Next GM200 Big Daddy Maxwell GPU inbound
As I’ve written in a previous article, Nvidia recently had a major earnings call in which company officials answered direct questions and offered some tightly wrapped hints which may be pointing to future moves the company has in place. This of course implies the future release of a 20nm GM200 GPU for both giant card manufacturers such as MSI and avid gamers looking for the latest and fastest graphics card on the market to upgrade their rigs. The question remains if Nvidia will go with a 20nm core or skip directly to a 16nm one? In the meantime, the company is squeezing all that’s left from their 28nm chip. Moving on to the upcoming Big Daddy Maxwell chip, a very interesting transcript courtesy of Wccftech reveals some curious facts. Nvidia CEO, Jen-Hsung gives some hints that will eventually make sense as we move along.
Q: Are you going to skip 20 nanometer and go straight to FinFET?
A: We haven’t announced our next generation products yet. And so we’ve got lot of great surprises for you guys and I’m excited about our next generation GPU. But right now we’re enjoying ramping Maxwell. ….. And so Maxwell is unquestionably at this point a home run and we’re just savoring the moment and ramping the living daylights out of it.
Jen-Hsung is talking about a “next generation GPU” which is almost certainly the GM200 Core codenamed Big Daddy Maxwell. To back up this claim, a very reliable source is called upon – the shipping data from Zauba which has already confirmed the “taping out” of GM200 INT0 and GM 200 CS (customer samples). So this means that both the prototypes and customer samples have already “taped out.”
Judging by the time intervals the GM204 GPU customer samples took to tape out and reach retailers, the time frame for the GM200 GPU has expired. This leads to two obvious conclusions, according to Wccftech: 1) the GM200 GPU might be launching very soon, which means this month or the next, or 2) Nvidia is keeping its GM200 GPU on standby until AMD comes up with a worthy competitor, or until the GTX 970/980 stock dries up, being unable to keep up with the demand. Take a look at another Q & A passage:
Q: I am kind of curious from a process technology perspective. Does the trouble that Intel is having with 14 nanometer mean anything to you as you work to bring FinFET technology to market?
A: …..We’re excited about the next generation of FinFET. The way that we deal with that that, you know that we’ve had quite a few scars in the past as we ramped up new process technology and we’ve been better and better and better at it. And the reason why is because we have just an extraordinary team in advanced technology group working deeply with our foundry partners and ensuring through real creation of test chips and rigorous test methodologies and development methodologies that ensure that when we are ready to ramp that the processors are ready for us. And I can tell you that for the next couple of nodes, I feel pretty good about it because of that work.
Jen-Hsung’s answer seems to be indicating towards a future 20nm/16 FF porting. Nvidia’s CEO seems to be confident about this because the mentioned chips are already out and “waiting in the wings.” The main question is if they are on the 28nm, 20nm or 16nm FinFET node? These are just simple speculations at this point, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.