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nVidia tapes out Three new GPUs

GT212 not one of them
By: Sean Kalinich | Posted: Feb 11, 2009 1:46 pm

There is possibly some trouble over in the nVidia camp. It seems that while the green team has taped out three new GPUs (GT218, GT216, GT215) the long awaited GT212 is not on the list.


This omission has lead Charlie Demerjian to conclude that is has been killed off and will not see the light of day. While this may seem harsh there are some supporting facts. TSMC has recently admitted that its 40nm process is extremely leaky. This is compounded the large die style of GPUs that nVidia likes to make as the larger the die the more leakage occurs. Next is the fact that nVidia likes to put out the highest end parts first and work down from there, which makes good sense as you can always take away but it is hard to add to.


So when you put these together it does seem likely that the GT212 will not see silicone (at least not any time soon). As for the rest of the lineup; they should see general availability around the first part of May for the 218 and 216, with the 215 coming out roughly 30 days later.


The leaky 40nm die shrink will offer very little in the way of performance but might have the benefit of lowering costs for consumers.
However is TSMCs failure and leakage rates remain high nVidia might not be able to lower costs and still make anything off of the new GPUs.


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