NVIDIA Graphics Card – GeForce is a brand of graphics processing units designed by Nvidia. As of the GeForce 30 series, there have been seventeen iterations of the design. The first GeForce products were discrete GPUs designed for add-on graphics boards, intended for the high-margin PC gaming market, and later diversification of the product line covered all tiers of the PC graphics market, ranging from cost-sensitive GPUs integrated on motherboards, to mainstream add-in retail boards. Most recently, GeForce technology has been introduced into Nvidia’s line of embedded application processors, designed for electronic handhelds and mobile handsets.

With respect to discrete GPUs, found in add-in graphics-boards, Nvidia’s GeForce and AMD’s Radeon GPUs are the only remaining competitors in the high-end market. GeForce GPUs are very dominant in the general-purpose graphics processor unit market thanks to their proprietary CUDA architecture. GPGPU is expected to expand GPU functionality beyond the traditional rasterization of 3D graphics, to turn it into a high-performance computing device able to execute arbitrary programming code in the same way a CPU does, but with different strengths and weaknesses.

The “GeForce” name originated from a contest held by Nvidia in early 1999 called “Name That Chip”. The company called out to the public to name the successor to the RIVA TNT2 line of graphics boards. There were over 12,000 entries received and 7 winners received a RIVA TNT2 Ultra graphics card as a reward. Brian Burke, senior PR manager at Nvidia, told Maximum PC in 2002 that “GeForce” originally stood for “Geometry Force” since GeForce 256 was the first GPU for personal computers to calculate the transform-and-lighting geometry, offloading that function from the CPU.

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