Nvidia’s Next-Generation Graphics Cards Finally Get Official Names

Nvidia’s Readies GeForce GTX 480, GTX 470 Graphics Boards

by Anton Shilov
02/01/2010 | 11:05 PM

Nvidia Corp. has finally revealed the official names of its highly-anticipated graphics cards based on the code-named GF100 (NV60, G300, GT300) graphics processing unit (GPU). Apparently, the company decided to not to use the GeForce 300-series name for high-end products and introduce GeForce 400-series instead.

 

On Monday Nvidia said in a blog post that GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470 will be the names of the first two GPUs shipped based on the new GF100 chip. Since Nvidia earlier rebranded several its entry-level products under GeForce 300-series, it is not a surprise that the company decided to call its products based on code-named Fermi architecture as the GeForce 400-series so to avoid confusion.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, 2010, Nvidia said it had initiated mass production of its code-named GF100 graphics chip. It is expected that the company will start to sell graphics cards based on the new GPU in March or April.

The leading supplier of graphics processors has reportedly notified its partners that it would officially launch the GeForce “GF100” graphics chip in March ’10, according to a previous media report. In addition, Nvidia plans to release a rather mysterious code-named GF104 chip in Q2 2010. The GF104 graphics processing unit will target the high-end market, according to the media report.

The flagship Fermi graphics processor will feature 512 stream processing engines (which are organized as 16 streaming multi-processors with 32 cores in each) that support a type of multi-threading technology to maximize utilization of cores. Each stream processor has a fully pipelined integer arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and floating point unit (FPU). The top-of-the-range chip contains 3 billion of transistors, features 384-bit memory GDDR5 memory controller with ECC and features rather unprecedented 768KB unified level-two cache as well as rather complex cache hierarchy in general. Naturally, the Fermi family is compatible with DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.x and OpenCL 1.x application programming interfaces (APIs). The new chips will be made using 40nm process technology at TSMC.