NVIDIA GeForce Maxwell Lineup To Feature Four GM204 GPU SKUs – Rumors Point To 16nm Revision in Late 2015

Hassan Mujtaba

An interesting article has been written by Videocardz which points out that NVIDIA might be preparing four GM204 GPU SKUs for their next generation GeForce Maxwell graphics cards. NVIDIA's GeForce Maxwell line graphics cards which will feature the GM204 GPU such as the one which was recently leaked is reported to launch in the next few months but the GM204 GPU featured on the graphics card might not be the only one of the entire GeForce Maxwell stack.NVIDIA GM204 GPU

NVIDIA GeForce Maxwell Lineup To Feature Four GM204 GPU SKUs

If we take a look back at things NVIDIA did with Kepler, the report might actually be valid considering NVIDIA's GeForce 600 series has three GK104 (GeForce Kepler) based GPUs for the GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 660 Ti and two GK114 (GeForce Kepler Revision) GPUs for the GeForce 700 series cards including the GeForce GTX 770 and GeForce GTX 760. Based on the 28nm Kepler architecture, the GK104 has spanned quite some time as NVIDIA's top-end to mainstream chip in the market before being replaced by the faster GK110 graphics processor which was unleashed with the GeForce GTX Titan graphics card back in February 2013.

According to the source and as we previously know, the GM204 is part of the second generation Maxwell core architecture which will offer some architectural and efficiency improvements over the first generation Maxwell core which is currently available on the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750 graphics cards. The GM107 which is obviously an entry level part should not be compared to the more enhanced GM204 core but the core architecture changes will be added to the design while keeping the same DNA offering an extremely power efficient design and more performance per watt than the current Kepler generation cards. The GM204 will power the GeForce GTX 880 which has been leaked in engineering state earlier featuring 8 GB GDDR5 memory and some other improvements which we can't really decrypt at the moment but in addition to that, there would be other GM204 GPUs which will be integrated in cards aside the GeForce GTX 880 just like the cut down GK104 GPUs on GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 760 and GeForce GTX 660 Ti. The four models will include the following:

  • GeForce GTX 880 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 880
  • GeForce GTX 870
  • GeForce GTX 860

If true, then this would mean that the GeForce GTX 880 won't be the fastest graphics card in the lineup which will pave in room for the GeForce GTX 880 Ti. Its hard to confirm whether this part will actually launch and even more harder to tell whether the differences will exist in the core configuration or clock speeds. Judging from the parity in core configuration of GeForce GTX 780 Ti and GeForce GTX 780, we can say that the core count will be lesser on the non-Ti variant and even further toned down in the lower models (e.g. GeForce GTX 870/GeForce GTX 860) which will be done to offer more competitive priced parts. All GPUs will feature the second generation of GeForce Maxwell core architecture and will be launched in between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 while the GeForce GTX 880 will hit shelves during Summer (Q3 2014). More details on the GeForce GTX 880 can be found in the previous analysis of the PCB itself.

So all this concludes the the era of the GK104 will finally come to an end just like AMD's Tahiti is going to be replaced by Tonga in August 2014. Both GPUs have served a span of over two years in the graphics industry and we can hope their successors will be a true replacement for these glorified cores.

NVIDIA's GeForce Maxwell Revision Rumored To Be Based on 16nm Process - Ditching 20nm?

The second and first generation Maxwell details are starting to get uncovered but there's a revision of the NVIDIA GeForce Maxwell cards which is already under plans. Now before beginning, all of this is just plain old rumor from Semiaccurate who have been inaccurate regarding Denver and Sea Islands in the past but they do get some pieces right so for your own best, take this with a grain of salt.

NVIDIA's GeForce Maxwell was known to be a 20nm part since its announcement a couple of years back however due to process delays from TSMC, this led to a change in NVIDIA's schedule hence the first generation Maxwell core which launched as the GM107 GPU didn't arrive as a 20nm unit but rather based on the existing 28nm die process which has been running since 2012. While TSMC has 20nm production geared up now since their Apple 20nm production quota has been finished, the company is going to stat manufacturing 20nm units for the rest of the industry which includes AMD and NVIDIA in the graphics industry. Now there have been reports that the first generation and second generation cores from Maxwell may not be built on 20nm and use the existing technology which is 28nm process.

According to semiaccurate, after second generation of Maxwell ships to the market, NVIDIA will have a third generation of Maxwell GPUs on the verge of launch. It will take around 6-10 months time frame for NVIDIA to have these new cards ready since they will include the flagship GM200 GPU which replaces the GK110 but the new cards will be built on a 16nm process technology, entirely ditching the 20nm process. This also points that another revision of the GM204 would launch when NVIDIA introduces the far-from-launch "GeForce 900 series" (Not Official Name) which will include the revised Maxwell GPUs. The GM204 is currently available in revision A so it could either mae a transition to "B" revision or a name change "GM214" could be possible similar to GK114 from GK104 or both?

There's alot going on over at NVIDIA which we don't know of at the moment. The only thing we currently know regarding second generation Maxwell is the PCB shot which was leaked a last week and even details regarding that are still not fully revealed. Its best to wait for a bit more time until details on the GeForce GTX 880 start to pop out since only then we could make a more comprehensive analysis of the GeForce Maxwell architecture and the GPUs beyond it.

  • NVIDIA GM200 (Maxwell Architecture, High-Performance for Telsa/Quadro Arrives later for Cosnumers, Successor of GK110)
  • NVIDIA GM204 (Maxwell Architecture, High-End Consumer, Successor of GK104, First GeForce 800 Series Products likely to feature)
  • NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell Architecture, Performance Minded, Successor of GK206, Mid-Range GeForce 800 Series products to feature)
  • NVIDIA GM107/207 (Maxwell Architecture, Entry Level, Successor of GK107, Entry Level GeForce 800/700 Series To feature, Already introduced on GTX 750 Ti / GTX 750)

Do tell us if we missed out anything in the Disqus comments section below!

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880 Specifications (Speculated):

GeForce GTX 480 GeForce GTX 580 GeForce GTX 680 GeForce GTX 780 GeForce GTX 780 Ti GeForce GTX 880
Codename GF100 GF110 GK104 GK110 GK110 GM204
Process 40nm 40nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm/20nm
GPU Core Fermi Fermi Kepler Kepler Kepler Maxwell
Memory 1.5 GB 1.5 GB 2 GB 3 GB 3 GB / 6 GB 8 GB
Memory Bus 384-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit 384-Bit 384-Bit 256-bit
Launch March 26th 2010 November 09 2010 March 22nd 2012 May 23rd 2013 December 2013 2H 2014
Price $499 US $499 US $499 US $499 US $699 US $499 US?


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