on the innovative single-chip NVIDIA MCP architecture, NVIDIA nForce Professional MCPs provide robust solutions for all professional computing environments.

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Tip of the Month

Don't use the Read Time Stamp Counter (RDTSC) to do timing in your app. Here's why: It is unusable on mobile platforms because calculations assume a fixed clock speed. Mobile platforms (such as notebooks) will throttle back the CPU at unexpected times making the tick count from RDTSC useless. Instead use QueryPerformanceCounter, which insures consistent architecture independent results.

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Featured Pages and Downloads

Some of the most popular pages and downloads over the past few weeks have been:

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Job Openings

NVIDIA's Developer Technology group is always looking for talented engineers and artists in the US, Japan, and Europe. See // for more general information, or our specific openings for: Handheld Devices Developer Technology Engineer, Developer Technology Engineer (Korea), and Developer Technology Engineer (USA).

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Newsletter Subscription

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, coworkers, or any other potentially interested parties. In addition, if you know of anyone who might be interested in signing up for the newsletter, please point them to //

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Past Newsletter Issues

In case you missed any of our previous newsletter issues, you can find them online at our Developer Newsletter Archive.

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Send Us Your Comments!

If you have had any problem downloading software from our site, please let us know as well so that we can help you out. 

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