NVIDIA GT200 is massive - 576mm² die

Posted on Wednesday, May 21 2008 @ 03:51 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Theo Valich from TG Daily posted a few more snips about the upcoming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 200 series. He heard NVIDIA won't be able to fit many chips on a 300mm wafer as the chip with roughly 1 billion transistors measures 24mm x 24mm, resulting in a die area size of 576mm². The 65nm G92 has a die size of 330mm² and the old G80 had a die size of 484mm². Valich heard NVIDIA will get about 100 GT200 chips out of one 300mm wafer and that these GPUs will have a manufacturing costs of around $100 to $110 per piece.
With its new GPU generation, Nvidia is going to continue on the safe route and plan with enough spare transistors for 240 shader units (actually, 240FP+240MADD). Just like ATI's graphics parts and Sony Cell processor, this should not be considered odd. Keep in mind that the G92 chip debuted with 112 shader units and, after production had ramped up, Nvidia unlocked all the shader and texture units to create GeForce 8800GTS512, followed by the 9800GTX and GX2.

The same will be the case with the GeForce GTX 280 and 260. The GPU will have 15 processing units (240 shader processors) available on the GTX280, while the GTX260 will come with 12 units for a grand total of 192 shader processors. This may be an indication for the complexity involved in manufacturing such a part – especially if you think about the fact that Nvidia has a tradition of designing its GPUs completely in software and a massive supercomputer system in Santa Clara, California. The company always has been proud of the fact that every GeForce chip you buy essentially is “first silicon.”

Our sources state that the manufacturing cost of the GT200 die is somewhere between $100 to $110 per piece. It is pricey and you will be getting a lot more processing logic inside this core than with any other semiconductor part in the short history of the IT industry.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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