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Nvidia: Chips to speed Apple Leopard, Windows 7

Graphics chips will be tapped to accelerate more tasks in upcoming versions of Apple's and Microsoft's operating systems, according to Nvidia.

In an interview Friday with Sumit Gupta, product manager for Nvidia's Tesla products, Gupta described how new programming environments will tap into the latent compute horsepower of graphics processors to accelerate software in Apple's upcoming OS X Snow Leopard and Microsoft's Windows 7 operating systems.

Graphics chips aren't just for games anymore. The trend toward general-purpose graphics processing is defined by an acronym that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue: GPGPU. But the essence of General Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units is pretty simple: use the scores--or even hundreds in higher-end chips--of processing cores inside GPUs to speed tasks that, in some cases, would be done much less efficiently by the central processing unit (CPU).

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