Turing’s old hat these days with Nvidia already making great strides towards it next-generation Ampere GPUs. Taiwanese tech-sperts DigiTimes are claiming Nvidia Ampere GPUs are due to launch in 2020 and a deal is already in place to utilise Samsung’s 7nm EUV processor for production.
Ampere kind of fell of the radar once Turing reared its seductive, ray-traced head, but Ampere GPUs were given EEC certification last year.
Taking them at their word, this could be interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it gives us some idea of Nvidia’s upcoming roadmap for graphics card releases. Some form of Turing refresh is imminent with the GeForce RTX Super series but, aside from that, we haven’t had a decent picture of where Nvidia is heading for its next-generation GPU hardware.
GeForce Ampere is looking likely to double down on the DXR-powered ray-tracing which has formed the backbone of Turing and the RTX 20 Series. Ray-tracing is still a prohibitively expensive graphics option and is used fairly restrictively in supported titles. There’s a ton of wiggle room for Nvidia to maneuver here, opening the door to greater path tracing and stronger performance at higher resolutions. That’s all easier said than done of course, but ray-tracing is the future of graphics tech and Nvidia will be looking to make DXR support as widespread as possible.
In addition to this, the switch to Samsung’s 7nm EUV fabrication process also opens plenty of doors for Nvidia. Team Green still holds a significant performance advantage over AMD’s 7nm graphics cards, all despite using 12nm for Turing. The shift to 7nm will help to improve both power and performance efficiency, while the effectiveness of EUV fabrication could mean these gains are significant.
It would also confirm the reports that Nvidia is branching away from TSMC for fabrication. Nvidia is one of TSMC’s cornerstones and they’ve worked together for years and years. Either TSMC isn’t delivering the goods or Nvidia feels Samsung is offering the better deal with 7nm EUV. Whatever the case, Nvidia feels it’s worth severing a decade-long partnership.
Plenty of potential moving and shaking then, and it would appear AMD won't be hogging the 7nm limelight to itself for long. All eyes are now on AMD to see how it can capitalise on its year-long stranglehold on the new process.