NVIDIA unlocks GPU System Processor with a driver update, a feature that can boost performance of Max-Q laptops coming in 2022
NVIDIA has pushed out a driver update to their enterprise Turing and Ampere GPUs to enable the GPU System Processor (GSP). Turing and Ampere-based enterprise GPUs like the NVIDIA Tesla T4 and the NVIDIA A100 all have a built-in GSP that acts as a co-processor. The GSP offloads CPU-intensive tasks like memory management to the GPU, reducing CPU overhead. This can potentially result in better overall system performance and latency.
While NVIDIA says that the GSP is only active by default in some enterprise cards, the company has announced that the 2022 Max-Q GPUs will come with a “command processor”. NVIDIA hasn’t revealed what the command processor actually is. Tom’s Hardware suspects that it is the GSP, since both components offload low-level functions from the CPU to the GPU.
Explaining the role of the command processor, NVIDIA gave the example of command validation, a low-level function that includes tasks like pointer verification. Moving tasks like command validation from the CPU to the GPU will theoretically result in a significant performance boost.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the GSP has any measurable performance impact when the new Max-Q laptops become available later this year.