At the moment, Max-Q 2022 laptops and enterprise GPUs are the only ones with this feature. In a stealth reveal, Nvidia revealed a capability that has been buried in its enterprise and consumer GPUs since the introduction of the Turing generation.
This piece of silicon, known as the GSP or GPU System Processor, shifts driver-related work from the CPU to the GPU, improving performance and efficiency. It has now been officially unlocked for use with Nvidia’s newest drivers, according to the company. The feature is currently available if you have a qualified Nvidia enterprise-class GPU and the latest Nvidia driver 510.39.01 installed on your computer. From the Turing-based Tesla T4 to Nvidia’s A-series, which includes the A100, A2, and A40, graphics processing units are supported.
An Nvidia GPU is paired with a GSP, which is a physical GPU component (similar to the NVENC controller) that serves as a coprocessor for the Nvidia GPU. In order to reduce total system latency while simultaneously improving system performance, it is designed to transfer GPU startup and administration functions directly from CPU to GPU. It has been stated by Nvidia that GSP capability is now limited, but will be improved in future driver releases. As a result, we can expect Nvidia to rely even more heavily on its coprocessor to lighten the CPU workload.
Both in games and in GPU-centric applications, where the CPU is essential to transfer information to the GPU, we have seen significant performance gains from using the new architecture. In particular, this is true considering that modern games use more CPU than ever, due to the maturity of lower-level APIs. Despite Nvidia’s assertion that it has limited the feature to enterprise solutions (at least for now), the company has announced that the capability will be a core component of Max-Q laptops slated for introduction in 2022 and later in the future.
In a new YouTube video launched today, Nvidia explains how the company’s next version of Max-Q will improve efficiency between the processor and the graphics card. One of these qualities is the GPU System Processor (GSP), although in this case Nvidia calls it a “command processor” rather than a GPU System Processor. GSP and “control processor” are considered synonymous in our opinion because they both serve the same purpose of offloading low-level tasks from the CPU to the GPU in order to improve performance. As an example, Nvidia is using Project Max-Q to explain how command validation, which includes pointer checking and balance checks, will be moved from the CPU to the GPU for improved performance. We hope to hear more about this feature in the near future as Nvidia continues to develop it in 2022 and beyond.
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