Nvidia's Next-Gen Kepler Graphics Chips to Support DirectX 11.1

Nvidia's Kepler Family Roll-Out Will Take One Year

by Anton Shilov
11/28/2011 | 11:32 PM

Nvidia Corp.'s next-generation Kepler architecture for graphics processing units (GPUs) and compute accelerators promises a lot with its new levels of performance and new set of DirectX 11.1 capabilities. However, it will take Nvidia almost a year to fully roll-out the Kepler family, according to a newly published information.


In a bid to avoid a situation with massive delay of the new family, Nvidia will start with introduction of relatively simplistic products, code-named GK107 and GK106, according to information published by 4Gamer.net web-site. Although the GK107 (128-bit memory) will support DirectX 11.1, unlike the GK106 (256-bit memory bus) it will not feature PCI Express 3.0. The more powerful GK104 will feature PCIe 3.0 and 384-bit bus, whereas the GK110 is projected to carry two of such chips. Both GK104 and GK110 will be available later than the less advanced parts. The most advanced Kepler-family chip will be code-named GK112. The product is projected to feature 512-bit memory bus. The flagship single chip solution will be the last in the Kepler 1.0 family and will be presumably released towards the end of 2012.

All Kepler-generation of chips will be made using 28nm process technology at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Thanks to new fabrication process, the Kepler products have proved to be very efficient and competitive in the mobile space, according to Nvidia. The decision to address mobile computers first partly forced Nvidia to concentrate on development of entry-level solutions first.

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.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.