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NVIDIA Volta GPU to use TSMC 12nm process?

Posted on Tuesday, January 24 2017 @ 12:43:32 CET by

It's been a while since we last heard something about NVIDIA's future Volta GPU but now a couple of new rumors hit the web. As usual, I post this information with a disclaimer to take this news with a grain of salt as I can't vouch for the accuracy of these anonymous rumors.

NVIDIA to be use TSMC custom 12nm process?
The first rumor posted by TweakTown originated at the Beyond3D forums. Word on the street is that NVIDIA's Volta GPU architecture will be made on a custom 12nm process from TSMC. As I wrote a couple of days ago, this "12nm node" is basically TSMC's fourth-generation 16nm node, it promises lower power consumption, better performance as well as better cost-efficiency versus current 16nm nodes.

The naming of most process nodes is little more than marketing these days and TSMC feels the significant improvements to its latest 16nm technology warrant the use of the 12nm name. It's said that the 10nm node is more for SoCs and not for high-power applications, and that 7nm is too far away.

GeForce GTX 2000 series to be Pascal Refresh?
The second rumor is that we're going to get a Pascal Refresh before the arrival of Volta. These cards will be launched as the GeForce GTX 2000 series and will likely deliver 10-15 percent performance gains, potentially lower temperatures and more overclocking headroom.

Volta getting GDDR6 and HBM2?
Next is a rumor that NVIDIA will be using both HBM2 and GDDR6 memory for its Volta-based consumer video cards. HBM2 will be reserved for the higher-end models whereas GDDR6 may be used for the GTX 3080 and below. GDDR6 memory promises 16Gbps of bandwidth, about 60 percent more than GDDR5X.

Here's a basic overview of current expectations of the GV104, GV102 and GV110 GPUs:
NVIDIA will use the GV104 in its slightly higher than mainstream segment at $400 or so, where we should see the GeForce GTX 3070 and GTX 3080 powered by the GV104 core, with up to 16GB of GDDR6 RAM on a 256-bit memory bus.

As for the higher-end GV102-based product, we could expect up to 32GB of GDDR6 or HBM2 on these cards at the full 16Gbps bandwidth providing 512GB/sec of memory bandwidth. This could scale much higher, especially if HBM2 is thrown into the mix, we could see up to 1TB/sec (1024GB/sec) of memory bandwidth.

The GV110 core will be the Titan X successor, which is why I have predicted we will see up to 32GB of RAM being offered.



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