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Nov 14th, 2012

New NVIDIA Roadmap Reveals Maxwell Coming in 2014, GeForce GTX 780 Details

NVIDIA Roadmap Confirms 20nm Maxwell GPUs in 2014

Over the past two days rumors regarding the upcoming graphics cards from NVIDIA have surfaced. First of all, we have a new roadmap, which doesn’t really reveal that much new information, but it’s definitely updated. It is also worth bringing up the specs of GeForce GTX 780 revealed by German website Chip.de.

Previous NVIDIA roadmap mentioned Kepler architecture to be released on 2011, but we all know they were not launched 2 years ago, but this year, so it was quite out-dated. The new one does not mention any Kepler Refresh GPUs for 2013, but nor does it mention a Fermi Refresh.

So it seems that the completely redesigned silicon, also known as Maxwell, will be launched in 2014.  Redesign means a new approach in dealing with the computing power of the graphics processor, which would now be supported by an additional ARM core (which is probably a ARMv8 64-bit processor).

Maxwell GPUs would offer a significant performance boost in computing power per Watt — 2.6x times faster than the current Kepler generation per Watt. But before you get too excited about this fact, it’s worth saying that it does not mean that the graphics cards will be 2.6x faster overall.  It means that the GPUs will be smaller (20nm), will generate less heat and consume less power.

GeForce GTX 700 Series – Kepler Refresh

But before we learn any details about Maxwell GPUs, there’s still a Kepler Refresh to come. These GPUs will likely launch in the first quarter of 2013. The most anticipated one is obviously a derivative of GK110 silicon.  However, NVIDIA will not launch the same GPU known from Tesla as a GeForce card. Some say it’s just a castrated version of it, some say it’s a completely new GPU.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Specification

  • GPU: GK2xx
  • Base Clock: 1100 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1150 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 1625 MHz (6500 MHz effective)
  • Memory type: 3GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 384-bit

According to Chip.de, the GeForce GTX 780, which would supposedly use this processor, may feature 2304 CUDA cores. The site also reveals that the card would use 3GB GDDR5 memory across a 384-bit interface. Nevertheless, our sources are less enthusiastic about this card. From what we know, it would have 1920 CUDA cores (2110 tops), 160 TMUs and 48 ROPs. Needless to say, probably the most certain information right now is the 384-bit interface. The site also mentions the exact clock speeds, but it seems that these are pure speculation, since NVIDIA does not usually launch their cards with such round clock numbers. Anyway, from what has been said so far, the GPU would be clocked at 1100/1150 MHz (for base and boost respectively), and the effective memory clock is 6500 MHz.

These specs suggest that the memory bandwidth would increase from 192 GB/s to 312 GB/s (that’s 62% increase). The texture fill-rate would be around 170.6 GT/s (32% increase) and pixel fill-rate 52.8 GP/s (64% increase)

The Kepler Refresh Naming

It’s still unclear whether NVIDIA will launch their new GPUs with the GK1xx or GK2xx naming. However our sources and the leak from previous week suggest that the Kepler Refresh is using a GK2xx scheme. What that means is there is no GK110 or GK114 powered GeForce graphics card coming.

GeForce GTX 780 Launch Date

The GTX 780 is currently planned for February/March 2013. First engineering samples should be available in January. The release date of GTX 780 might be changed depending of the sales of current Kepler cards. However the information that GeForce GTX 780 might arrive this year is a complete nonsense.