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Friday, June 14, 2002
Nvidia Cg Interview on GameSpy
6:00 AM | Daniel Krechmer | Comment on this story

Usually when nVidia makes an announcement it means another big jump in video card performance, but not in this case. The big announcement is Cg, a computer language designed for "programmable vertex and pixel processors in modern GPUs." GameSpy has an interview with David Kirk, the Chief Scientist at nVidia. He discusses what exactly Cg has to offer.

David Kirk: Cg is an opportunity for developers to move to programming GPUs at a higher level. Abstraction to a higher level allows programmers and artists to work more directly on the effects that they want to create, rather than focusing on a specific generation of GPU technology. Cg is a C-like programming language: C for graphics. Developers can write vertex and pixel programs to control geometry and shading at a more abstract level, rather than writing low-level hardware interface code in assembly language.
The following is from the official press release:
The NVIDIA Cg Compiler is the heart of the NVIDIA Cg programming environment. Programs written for a standard DirectX® 8- or DirectX 9-compatible Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) can be compiled and run on any conforming hardware.  The resulting program is a highly efficient vertex or pixel shader achieving performance levels equal to or better than hand-coded graphics programs.  NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler was designed to take full advantage of NVIDIA’s GPU features and pipeline, ensuring optimal performance and visual quality.  In addition, NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler uniquely supports OpenGL®. Cg shaders written for OpenGL platforms are compiled and optimized to take full advantage of the extended graphics feature set in NVIDIA GPUs.  NVIDIA’s Cg Compiler is also cross platform, supporting programs written for Windows®, OS X, Linux, Mac and Xbox®.
Certainly the fact that OpenGL is built into the language is good news for Macintosh gamers. The big question is will developers and other video card makers support it. We think a big yes.

GameSpy Interview with David Kirk
Press Release: nVidia Announces Cg

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