Published in Graphics

Nvidia details performance improvements of new GPU architectures

by on21 September 2010


GTC 2010: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

During the GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang surprised hardware journalists with a very surprising announcement regarding the lineup of next-generation Nvidia GPU architectures. 

"For the very first time in the history of our company, we are going to tell you the codenames and the direction of our next several generations of processors," said Jen-Hsun Huang. We’re shipping Fermi today, which brought to the world very high-performance double precision. Fermi is rated at 768GFLOPS peak."

Jen-Hsun presented a keynote slide to the audience revealing two upcoming GPU architecture codenames, Kepler 28nm (2011) and Maxwell (2013).

"Our next-generation GPU, Kepler, also named after a scientist, is expected to deliver 3-4x the performance-per-watt of Fermi. Kepler is based on 28nm and we expect to go into production next year. By the time that we’re done with the Kepler family, we wil have probably invested a couple billion dollars in R&D for it. Kepler will achieve a big step up in comparison to Fermi in the area of performance-per-watt”

Jen-Hsun went on to explain the major design problem that faces parallel computing architectures. In perspective - "transistors are free, but power is not. If we are conscious about the use of performance-per-watt architectural ideas, then we'll continue to expand performance along with the number of transistors in new architectures."

Nvidia's CEO continued by announcing Maxwell, an even more futuristic architecture expected to be delivered in 2013. "Maxwell is going to be 16x performance improvement relative to our last GTC (2009). In just a few more years, we’re going to see a 16x improvement in performance for parallel computing applications. Between now and Maxwell, we’re going to introduce features like virtual memory. We’re going to enhance the GPU’s ability to autonomously process, so it’s less dependent on the CPU, along with a very large improvement in performance.”

Last modified on 22 September 2010
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