NVidia's Next Generation Kepler GPUs

The New Year is always a good time to get an overview of what to expect for the next 12 months. We have already seen what AMD are offering for the graphics market, and the first new products from their range have already launched. NVidia have also got a new range planned for this year, known as Kepler. Information about Kepler is still scarce, although NVidia have received in-house samples of some chips.

We are expecting to see 5 different cores in 2012. At the entry level, we have GK107. The mainstream GPU will be the GK106 core. The we have GK104, the highest performing single GPU product. GK110 will be the flagship GPU, and comprise 2 GK104 cores. Then some time later we will see a new flagship GPU, GK112, with a massive die. All the new offerings will be built using 28nm technology.

GK107 is expected to use a PCIe 2 interface, although the other models will have PCIe 3. It will have 128-bit GDDR5 memory and DirectX 11.1 support. The memory bandwidth in GK106 is increased to 256 bits, and in GK104 it's 384 bits. GK110 is a dual-GK104 model, and has dual 384-bit GDDR5. The high-end offering, GK112, will support 512-bit GDDR5.

GK104 will support either 1.5 GB or 3 GB memory. It will also offer more than 2 TFLOPS single-precision floating point performance, which is 60% higher than the similarly positioned GTX560 (1.26 TFLOPS) and 30% more than GTX580 (1.58 TFLOPS). This gives GK110 over 4 TFLOPS.

Although very little information is available to date, it is rumored that Kepler's CUDA core will support 64-bit integer arithmetic. It's unclear whether this will happen for the first products to market, or for later, higher performing parts, but it does look like anyone buying higher end products for compute intensive tasks will benefit from it.

The latest estimate on launch dates suggests that GK106 and GK107 will be available for mobile devices in January. GK104 is expected to be available in February or March, with GK110 possibly following in May/June.

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