Nvidia has announced a graphics chip-based cloud tech, claiming to deliver fast gaming to almost any device.
"GeForce Grid represents a massive disruption in how games are delivered and played," said Phil Eisler, general manager of cloud gaming at Nvidia, in a statement.
The trick is to power the games remotely with brawny servers that tap into Nvidia's new Kepler graphics processing units (GPUs).
Each Kepler chip has 3072 Nvidia "CUDA" processor cores, and packs 4.7 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second) of 3D shader performance. Shaders are instrumental in rendering realistic effects in games.
All of this horsepower will allow gaming-as-a-service providers to render complex games in the cloud and encode them on the GPU, so servers can simultaneously run more game streams, according to Nvidia. GPUs are more adept at rendering gaming effects than traditional central processing units (CPUs) provided by chipmakers such as Intel.
The net effect for gamers is playing higher-end games on a lower-powered device that wouldn't ordinarily support that level of gameplay.
Nvidia is hooking up with Gaikai, which has about two dozen datacentres in the US, and OnLive, among other companies.
Nvidia also made a broader announcement today about its new Kepler technology, which is designed for use in large-scale datacentres. Like the gaming experience described above, Kepler GPUs deliver faster streaming, "making a remote datacentre feel like it's just next door", the company said.
GPU-assisted datacentres can also be more energy efficient, since GPUs are inherently more efficient at processing certain types of data.