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NVIDIA's reveal of Pascal teases the next-gen GeForce video cards

By: Anthony Garreffa | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: Apr 16, 2016 9:41 am

If the P100 is anything to go by, the GP100 (the consumer version) is going to be very close. We shouldn't expect the GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 to be anything close to what the GP100-based card will be, and that's exciting.




We should expect a new GeForce GTX Titan X or GTX 980 Ti successor to be unveiled later this year, with NVIDIA most likely waiting to see what AMD does with its Polaris-based offerings next month. The GP100-based video cards will most likely make use of HBM2 as the yields will be low continuing into the year - where in 2017 we should see HBM2 really stretch its legs.



The Shift To 16nm


The new Pascal architecture has been an amazing tease so far, but I think the big things are still to come. Firstly, no matter what - any consumer GeForce video card powered by the Pascal architecture is going to be one of the most impressive GPU advancements we've seen.



This is not just thanks to NVIDIA's work on the Pascal architecture, but thanks to it being made on the exciting new 16nm FinFET process by TSMC. This is the first time we've shifted nodes in over five years, as we've been stuck at 28nm for what feels like forever.




AMD released the first 40nm GPU back in 2009 with the Radeon HD 4770, and it was a pretty damn good leap over the 55nm-based offerings at the time. But the shrink down to the 28nm process happened quickly in 2011, with the release of the Radeon HD 7970.


We've been sitting on the 28nm node for five years now, so the shift to 16nm has been a very welcome one. It's truly an exciting time as in the last five years, we've gone through some incredible technological improvements - with one of those areas being storage (SSDs are now easily pushing 2GB/sec), CPUs (20-theaded CPUs on their way), Windows 10, DirectX 12, VR headsets, and so much more.


But, we've been sitting on 28nm GPUs for five years - and now, our day is nearly here. 16nm GPUs are going to come in and knock our socks off, so in the preparation of that, I've been walking around barefoot or in sandals, for months now.



Final Thoughts


Can you believe that we're only weeks away from the unveiling of the first true next-gen video cards? The shift to 16nm is incredibly exciting, as is the new GPU architecture from NVIDIA in the form of Pascal.


I believe that what we're going to see in the coming weeks is purely a tease, a not-so-physical show of leg to the world. NVIDIA are in no rush to release something out 'just cos' as they have somewhere in the vicinity of 80% of the discrete GPU market.


This is an undeniably huge part of the gaming market, so with careful and well-priced video cards, NVIDIA could begin tightening the grip around AMD's neck right now. But AMD and its refreshed RTG division aren't just waiting around twiddling their thumbs; they're preparing their new Polaris architecture, which is just as exciting.


The weeks and months ahead are going to be an incredible time for technology enthusiasts, but if you're into video cards, multi-GPU setups, VR or PC gaming (or both!), then you better sit down into your seat, because this is going to be a wild ride.

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