latest generation Turing GPUs
are built on a 12-nanometer manufacturing process, down from 16nm (TSMC) and 14nm (Samsung) parts cultivated for Pascal. Meanwhile, AMD is pumping out 7nm Navi GPUs. Wondering when NVIDIA might make the leap to 7nm as well? If a recent rumor is any indication, we could see graphics cards built around a 7nm Ampere GPU from NVIDIA next year.
Manufacturing nodes are just one piece of the puzzle, though. As things currently stand, NVIDIA's latest GeForce cards are more capable than AMD's Radeon parts overall—NVIDIA's GeForce RTX series
feature dedicated hardware for real-time ray tracing, and are generally faster at the top end in good old fashioned rasterized rendering, too.
Rumor has it NVIDIA is not in much of a hurry to scoot Ampere out the door. Simply put, it does not have to at the moment. According to HKEPC
, analyst Chris Caso (of Raymond James) says the success of NVIDIA's Turing-based cards has prompted the company to delay the launch of Ampere
. The transition to 7nm is coming, though.
Will NVIDIA Launch A GeForce RTX 3080 Ti At Computex In 2020?
Caso further states NVIDIA will launch its first 7nm Ampere GPUs in the data center
market next year, likely at GTC 2020, which runs from March 22 to March 26. Then at Computex 2020 in Taipei, which runs from June 2 to June 6, NVIDIA will launch consumer cards built around 7nm Ampere, Caso believes.
The rumor points to NVIDIA focusing on the high end initially, including GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards with Ampere inside. Then sometime later, we would see more affordable GeForce RTX 3070 and GeForce RTX 3060 cards.
Ampere will bring a new architecture to the fold, one that is presumably faster and hopefully more power efficient than Turing (a likely outcome, based on being a 7nm part). However, the rumors don't stop there. It's also said Ampere will have more specialized RT cores to deliver a "dramatic" uptick in real-time ray tracing performance.
How this all unfolds remains to be seen, and we caution against putting too much stock into the rumors. At the same time, it's inevitable that NVIDIA at some point will make a play in the 7nm space. We also know that AMD will launch a version of Navi with real-time ray tracing support on the hardware level next year. This will show up for sure in Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Project Scarlet
consoles, the former confirmed to launch in "holiday 2020."
It's also worth noting that Intel plans to launch its first modern discrete GPU in 2020
as well. So as interesting as this year has been for GPUs, next year could be even wilder.