Fudzilla was the first site to report that NVIDIA Maxwell chips were headed for launch in Q1 2014 and now they have received reports regarding the first Maxwell chip codenamed GM117 which will arrive on both desktop and mobile platforms.
NVIDIA Maxwell GM117 GPU Headed For Desktop and Mobile
With Maxwell, NVIDIA seems to be taking a bottom to top approach by releasing the entry level models first and high-end graphics chips later. We still don’t have any concrete details regarding the Maxwell architecture to the process these chips would be based on but NVIDIA seems to be focusing alot towards power efficiency with these chips on the mobile front and NVIDIA would expect some design wins with such a chip considering its low power consumption and low temperatures.
The NVIDIA Maxwell GM117 chip would be infused on both desktop and mobile platforms. For mobile, we expect that some of the recently leaked GeForce 800M series chips will introduce the Maxwell architecture while the high-end chips such as the Geforce GTX 880M is confirmed as a rebranded Geforce GTX 780M. On desktop, the same chip is expected to replace GK208 which is a Kepler based chip feature in the GT630 and GT640 OEM cards. Fudzilla also mentions the possibility of a GeForce GTX 650 successor in the works to launch in the following months.
The most interesting thing regarding Maxwell would be the Denver CPU which is possibly going to be introduced with the high-end cards. Denver CPU has already been introduced on NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 mobile chip and has been confirmed as a dual-core, 64-bit ARM v9 CPU which offloads some of the tasks from the GPU over to itself. We can expect NVIDIA to offload some of their PhysX processing which is handled by the CUDA Cores to be offloaded to the Denver CPU on the high-performance Maxwell GPUs to gain more performance and faster GPU physics processing. One thing is confirmed that Denver is ready (atleast of paper) and would find its way on Maxwell cards eventually.
It is possible that NVIDIA may unveil more information on their Maxwell core during the GTC 2014 (GPU Technology Conference) on 24th March 2014 so its going to be a pretty interesting event similar to AMD’s GPU14 where the announced their Volcanic Islands R200 series lineup. A few NVIDIA Maxwell GeForce chips have also been spotted which include engineering samples of GM108 and GM107 for notebooks which could possibly hint NVIDIA introducing their mobility lineup based on the 28nm architecture first and then introducing their high end desktop chips for both GeForce and Tesla markets.