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June 5, 2018

Nvidia GeForce GTX 11 Series’ arrival is uncertain after Computex remark

by John_A

When Nvidia will introduce its GeForce GTX 11 Series graphics cards is still up in the air. A recent press release stemming from the Hot Chips technology summit in California in August originally said Nvidia would feature “their next-gen GPU,” but that statement has since been removed. Nvidia’s scheduled GPU talk at 11:30 a.m. on August 20 also shifted to “TBD.” Stuart Oberman was originally slated to talk about “Nvidia’s next-generation mainstream GPU.” 

“We will hear from the CPU and GPU giants: AMD featuring their next-gen client chip and Intel with an interesting die-stacked CPU with iGPU plus stacked dGPU,” the Hot Chips press release now states. 

Even more, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang admitted during a Computex press conference that gamers may not see next-generation graphics cards for “a long time from now.” Previously, the company was expected to launch a Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1180 graphics card in July, but that rumor shifted to August once the original Hot Chips press release went live. Now August may not even be on Nvidia’s roadmap. 

These two factors — the altered Hot Chips schedule and Jensen Huang’s statement — indicate that the company may have pushed back its GeForce GTX 11 Series launch. That is only speculation at this point, and the “long time” statement could merely play into gamer anticipation for the next-generation cards. Still, a fourth-quarter 2018 release window would still fall within Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s previous expectations for a GTX 11 Series portfolio rollout during the second half of 2018. 

Keep in mind that Nvidia is under a lot of pressure. While Nvidia is apparently aware that gamers are champing at the bit for next-generation graphics, the company still must answer to its shareholders. Graphics cards are a big chunk of Nvidia’s revenue, and the company hasn’t introduced an updated architecture since May 2016. Right now, most of what you hear from Nvidia revolves around artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, supercomputing, and robotics. 

The GeForce talk presented by Nvidia’s CEO during the Computex press conference highlighted the Max-Q design: A tweak of the current Pascal architecture to enable thinner gaming notebooks without sacrificing a lot of performance. These discrete GPUs run around 10 percent slower than their non-Max-Q mobile counterparts because they are required to generate less heat due to the slimmer form factors. 

Over the last two years, Nvidia rolled out 14 GTX 10 Series add-in cards for desktops spanning from the GT 1030 to the Titan Xp, eight discrete graphics chips for laptops, and three Max-Q mobile GPU variants. The architecture to be used in the GeForce GTX 11 Series is up in the air for now: Either Nvidia will fall back on its new Volta design used in the Titan V, or use a rumored new design called “Turing.” There is another code name floating around the rumor well — Ampere — pointing to the next generation family of Tesla cards. 

As a reminder, Nvidia’s CEO said during the company’s Fiscal 2018 fourth-quarter conference call in February that we should “expect Pascal to continue to be world’s best gaming platform for the foreseeable future.”  

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