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Graphics Virtualization Hardware Technology

Inside NVIDIA's Massive Hardware Emulation Lab 51

MojoKid writes "NVIDIA recently decided to give the public a look at their massive investment in hardware emulation technologies. Hardware emulators are specialized systems that can be programmed to emulate any specific architecture. In NVIDIA's case, a standard x86 system is connected to a powerful hardware emulator that's been pre-programmed to emulate a GeForce GPU that's still under design. The testbed generates the code in question and sends it over to the emulator, which then executes and returns the output. The emulators are massive machines that can be connected together and scaled for capacity and performance. NVIDIA's Indus emulator can emulate up to two billion gates and in their entire facility, the company can emulate up to 4 billion total."
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Inside NVIDIA's Massive Hardware Emulation Lab

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  • So it's an "emulator" you say? It "simulates" a "hardware device".

    Would not another word for this be: "Virtual Machine"? Have they cleared this with Oracle, or did NVIDIA just get caught with their pants down? (stroking their e-peen)

    How are you getting around VMWare's patent [] on saving and restoring a VM state? Clearly you'll want to do that to enable debugging of your soft-hardware. (Even though many VMs could do that long before the patent was applied for -- My old Lisp machine emulator did).

    Inquiring minds want to know... specifically, what do I have to do so that the new VM based languages (like Java/Davlik or Lua?!) don't infringe any VM software patents? (Or are you taking the same advice my lawyer gave me? "Ignore the patents, foreknowledge makes infringement penalties greater. If you can stay under the radar by using different terminology long enough to become successful, we can negotiate a (cross) licensing deal.")

    Software Patents Bad. Even For Hardware Company.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson