Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

Summary: At this week's GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia took the unusual step of introducing its road map for future graphics cards on the heels of its tumultuous Fermi launch.Among other issues, Fermi cards have been knocked for the large amount of power they draw, and Nvidia is looking to address that concern first with the Kepler platform, which was ballparked for 2011.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Processors
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At this week's GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia took the unusual step of introducing its road map for future graphics cards on the heels of its tumultuous Fermi launch.

Among other issues, Fermi cards have been knocked for the large amount of power they draw, and Nvidia is looking to address that concern first with the Kepler platform, which was ballparked for 2011. Kepler will be built on a 28nm fabrication process, and the shrinkage should lower wattage while promising improved performance per watt.

Following Kepler in 2013 will be Maxwell, which promises a big leap in performance -- 16 times over Fermi -- though few details were provided as how it will do so. Maxwell also will apparently rely less upon the CPU to assist it in its chores.

While Nvidia showed a new openness by revealing the road map, some critics are dubious about the performance estimates, especially given many of the problems that Fermi faced as it was readied for launch. In particular, noted Nvidia skeptic Charlie Demerjian isn't as hopeful about the numbers, believing that most of the promised gains are the result of Moore's law (the amount of transistors that can fit on a integrated circuit doubles every two years -- or 18 months, depending on whom you ask), rather than radical new technology.

Is Nvidia giving us a glimpse at Kepler and Maxwell because the current climate isn't so good for the green (chip) giant, or do you have faith that the road map will lead to graphics glory? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Hardware, Processors

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13 comments
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  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    I hope they make something competitive. BecAuse competition drives quality up and prices down. I still won't buy NVIDIA but it will make the ATI products that i buy, faster for less money.
    Jimster480
    • Quality of ATI

      @Jimster480 True but it wasn't until AMD brought out ATI that the driver support improved. I've lost count how many i've heard of ATI Driver issues while working it the I.T industary for a few years
      osbornj
      • Quality of ATI

        @josborn@... ATI/AMD drivers are still inferior. As far as Nvidia, I think they will get it right with Kepler, just like MS got it right with 7 after the Vista fiasco. For one thing they have the resources. And they aren't afraid to use them.
        j-mccurdy
  • Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    yup, i trust nvidia completely.............they'll surely do it, increasing competition; and lowering prices for us customers to buy the best value for money.. :)
    maxxon15
    • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

      @maxxon15 <br>Strange, i've never heard of a laptop being recalled because of an overheating ATI graphics chip.<br>Unlike the masses of Nvidia powered units which could result in glitches in display such as lines, at best, or fried motherboards at worst. An example would be the HP, DV series. Oh and some of these recalls were written off by the "spin factory" as being recalled for faulty batteries. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/silly.gif" alt="silly">
      I Hate Malware
      • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

        @I Hate Malware
        Was this comment meant for the discussion regarding drivers? I don't see the relevance to maxxon15's comment at all, moreover, if it was regarding the comments focused on drivers, over-heating is not a driver issue. Nvidia provides the GPU, different board manufacturers (or laptop manufacturers in this case) implement cooling solutions etc. Sure the fermi GPU's put out a lot of heat but many laptops deal with it amicably, i.e. it's not Nvidia's responsibility and has little-to-no relevance, unless you want to start a new line of argument suggesting that it's nigh-on impossible for a laptop to deal with the heat output of a fermi GPU in which case you could make a valid point but you also need to try to be clearer about the point you are making (if that is indeed the case).
        deadly_dodo
      • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

        @I Hate Malware
        Um this guy is a person who shouldn't be allowed here. ATI was plagued for 3-4 years of frequent OVERHEATS, which cause manufactures to replace them. i had two of them. now I have a much better one, that doesn't overheat or get so hot that you get slight burns. okay I have an ATI Laptop now with 5K series, but it still has way more problems then any nVidia laptops that i have played on. I am a sales and maintenance tech, and I touch a lot of flavors of PC's. One thing is for sure the last 5 years, nVidia is owning ATI/AMD. Just like Windows, look at the offers in OEM PC, then tell us how many are of what platform. Windows is most popular because it is on everything, same goes with intel. ATI/AMD is getting this attention, why, because they are cheaper, not becuase they perform any better or worse then the counter parts! Look at the market, then talk. you got some studying to do bucko!!
        Ez_Customs
  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    I can only hope that Nvidia gets its act together with the next generation, reducing power draw and heat generated to acceptable levels. I would like to think there is a viable alternative to ATI in other than the desktop market. Making the graphics chip user upgradeable in laptops wouldn't be too much to ask too would it?
    I Hate Malware
    • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

      @I Hate Malware

      Fan Boys with narrow minds should be banned from these kinds of forum posts. Every laptop will Overheat if not used properly, but all nVidia Cards and chipsets respectively that I have owned and/seen on customer computers, are normally cooler then the Equivalent ATI cards/chipsets! nVidia already has modular interfaces on laptops that support themin graphics cards! hit that one. If ATI has one now, it is only recently that it was made public.
      Ez_Customs
  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    what will happen it that it will take until 2015 for maxwell to show up due to nVidia failed promises. it will be less powerful than promised, it will be more powerful than the ATI alternative, but it will draw about twice as much power.
    Naryan
  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    I believe myself that both Nvidia and ATI have hit a wall on new tech for graphics. Keep in mind how many years now has Nvidia revamped/renamed cards? That's faster based on current tech not new tech.
    Fermi introduced new tech but, how many years has it been since new technology has been put into cards? Since Physx.
    jet1959mo
  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    Fermi will be able to hold on while nVidia prepares the next gen GPU's. jets right though nothing real new has been integrated into the Graphics cards sense Physics, but really what is left. audio I guess could merge into Graphics, but really that doesn't even really make much sense.

    I do openly swing towards nVidia, but I do appreciate both Cards equally On the Hardware levels I do lean to ATI, but honestly ATI has some Driver problems that just don't cut it for me, while nvidia is after Hardware and Software stability and how they work with one another. i own Both cards and when I really analyze the two, where one card fails the opposite excels. It truely is hard to determine which you should buy, and the decision has little to do with price, at least for me!!!
    Ez_Customs
  • RE: Nvidia's life after Fermi: Kepler in 2011, Maxwell in 2013

    @I Hate Malware : You gone mad bro??? What r u discussing??
    maxxon15