Forget Volta - the latest rumours surrounding Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architecture suggests it will, in fact, be GeForce Ampere. According to Heise.de, Nvidia is planning to reveal/pre-launch Ampere during GPU Technology Conference in March, much earlier than the second half of 2018 that we were expecting.
The Ampere microarchitecture may be an evolution of the Volta chips used in Nvidia’s supercomputer GPUs (or a devolution without Tensor Cores), or it could refer to cut down consumer versions designed to bring affordability to the next-generation. Whatever the case, the rumours suggest Ampere will be the successor to Nvidia’s GeForce 10 series graphics cards. I think we’re looking at either GeForce 11 or GeForce 20.
As for how much truth there is to these rumours, take it with a pinch of salt as always. We’ve never heard anything about Ampere before from any Nvidia sources or official roadmaps. Volta is a known quantity though, so it would be unusual for Nvidia to change its trajectory like this.
A Q1 2018 launch really isn’t that far away either. You can be sure AMD’s desperately moving behind the scenes to bring its next-gen 7nm Navi GPU architecture into play whatever the case, with Nvidia cashing in on the current Pascal generation since May 2016. Two years between any GPU generation is a long time, although Nvidia is hardly under pressure from AMD to deliver more significantly more powerful GPUs anytime soon.
I don’t really know what to think of these rumours. Nvidia releasing Volta or Ampere at some point next year is assured, but all signs have previously pointed towards a launch later in the year. These 12nm GPUs are supposedly a significant leap forward in performance, utilising many new technologies such as GDDR6 or HBM, NVLink 2.0 and Tensor Cores.
What are your thoughts here, can you see Nvidia pushing out the Ampere GPU microarchitecture in Q1/Q2? Or are you still expecting Volta to arrive later in the year?