Today marks the opening of NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, and to kick off the conference the company pulled a rare move, it decided to tell us what’s coming next. After the launch of Fermi last year, it seems NVIDIA is poised to launch the next version by 2011.
The next set of chips after Fermi will be called Kepler. Kepler chips will be based on a 28nm process, and will put out better performance per Watt than the current Fermi chips. Rather than the current 1.5 Gigaflops per Watt that the Fermi chips get, Kepler chips should come out to 5 Gigaflops per Watt. That a 3 to 4 times performance increase, which should reduce the amount of power used by NVIDIA’s GPUs, or at least make them much more efficient than they are now. Kepler chips will be in production by the end of this year, but are scheduled to ship in 2011.
Looking further ahead, NVIDIA has Maxwell chips coming in 2013 which will offer an even greater performance boost. All NVIDIA will say about Maxwell is the chips will see about a sixteen-fold increase in performance. Between the two chips NVIDIA plans to roll out updates to keep the chips relevant. The updates should include virtual memory and an enhance method for the GPU to handle autonomous functions.
The updates overall should decrease the cost of ownership for NVIDIA’s chips. It also means that Fermi GPUs will likely go down in price soon when Kepler chips come out, which should be good enough to hold you over until Maxwell in a few years.