DigiTimes has confirmed that NVIDIA is releasing its Ampere GPUs next year. The successor to Turing will be manufactured using Samsung’s 7nm EUV process technology, which could provide substantial performance increases for demanding techniques such as ray tracing.
We have previously heard of NVIDIA’s Ampere GPUs when they passed their EEC certification but nothing more came up since then. Now however, we have a tentative timeline: they will be launching in 2020. It is highly likely that NVIDIA will continue on their RTX philosophy and take that to the next level with Ampere. Right now, the Turing GPU is capable of raytracing at the 1080p 30 fps for light to moderate path tracing workloads. The Ampere GPU will be able to go further.
It isn’t clear why NVIDIA is doing business with Samsung instead of TSMC this time around. One possibility is that the latter has no EUV node in play yet.
Here’s the thing right, NVIDIA is one of the biggest customers of TSMC and has been their loyal patron since pretty much the dawn of modern gaming tech. If they are actually planning to shift to Samsung’s 7nm technology then that will have repercussions not only for the company, but for TSMC as well. There are two possible things that are going on here, either Samsung is offering them a better deal financially or NVIDIA has reason to believe Samsung’s 7nm tech is better. We can guess one reason for why this might be the case. Right now, TSMC’s 7nm process is not based on EUV, but they do have an EUV node planned. The process that NVIDIA is planning to shift to, at Samsung’s, is EUV.