We are at the tail end of the work week, so let's cap things off with a juicy rumor, shall we? Or maybe it better to refer to this as wild speculation. Whatever you want to call it, chatter on the web suggests that NVIDIA is preparing a next generation GPU called "Ampere," and that NVIDIA will officially introduce new graphics cards based around Ampere in or around April. Wouldn't that be something?
This feels more like a shot in the dark to us. It certainly is not leaked information. The rumor traces back to a German-language website, 3DCenter, which posted an article with information plucked from its readers in a forum discussion. And in that discussion, one the readers suggests that TSMC had stopped producing NVIDIA's GP102 GPU several months ago. If you don't follow these things, the GP102 is what sits inside the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and current generation Titan cards.
If that is true, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti could start to disappear from store shelves, more so than it already has due to cryptocurrency mining. The article further states that production of a new GPU, GA104 based on Ampere, will kick off sometime this month. This will lead to new cards, namely the GeForce GTX 2000 series consisting initially of the GeForce GTX 2070 and GeForce GTX 2080.
The obvious question here is what about Volta? NVIDIA already launched Volta in the form of its Tesla V100, which sports 5,120 CUDA cores, 16GB of HBM2 memory, and 640 dedicated Tensor cores designed specifically to speed up AI workloads. If we are to buy into this rumor, it seems NVIDIA plans to maintain Volta as an AI and HPC (high performance computing) architecture, and Ampere for gaming.
One interesting wrinkle to all this is that NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang doubled down on Pascal during a recent earnings call. He said that NVIDIA expects "Pascal to continue to be the world's best gaming platform for the foreseeable future," which makes an April launch of a new GPU seem unlikely. But hey, anything can happen, right?