It’s that time of year again: The delightful tradition of drinking green beer, getting ready to hide colorful eggs, and sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what Nvidia has up its sleeves for 2018. The company’s GPU Technology Conference kicks off on Tuesday, March 26, starting with a keynote you can stream right here at 9 a.m. PT.
Nvidia’s conference is all about providing developers with numerous sessions dealing with artificial intelligence, gaming, cloud services, science, robotics, data centers, deep learning, and so much more. It’s a good way to grab interesting news that otherwise would go unannounced and tend to fall within the context of a specific session. But typically, the keynote is where Nvidia cooks up its tastiest meat.
We’re not exactly sure what Nvidia plans to discuss during the keynote. There is a good chance the company will introduce its next family of add-in GeForce graphics cards, the GTX 20 Series. These cards may or may not be based on Nvidia’s latest GPU design, Volta, first introduced in its $2,999 Titan V and Tesla V100 graphics cards.
Nvidia may also introduce add-in cards built specifically for cryptocurrency mining. These cards may or may not be based on Nvidia’s Volta architecture too, or they could be the recently leaked dedicated cryptocurrency cards based on a modified version of the company’s older GP102 “Pascal” chip powering Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti graphics card.
But given the nature of the rumor mill, there is more to the story than what we provided here. Rumors claim that Nvidia merely introduced “Volta” in 2017 as a new architecture for the enterprise and data center markets while “Ampere” will be the 2018 replacement making its debut during the keynote. Meanwhile, 2017’s “Pascal” architecture for the gaming market will supposedly be replaced by 2018’s “Turing” design in July.
This would be a departure from the norm for Nvidia. For instance, Nvidia’s GeForce cards in 2012 are based on the “Fermi” architecture whereas cards released in 2014 and 2015 are based on its “Kepler” design followed by “Maxwell” in 2016. The current “Pascal” design made its debut in the current GeForce 10 Series in 2017 while “Volta” appeared in the Tesla V100.
Seemingly throwing a monkey wrench into that specific rumor is the Titan V: A Volta-based add-in graphics card for the desktop PC. Technically it could serve for “every industry” although Nvidia typically reserves its “Titan” branding for gamers. But you won’t see the “gaming” term used anywhere on the product page, as according to Nvidia, the card really isn’t meant for gaming. It targets the professional market, such as machine learning.
That said, Nvidia’s possible new strategy is to develop two GPU architectures versus one. The company’s gaming and cryptocurrency cards may rely on the “Turing” architecture while the next Tesla and Titan cards may rely on the “Ampere” architecture. Everything here is speculation, of course, as we wait for Nvidia to spill the official beans during Tuesday’s keynote.
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