Nvidia Quadro

Nvidia Quadro

Nvidia Quadro was Nvidia's brand for graphics cards intended for use in workstations running professional computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), digital content creation (DCC) applications, scientific calculations and machine learning.

Differences between the Quadro and GeForce cards include the use of ECC memory and enhanced floating point precision. These are desirable properties when the cards are used for calculations which, in contrast to graphics rendering, require reliability and precision.

The Nvidia Quadro product line directly competed with AMD's Radeon Pro (formerly FirePro/FireGL) line of professional workstation cards.

Nvidia is moving away from the Quadro branding for new products, starting with the launch of the Nvidia Ampere architecture-based RTX A6000 on October 5, 2020. To indicate the upgrade to the Nvidia Ampere architecture for their graphics cards technology, Nvidia RTX is the product line being produced and developed moving forward for use in professional workstations.

History

The Quadro line of GPU cards emerged in an effort towards market segmentation by Nvidia. In introducing Quadro, Nvidia was able to charge a premium for essentially the same graphics hardware in professional markets, and direct resources to properly serve the needs of those markets. To differentiate their offerings, Nvidia used driver software and firmware to selectively enable features vital to segments of the workstation market, such as high-performance anti-aliased lines and two-sided lighting, in the Quadro product.[citation needed] The Quadro line also received improved support through a certified driver program. These features were of little value to the gamers that Nvidia's products already sold to, but their lack prevented high-end customers from using the less expensive products.

There are parallels between the market segmentation used to sell the Quadro line of products to workstation (DCC) markets and the Tesla line of products to engineering and HPC markets.

In a settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit between SGI and Nvidia, SGI acquired rights to speed-binned Nvidia graphics chips which they shipped under the VPro product label. These designs were completely separate from the SGI Odyssey based VPro products initially sold on their IRIX workstations which used a completely different bus. SGI's Nvidia-based VPro line included the VPro V3 (Geforce 256), VPro VR3 (Quadro), VPro V7 (Quadro2 MXR), and VPro VR7 (Quadro2 Pro).


Quadro SDI

Actual extra cards only for Quadro 4000 cards and higher:

SDI Capture:
SDI Output:

Quadro Plex

Quadro Plex consists of a line of external servers for rendering videos. A Quadro Plex contains multiple Quadro FX video cards. A client computer connects to Quadro Plex (using PCI Express ×8 or ×16 interface card with interconnect cable) to initiate rendering. More data in Nvidia Tesla Cards.


Quadro SLI and SYNC

Scalable Link Interface, or SLI, is the next generation of Plex. SLI can improve Frame Rendering, FSAA.

Quadro SLI support Mosaic for 2 Cards and 8 Monitors.

With Quadro SYNC Card support of max. 16 Monitors (4 per Card) possible.

Most Cards have SLI-Bridge-Slot for 2, 3 or 4 cards on one main board.

Acceleration of scienctific calculations is possible with CUDA and OpenCL.

Nvidia has 4 types of SLI bridges:

Standard Bridge (400 MHz Pixel Clock and 1GB/s bandwidth)
LED Bridge (540 MHz Pixel Clock)
High-Bandwidth Bridge (650 MHz Pixel Clock)
PCIe-Lanes only reserved for SLI

More see SLI.


Quadro VCA

Nvidia supports SLI and supercomputing with its 8-GPU Visual Computing Appliance. Nvidia Iray, Chaosgroup V-Ray and Nvidia OptiX accelerate Raytracing for Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema4D, Rhinoceros and others. All software with CUDA or OpenCL, such as ANSYS, NASTRAN, ABAQUS, and OpenFoam, can benefit from VCA. The DGX-1 is available with 8 GP100 Cards.

More data in Nvidia Tesla Cards.


Quadro RTX

The Quadro RTX series is based on the Turing microarchitecture, and features real-time raytracing. This is accelerated by the use of new RT cores, which are designed to process quadtrees and spherical hierarchies, and speed up collision tests with individual triangles.

The raytracing performed by the RT cores can be used to produce reflections, refractions and shadows, replacing traditional raster techniques such as cube maps and depth maps. Instead of replacing rasterization entirely, however, the information gathered from ray-tracing can be used to augment the shading with information that is much more physically correct, especially regarding off-camera action.

Tensor cores further enhance the image produced by raytracing, and are used to de-noise a partially rendered image.

RTX is also the name of the development platform introduced for the Quadro RTX series. RTX leverages Microsoft's DXR, OptiX and Vulkan for access to raytracing.

Turing is manufactured using TSMC's 12 nm FinFET semiconductor fabrication process. Quadro RTX also uses GDDR6 memory from Samsung Electronics.

 

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