Ampere And Turing: NVIDIA's Future GeForce Gaming And Cryptocurrency Mining GPUs?

NVIDIA's Pascal architecture has been underpinning its GeForce series of gaming GPUs for nearly the past two years – it’s high time for an upgrade. We've heard rumors of a GA104 GPU called Ampere that is supposed to underpin a new GeForce GTX 2000 series of graphics cards.

But there's another wrinkle in speculation of NVIDIA's next-generation GPU equation that was recently invoked by Reuters. The publication says that NVIDIA has another new GPU incoming codenamed "Turing," and makes just a passing reference to the GPU, noting, "The new GPU gaming chip, code named Turing, is expected to be unveiled next month."

Ethereum bitcoin mining

It is unknown if the GPU will be unveiled at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) or NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference (GTC). What's curious is that Turing is allegedly a gaming GPU. It's highly unlikely that Ampere and Turing are both gaming GPUs, so who's right? Given the rather tenuous sourcing of the Ampere rumors, we're more inclined to side with Reuters with respect to credibility.

Turing Machine
Experimental Turing Machine Prototype - Credit: Wikimedia/Raynaudmarc

alan turing 150pxHowever, that brings us back to the name, Turing. Alan Turing was an English mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst (among other things) and inventor of the Turing machine which is capable of simulating algorithmic logic. With that in mind, the Turing name seems more fitting for a dedicated cryptocurrency mining GPU. Given that NVIDIA is currently struggling to provide adequate supplies of its GeForce GPUs for gamers (due to the fact that cryptominers have been hogging them all up, looking to make an extra buck), having dedicated SKUs to serve both market segments might prove to be a sound strategy. Ethereum mining, for example, on a GPU optimized for cryptocurrency mining could be a significant revenue driver.

It could very well be that NVIDIA is actually taking a two-pronged approach to the GPU market, and that could make a lot of sense, given current market supply/demand dynamics. 

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point, and we won't truly know for sure that NVIDIA has in store until GDC and GTC 2018 take place next month. Until then, the rumors and leaked specs for NVIDIA's upcoming GPU products are only going to pick up steam.