Amidst all the excitement of the G70 launch and various other commitments, which have kept me busy over the last couple of days, I missed The Tech Report's story on the direction of NVIDIA's graphics drivers.

They are going multithreaded. It's not surprising to get an announcement like this right now, given that dual core processors will be all over the place shortly. However, what of the poor workstation folk who've had dual processors for evermore?
Out of curiosity, I asked de Waal why NVIDIA's drivers don't already take advantage of a second CPU. After all, the driver is a separate task from the application calling it, and Hyper-Threaded and SMP systems are rather common. He explained that drivers in Windows normally run synchronously with the applications making API calls, so that they must return an answer before the API call is complete. On top of that, Windows drivers run in kernel mode, so the OS isn't particularly amenable to multithreaded drivers. NVIDIA has apparently been working on multithreaded drivers for some time now, and they've found a way to fudge around the OS limitations.

De Waal cited several opportunities for driver performance gains with multithreading. Among them: vertex processing. He noted that NVIDIA's drivers currently do load balancing for vertex processing, offloading some work to the CPU when the GPU is busy. This sort of vertex processing load could be spun off into a separate thread and processed in parallel.
It's all about parallelism, folks, as Jon Peddie so rightly put it in April.