Nvidia’s next gaming cards could be the GTX 11 Series, pack GDDR6 memory

Nvidia’s next family of graphics cards for gaming might not be the GeForce GTX 20 Series after all. An unnamed source claims that Nvidia will use the GTX 11 Series brand instead, staying somewhat true to the numerical order it’s used for years. The branding makes perfect sense, but if the source is correct, Nvidia doesn’t plan to label the new cards by tens, such as the current 1080 or 1070 models. Instead, Nvidia may go with the GTX 1181 or the GTX 1185. 

Nvidia introduced the GeForce 100 series in 2009, the successor to the GeForce 9 series launched in 2008. The company’s naming system progressed by the hundreds since the 100 Series hit the streets, ending with the 900 Series in 2016. Nvidia then jumped to the 10 Series in 2017 seemingly because it’s simply easier to read (and type) than “GeForce GTX 1000 Series” even though the cards have four digits. 

Yet in 2018, Nvidia’s naming scheme could go either way and it works just fine in the overall big picture: GTX 11 Series or GTX 20 Series. But Nvidia’s branding history shows that the company typically relies on product names that end with zeroes and fives, so the new, unannounced cards will likely end with a five as a logical differential from the current GTX 10 Series models. 

When the next family will appear is unknown, but all bets are placed July. Nvidia’s next batch of graphics cards will reportedly mostly rely on GDDR6 memory manufactured by SK Hynix. The memory will supposedly go into production around late June or early July, placing the GeForce GTX 11 Series launch sometime in the back half of July or during August.

According to reports, the GDDR6 memory will be 20 percent more expensive to manufacture than GDDR5. That said, the cost could trickle down to end-users but subside over time as mass production ramps up and GDDR6 becomes the norm for dedicated graphics memory. GDDR6 memory is expected to ship in 8GB and 16GB capacities on 256-bit GPUs operating around 16Gbps and possibly pulling 1.35 volts.

The upcoming GTX 11 Series is reportedly based on a new architecture code-named “Turing” while 2018’s Tesla and Quadro cards will be based on a new architecture code-named “Ampere” rather than the Volta design used in the current Telsa V100 and Titan V add-in cards.

Unfortunately, Nvidia didn’t reveal anything new card-wise for gamers and workstations during its recent developer conference, but instead focused on autonomous driving, robotics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and more. It’s possible Nvidia will introduce the GeForce GTX 11 Series during the E3 2018 gaming convention in early June, or shortly before the show with a July/August availability. The “Ampere” professional GPU reveal should follow thereafter.

Previously, Nvidia introduced the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards at a special event in early May 2016 followed by a retail launch at the end of the month. Since then, the company has rolled out a large selection of GTX 10 Series cards, with the GTX 1080 Ti serving as the latest and final GTX 10 Series product for desktops. Laptops packed with “Max-Q” variants are still rolling out to stores.

Updated on March 30: Added information regarding SK Hynix’s GDDR6 memory.