by Anton Shilov
04/27/2010 | 02:51 PM
Although many analyst and observers claim that Nvidia Corp.’s latest code-named GF100 graphics chip, which powers GeForce GTX 400-series graphics cards, cannot be produced in mass quantities due to exceptional complexity, Nvidia itself claims that everything is under control and the company still has opportunity to release a graphics solution with 512 stream processors.
Nvidia gave the first glimpse onto the code-named GF100 chip (NV60, GT300, G300) and Fermi architecture in late September 2009 and with fanfares said that the graphics processing unit (GPU) had 512 stream processors inside. However, in a bid to improve yields of the GeForce GTX 400 product line, Nvidia disabled 32 out of 512 stream processors even on flagship GeForce GTX 480 graphics board. Nevertheless, after the product was formally launched on the 12th of April, it is still rarely available and where it is in stock, it costs much more than its recommended price of $499. Despite of this situation, Nvidia claims that a GPU with 512 stream processors may see the light of the day in the future.
“Nvidia does not comment on unannounced products; however, we have a chance to launch a graphics chip with 512 cores in the future,” said Drew Henry, the general manager of GeForce business at Nvidia, in an interview with DigiTimes web-site.
Nvidia GF100 chip – which powers both GeForce GTX 470 and GTX 480 graphics boards and will eventually power the Tesla C2000-series computing cards – is the most complex GPU to date, it consists of 3.1 billion of transistors and is made using TSMC’s 40nm process technology known for its insufficient yields. According to certain financial analysts, the yields of the GF100/Fermi chips was between 20% and 30%. Nonetheless, Nvidia claims that the yields are much higher.
“TSMC's yields for its 40nm process has met our expectations and market rumors about the yields being lower than 20% are completely untrue. We currently have everything under control,” said Mr. Henry.