The Nvidia Ampere GPUs could symbolize the following technology of graphics structure from the large inexperienced GPU making machine, however will they be monstrous professional-level chips, or the kind of silicon shinies to make all our video games look superior? We’re principally betting on the previous, and I’m speculating that will make Ampere the logical successor to Volta quite than a gaming design like Turing.
“We are going to at all times have one thing for you sooner or later,” mentioned Nvidia’s Collette Kress at an investor/analyst briefing final 12 months, “however we prefer to shock everyone with our total roadmaps and when issues come out.”
It certain does. Actually Nvidia hasn’t had an official, revealed roadmap for years – the final structure to function on one was the previous Volta design which has populated the skilled Tesla house since 2017. Turing got here out of the blue, as a graphics-focused structure against the extra compute-centric design of Volta’s highly effective GPU. So we don’t really know for certain what the next-gen Nvidia graphics structure goes to be referred to as. However the hypothesis appeared to have settled on Ampere a protracted whereas in the past, so we’ll go together with that for now.
However wait, there may be one other… Earlier than the top of 2019 one other Nvidia architectural codename was registered by the green team: Hopper. Presumably named after Grace Hopper, the American naval laptop scientist and pioneer of girls in computing, the trademark was registered on December 4, 2019.
There may be, nevertheless, no Nvidia Ampere within the US trademark database, so who is aware of if that’s even going to be a factor. There are a whole lot of different trademark entries for ‘Ampere’ together with a bunch registered by Ampere Computing as regards to “laptop techniques comprised of silicon primarily based microprocessors, servers, and software program for working computing techniques utilized in datacenters and cloud computing.”
Which may be slightly shut for consolation on the entire contested trademark entrance… Perhaps Ampere was the preliminary identify for Turing earlier than Nvidia found the competitors for the identify, perhaps not.
The Ampere naming scheme appears to comply with with the GA104 and GA104-400 chips which appeared in EEC registration listings in the summertime of 2018, again after we thought they’d be the GPUs powering the following technology of GeForce GPUs. That was properly earlier than we noticed something of the TU102, TU104, and TU106 chips launched a couple of months later.
However nonetheless, trademark databases aren’t forged iron ensures about what Nvidia goes to name its subsequent technology of graphics playing cards, whether or not registered or not. In spite of everything, the Volta trademark wasn’t really filed till the 12 months following the disclosing of the Volta structure and the Tesla V100 in 2017 at GTC.
So let’s take it as learn that there will likely be Ampere GPUs, and let’s take it that Nvidia has a chic naming scheme for its future GPU architectures. And if we do this then Ampere appears to make much more sense as an architectural comply with up for Volta than it does to Turing. There’s no affirmation that Nvidia is sticking with a twin structure strategy – one for its high-end professional/Tesla-level graphics and one for its GeForce and Quadro strains – however it looks as if the best way the trade goes.
AMD has GCN for compute and RDNA for gaming, in any case.
After which it could make some semantic sense for the Hopper codename to comply with Turing as the following technology of gaming GPU architectures. Nvidia Ampere for compute and Nvidia Hopper for gaming.
Perhaps we’ll discover out extra at CES subsequent week, however it doesn’t appear to be Nvidia is making any grand bulletins on the Vegas present. In order that would depart its GTC occasion in March as the following logical place to listen to in regards to the subsequent technology of Nvidia’s GPUs. However will Jen-Hsun be donning his trademark leather-based jacket to wax lyrical about Ampere or Hopper? Who is aware of…