NVIDIA Begins 'Ultimate Countdown' To What Is Probably Its GeForce 30 Ampere GPUs

NVIDIA Countdown
The "Ultimate Countdown" has begun over on NVIDIA's official GeForce Twitter page, only we are not entirely sure to what. From the looks of things, it could be a big bang in the making, but let's hope not—despite all our problems, we've grown fond of this world as it exists. More likely, the Ultimate Countdown will take us to the unveiling of NVIDIA's next-generation GeForce RTX 3000 series, based on Ampere.

Whether they will actually be branded as GeForce RTX 3000 cards remains to be seen as well. The only seemingly sure thing is that Ampere will power NVIDIA's next-gen cards. We can hardly wait, especially with so many leaks and rumors pointing to big gains in both rasterized rendering and real-time ray tracing performance.

NVIDIA's tweet just consists of an 8-second video of what appears to be a supernova. In addition, the verified NVIDIA GeForce account changed its banner to what you up top—an image of the supernova with the words, "#The UltimateCountdown, 21 days. 21 years."

Let's parse that, shall we? August 31 is precisely 21 days from today (and the tweet went live today). If we hop in the DeLorean and set it to bring us back 21 years from that point, the date would be August 31, 1999. Does that ring a bell? Apple released its Power Mac G4, but we highly doubt NVIDIA is commemorating the date for that reason.

August 31, 1999 also happens to be when NVIDIA first announced the GeForce 256, marketing it as the world's first GPU. There had been 3D accelerators before then, but NVIDIA defined a graphics processing unit as "a single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second."

Will NVIDIA really launch Ampere on the 21st anniversary of the introduction of the first GPU? It is entirely possible. What makes this extra interesting, however, are the rumors suggesting a launch in mid-September, not late August.

NVIDIA might also be up to something else, though given the buzz around Ampere, it seems very likely that August 31 is the day it becomes official in the consumer space, following its launch in the machine learning sector with the A100 a few months ago.