Nvidia Corp. has learnt its lesson when it unveiled code-named Fermi architecture about half a year ahead of actual release and would like to ensure instant availability of next-generation graphics cards after the formal launch, according to unofficial information. At present the company considers to schedule the launch of code-named Kepler products on March or April.
Nvidia, a leading designer of various multimedia processors, did not show any new graphics cards at the Consumer Electronics Show last week and even did not make any comments regarding its next-gen Kepler graphics processing unit (GPU) products. Instead, the company focused on demonstration of products running Nvidia Tegra 3 system-on-chips, including tablets and even cars. Although the market is clearly shifting towards portable and ultra-portable computing, standalone GPUs remain the most important business for Nvidia and the lack of any mention about Kepler was somewhat surprising.
According to information from VR-Zone web-site, Nvidia's new plan dictates launching the GeForce Kepler when the company is able to insure hardware availability and have all of its partners covered. While the approach may not be the best from advertising and marketing points of view, it is clear that instant availability allows Nvidia to sell more hardware since there will be loads of emotional pre-orders online after reading product reviews, whereas waiting kills emotions.
Kepler is Nvidia's next-generation graphics processor architecture that is projected to bring considerable performance improvements and will likely make the GPU more flexible in terms of programmability, which will speed up development of applications that take advantage of GPGPU (general purpose processing on GPU) technologies. Some of the technologies that Nvidia promised to introduce in Kepler and Maxwell (the architecture that will succeed Kepler) include virtual memory space (which will allow CPUs and GPUs to use the "unified" virtual memory), pre-emption, enhance the ability of GPU to autonomously process the data without the help of CPU and so on. Entry-level chips may not get all the features that Kepler architecture will have to often. Production of Kepler chips was supposed to start in Q4 2011.
Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.