Report: NVIDIA 28nm Desktop GPU Roadmap
Japanese website 4Gamer has revealed a detailed roadmap for NVIDIA's upcoming 28nm Kepler GPU line-up for desktops. As previously rumoured, the Kepler roll out will indeed be bottom-to-top, starting with the mainstream GK107 chip in Q2 2012 to the high-end GK110/2 parts later in the year. All Kepler GPUs are manufacted at TSMC's 28nm, use GDDR5 memory and feature DirectX 11.1 support, ready for Windows 8.
First to release will be GK107, a budget mainstream GPU. There's unlikely to be a Kepler based entry-level GPU. GK107 features 128-bit memory, and is first expected in notebooks, the desktop release being sometime in Q2 2012. Unlike the other GK chips (which support PCI Express gen 3), GK107 only features PCI-Express 2.
GK106 will be the mainstream performance part, replacing the GeForce GTX 560, featuring 256-bit memory. According to the roadmap, it is expected to release in late Q2 2012, not long after the GK107 release.
In 2012, NVIDIA is expected to embrace AMD's sweet-spot strategy, with no massive die. Instead, the top single GPU part will be GK104, featuring 384-bit 1.5 GB GDDR5 memory. GK104 is said to push out 2 TFLOPS, 30% higher than GTX 580. However, despite the smaller die, 4Gamer claims it consumes over 250W power. GK104 will release bang in the middle of 2012, perhaps during Computex time. Following right after GK104 will be GK110 – a dual GK104 flagship, thus completing NVIDIA's line-up for most of 2012 – remarkably similar to AMD's sweet spot strategy.
However, not for long, as late in 2012 / early 2013, NVIDIA plans to return back to a massive die with GK112, featuring 512-bit memory.
Details about Kepler remain sketchy, and such reports must be considered as preliminary estimates, at best. Meanwhile, AMD is rumoured to be preparing Southern Islands / HD 7000 for a Q1 2012 release, well before high performance Kepler GPUs reportedly hit the desktop market.