Nvidia may Skip 20nm and go straight to 16nm finFET

GK104 may retire soon. 800 Series Incoming?

Nvidia may Skip 20nm and go straight to 16nm finFET 

800 Series Incoming? 

The exact plans of AMD and Nvidia are a mystery at present, there have been many problems when it came to the 20nm process technology that has undoubtedly delayed the next generation of graphics cards.

Rumors until now hinted at the next generation was delayed until at least the end of next year and will be using the TSMC 20nm process node. Now Vidiocardz has reported to the contrary, citing semiaccurate as a source (which sadly requires a paid subscription to access). They say that new 28nm based Nvidia GPUs will be made available starting in October of this year and will be using the GM204 GPU core with between 1920 to 2560 stream processing units. These GPUs are to be names as follows.

  • GeForce GTX 880 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 880
  • GeForce GTX 870
  • GeForce GTX 860

One thing to not here is that the Flagship GPU here has 2560 GPU cores, which is less than that of the current Nvidia Flagship GPUs. This suggests that the Next Generation Nvidia GPUs will not be much more powerful that the current generation or Nvidia has greatly increased their GPUs efficiency with Maxwell.

Nvidia to skip 20nm to use 16nm finFETs

TSMSs 20nm process has been a strange one, at present only one version of this process is available which can be used to make low cost mobile chips to even high end processors (like desktop CPUs and GPUs). This process has been considered too expensive by both AMD and Nvidia, as process yields are reported to be very low and production capacities are very limited.

This is where 16nm FinFET process technology comes in, for early 2015 it makes much more sense than 20nm manufacturing technology as it will be more profitable and usable by AMD and Nvidia. Not only that but TSMC have already developed a FinFET+ node, which is reported to be better for mass volume chip production later in the year which will again have notable benefits for the companies that use it.

According to TSMC the 16nm FinFET+ provides up to 15 per cent performance improvement over normal 16nm FinFET at the same level of power consumption. At the same clock-rate, chips produced using 16nm FinFET+ are expected to consume 30 per cent less power compared to the same chips made using 16nm FinFET. Also current 20nm fabs are said to be 95% ready for the 16nm process, meaning TSMC can easily move to handle the volume of orders of 16nm parts.

I will say now that this info remains unconfirmed by Nvidia, and that will likely not change soon. If you want to discuss this topic further please head over to the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

09-07-2014, 08:42:42

It looks like Nvidia may skip the 20nm process entirely, but what does that mean for us?

(There is also some speculation on the 800 Seires!)


Read more hereQuote

09-07-2014, 09:16:06

Is the "Read more here" supposed to be a link? If so it doesn't seem to be working for me.Quote

09-07-2014, 09:18:47

Been seeing these rumours all morning, and to be honest I'm not feeling it.. the next logical step in manufacture would be to go 22nm or 20nm skipping it would be financially disasterous for nVidia, as waiting for 16nm is a loooong way off. And there are the gate hurdles and 3D finfet (vias logic) (I'll cover that later).

Until I see a roadmap or nVidia press release I'm taking a back seat.Quote

09-07-2014, 09:22:50

Originally Posted by mclarenman01 View Post
Is the "Read more here" supposed to be a link? If so it doesn't seem to be working for me.
Fixed now mate, sorry about that.Quote

09-07-2014, 09:24:43

Excellent write up WYP

TSMC Update: 09/07/2014
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) plans to speed up the development of its 10nm process to fend off competition from Samsung Electronics, which reportedly has landed 14nm FinFET chip orders from Qualcomm, according to industry sources.

TSMC and Samsung are currently competing fiercely in the development of FinFET process, with the Korea-based foundry house utilizing a 14nm process and TSMC a 16nm node. Both the 14nm and 16nm processes are scheduled to enter volume production in early 2015.

TSMC has been pioneering the development of the FinFET technology and originally planned to begin producing 16nm FinFET chips in the fourth quarter of 2014, said the sources.

Nevertheless, TSMC has rescheduled the commercial production of 16nm FinFET process, and instead plans to roll out a more advanced 16nm FinFET Plus process, which will consume less power and further reduce die sizes.

However, Samsung's development of its 14nm process has been faster than what TSMC has thought, pushing the Taiwan-based foundry house to accelerate the development of the 10nm technology in order to maintain its lead, commented the sources.
Source: DigitimesQuote

09-07-2014, 10:04:33

Here we go again, using mid range chips giving high end part numbers.....Quote

09-07-2014, 10:40:35

I would love to get all the top brass of Nvidia together and 1 by one slap them across the face with a mallet and just say to them "No"Quote

09-07-2014, 11:52:00

Such rumour, much speculation. To much rumour and speculation surrounding Nvidia Maxwell at the moment

I think they will release the 800 series Q4 this year, or maybe Q1-Q2 next year which will be 28nm parts. And then during Q3-Q4 2015 they will release the 900 series which will either be 16nm if this is true, or 20nm. Until we hear it from the hourses mouth we wont know for sure though.Quote

09-07-2014, 14:10:25

This article from 2 years ago was kind of painting the picture back then.


Originally Posted by SieB View Post
Such rumour, much speculation. To much rumour and speculation surrounding Nvidia Maxwell at the moment
The only thing you can take for certain is their complete silence on the matter. If Nvidia had a new GTX 880 that was 30% faster than the 780 Ti in the works ready to be released, you can bet we would have heard some juicy details about it, particularly at Computex.

Don't get your hopes up for something truly new later this year, even AMD being silent on their new GPUs doesn't bode well for something new later this year either.Quote

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