Graphics - Published on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:17 Written by Anton Karmehed
The rumor mill is spitting out rumors around the next generation graphics cards and will keep spinning up until launch day. After seeing "leaked" specifications for AMD Radeon HD 7900 series it is time for NVIDIA and the Kepler architecture. The successor to GTX 560 - GK104 - is said to launch in Q1 2012.
Kepler will be NVIDIA's first fresh architecture since Fermi from two years ago and the latest rumors are saying that the green camp is not far behind AMD that last time took over six months to catch up at 40nm. The transition to 28nm is going smooth according to a high rank PR officer at NVIDIA and the first 28nm circuits is in the NVIDIA lab.
The information surrounding NVIDIA's first Kepler launch is a bit diverse where the same PR officer is talking about availability in Q2 according to Fudzilla, while 3DCenter.org points to a launch in Q1.
NVIDIA will then release the replacement for the GeForce GTX 560 series and the GF114 GPU, not the Kepler flagship. Accprdomg to 3DCenters the new GPU will be called GK104 and be a hybrid of Fermi and Kepler. This seems to be specualtions, but would explain why NVIDIA decides to introduce Kepler with performance cards instead of the high-end models. GK100 will replace the GF110 flagship, but is no slated to appear until Q2 2012.
GK104 will get a big boost in CUDA cores. With performance "well above 2 teraflops" it could be as many as 768 CUDA cores, which is 50% more than GeForce GTX 580 sporting 512 CUDA cores and 1.56 Teraflops. They speculate that the number of CUDA is a bit lower and that NVIDIA instead will boost the frequency. GK104 will sport 80 to 96 texture units and 256-bit or 384-bit memory bus .
If the specifications published at 3DCenter.org are correct NVIDIA's plans should make GK104 an overall better performer than GF110 and GeForce GTX 580. This in a circuit smaller than the GF114 GPU. In Q2, GK100 is slated to bring Kepler to market for serious, and battle the Radeon HD 7900 series.
With a mix of sources and what looks like a lot of speculation all of this should be taken with a big dose of salt, but we are glad to see that NVIDIA looks to be coming along with the Kepler architecture.