NVIDIA Preparing To Strike Back With Fermi-Based GF100 GPUs

NVIDIA logoNVIDIA has been under a lot of competitive pressure over the last year, but especially during the last four months as its primary competitor ATI has launched six desktop DirectX 11 GPUs and a complete Mobility Radeon lineup for notebooks. Over two million DX11 GPUs have been sold so far, all of them from ATI. NVIDIA had a fairly large presence at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but also had a series of briefings for select members of the press the week after CES. The embargo date is today, and some of the details that were discussed can be revealed.

There are three things that most enthusiasts have expected from NVIDIA's next-generation gaming GPU based on the Fermi architecture. There was no doubt that it would sport a large die size, run hot, and be expensive. The big question was whether it would be more powerful than anything the graphics division of AMD could muster. NVIDIA has been promising everybody since its GPU Technology conference in October that it would "blow ATI away", but we're been waiting on the hardware while ATI's GPUs dominated the holiday shopping season.

NVIDIA is saying that GF100 chips are in production, but we don't have details on yields or how many wafers are being produced at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). GF100 chips are being produced on the 40nm process, and ATI has had a hard time with the process since it first began the transition in March of last year. The GF100 has over 3 billion transistors, 50% more than the Cypress GPU which is fairly large at 334mm^2. Initial reports are that the GF100 will exceed 500mm^2, which means that there will be a lot of chips that won't be able to run at full capabilities. We can probably expect defective chips to be used in cut-down GF100 variants.

The first boards will be launched at the end of February, with first availability in March. However, volumes will be a problem, and we have been hearing concerns from some board partners that there won't be enough chips to meet demand until April, at best. The initial flagship card will launch with 512 stream processor cores (which NVIDIA is calling CUDA cores), 48 ROPs and a 384-bit bus running GDDR5.

NVIDIA Fermi core

There are sixteen Shader Multiprocessing core (SM cores) consisting of 32 Cuda cores each. Each SM core also has 16/48KB of dedicated L1 cache, four texture units, and a PolyMorph Engine. The PolyMorph Engine handles geometry on the GPU and is responsible for Vertex Fetch, Tessellation, Viewport Transform, Attribute Setup, and Stream Output functions.

One of the biggest features of DX11 is hardware tessellation, and NVIDIA is looking to beat ATI at their own game. Tessellation is one of the few features that are very visible on screen while gaming, and can have a very large visual impact.

NVIDIA has been talking about 3D gaming for a couple of years, even if no one wants to make the hardware. The company was showing off their "3D Vision Surround" concept at CES as being a marked improvement over ATI's Eyefinity multiple display technology. However, while ATI's Radeon HD 5000 series cards all come with support for three monitors on a single card, NVIDIA's version is only capable of supporting two displays on a single card. More graphics cards must be added in order to support three or more monitors.

There is one question that no one seems to be asking NVIDIA: Where are the next generation mainstream DirectX 11 graphics cards? Over 90% of graphics cards sold are priced at less than $200, and NVIDIA will have to come up with something soon if they want to stop losing mainstream market share.

Source: DailyTech

Tags: GPU, NVIDIA

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
The beginning of the end for physical discs?
 
Apple has plans to help improve on Siri with their latest acquisition
 
Coin miners discovered in eight different applications
 
The idea of turning a foldable smartphone into a wearable isn't new
 
LG is also expected to release the more affordable 5G-equipped device smartphone later this year
 
New feature currently in development for Chromium
 
The new API came with limitations that put a muzzle on the number of network requests an extension could access
 
Major WSL improvement coming in Windows 10 version 1903
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (14)