Nothing gets PC gamers drooling like the prospect of a new and improved GPU. If that's true, Nvidia fans must be suffering from a serious case of dry mouth. It's been almost a year since the company announced a GPU road map that promised to launch the new 28nm Kepler in the second half of 2011. Well, it's the second half of 2011, and we haven't heard much about Kepler since. Maybe it was an embarrassed silence; today, the company confirmed that Kepler won't be hitting the shelves until 2012.
Remember all the hoopla leading up to Nvidia's Fermi launch? We were teased with leaked photos, benchmarks, and several delays due to reported defects. Nvidia eventually ironed out whatever bugs it needed to in order to get Fermi to market in the form of a GTX 480, a fast videocard with a group of stream processors disabled. It also ran hot and a little bit loud, ultimately leading us to declare the the GTX 580 "the real Fermi" (see our review here). We're expecting a much smoother rollout to Fermi's successor, though it appears delays are still part of the game.
As a hobby, building PCs is no place for the fickle minded, not unless their wallets run deep. No sooner do you power on your DIY build, you find every part inside is already old news, or soon will be. And if you just picked up a Fermi card, well, this applies to you too.
During Nvidia's GPU Technical Conference, the graphics chip maker revealed its GPU roadmap for the next several years. About to go into production is "Kepler," Fermi's successor that will come built on a 28nm manufacturing process.
"We expect to go into production later next year, the design is progressing vvery rapidly. There are hundreds of engineers working on it," said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia.
Barring any delays, Kepler is due to arrive in the second-half of 2011. Two years later, Nvidia plans to release a part codenamed "Maxwell," which the company says will offer two to three times the performance of Fermi.