The rumour mill is cranking up for Nvidia Ampere

Written by Jennifer Allen

January 21, 2020 | 11:00

Tags: #ampere #rtx-3070 #rtx-3080 #rumours

Companies: #nvidia

Rumours are fast spreading regarding Nvidia's next-gen architecture, Ampere, and they're looking suitably promising. 

A report by MyDrivers has supposedly dug up initial specifications of cards known as GA103 and GA104. If the reports are accurate, it seems pretty likely that one will turn out to be the RTX 3080 while the other is the RTX 3070 card, forming the first wave of Ampere graphics cards. 

Specification wise, it's suggested that the GA103 (considered to be the RTX 3080) will have 60 streaming multiprocessors with each holding 64 cores, meaning 3870 shader processors. It's also been suggested to expect a 320-bit wide memory bus and up to 20GB of GDDR6 video memory. 

When it comes to the RTX 3070 (the GA104), similarly eye-catching specs arise too with rumours suggesting 48 streaming multiprocessors, and up to 16GB of GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit wide memory bus. 

Assuming this is all true. Some things don't quite add up, including the fact that the GPU IDs seem to be switched around from what one would expect.  

Weirdly, the news also emerged on Twitter a few days earlier from an anonymous Twitter user called, er, KittyCorgi. The crux of how reliable this is will mostly depend on where MyDrivers got its information, given they don't reference KittyCorgi so we're assuming it's from a separate source. 

All these rumours come only a couple of weeks after suggestions by Taipei Times that Ampere based chips will be 50 percent faster while requiring half the power consumption that current Turing architecture needs. If so, that'll be down to Ampere's use of the 7nm fabrication process. 

We already know at this point that TSMC and Samsung will be dealing with the 7nm Ampere GPUs, with most of the work being conducted by TSMC. 

Of course, for now, this is all rumours and speculations. It's obvious that whatever Ampere will offer, it's going to be better than Nvidia's existing architecture, but how much better is the question. Hopefully we'll find out more in the coming days and weeks. It seems likely we should expect announcements at something like GTC 2020 on March 22nd - Nvidia's technology conference. Besides an unveiling, that could also mean a release date. 

For now though, take this information with a hefty pinch of salt, and enjoy seeing what unfolds next. 




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