According to the latest information we managed gather, Kepler should start production this year, most likely in Q4 2011, but the actual GPU and cards based on it won’t hit the market before Q1 2012. This is at least one-quarter slip from Nvidia’s long term plan, but again the GPU should be there in time to sell together with Ivy Bridge CPUs. Ivy Bridge, the first 22nm CPU, is expected in March or April and Nvidia is expected to have both desktop and mobile chip launched before by then. However, Nvidia will be late for the holiday shopping season.
On the other hand, AMD is reportedly on time to launch its Southern Islands generation late this year and some reports even claim that all is in line for a September launch.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently said that Nvidia is better prepared for 28nm transition, but traditionally it was never easy to go from one design node to another.
Other sources close to the company also wanted to underline that despite the fact that Nvidia might be late to the game, overall they expect that Kepler 28nm can win against what Southern Islands have to offer. As always with such claims, a grain of salt is a must. It is still too early in the game and it’s anyone’s guess who will win the first 28nm round.