Unwitting NVIDIA Intern May Have Leaked Pics Of Titan Volta GPU

Internet sleuths have stumbled upon a set of pictures posted to a Facebook account belonging to an intern at NVIDIA and in the process may have discovered the first look at a next-generation Titan graphics card. The speculation is that the Titan graphics card shown in the pictures could be based on NVIDIA's Volta GPU architecture, which to date has only manifested on the company's Tesla V100 accelerator.

At first glance, the card appears to be an existing Titan variant, though a closer examination reveals some key differences that hint of a next-generation part. For one, the style of the shroud is different. And while it is difficult to see, the card's shroud looks like it is using the same gold/yellow shade as the Tesla V100.

Titan Graphics Card

A bigger clue at what we're looking at is the lack of SLI connectors on the mysterious Titan card. They are not found on the top of the card as we would expect, so either they don't exist on this particular card, or they've been relocated to a part of the Titan that is not visible in any of the pictures. Either way, it is a noticeable deviation from existing Titan graphics cards, and a clue that we might be looking at a prototype part.

Looking closer, the exposed printed circuit board (PCB) on the side shows two notices in the middle of the Titan logo. These appear to be NVLink connectors. That is a bit of an odd combination (Titan and NVLink), and another strong hint that this is a prototype card. It could also be a really good Photoshop job, which is always a possibility when looking at supposedly leaked photos.

Titan Volta

Yet another possibility is that the card depicted is an older prototype for the original Pascal-based Titan X graphics card, one that might have been used to test a variant with second generation high bandwidth memory (HBM2). That would explain why it is in the hands of an intern, versus a next-generation card that NVIDIA is not yet ready to show the world.

Either way, things are getting interesting in the GPU space. AMD is starting to push Vega, which it hopes will steal the performance crown from NVIDIA, while Volta could see its way onto consumer cards by the end of the year or early 2018.