November is looking to be an exciting month as we hear rumblings of a launch of AMD’s Radeon HD 5850 X2 and HD 5870 X2. In fact almost all of the news lately has been about AMD’s new DX11 40nm GPU. The question on everyone’s minds was the same – Where is NVIDIA?
We are happy to report that we were correct in our earlier predictions that the GT300 is farther along than many other sites were predicting. We hear that NVIDIA has made an official statement on the state of the GT300 yields.
It seems that the GT300 has been taped out long ago and that yields are fine. This statement comes from a senior product manager for the GT300, but we also have this from our own sources [who have been saying this all along].
So where did the rumors of sub 2% yields come from? Well according to the unnamed source it looks like AMD’s Competitive Analysis team mistranslated some information that stated only 9 chips per wafer worked. This information quickly spread around the internet and became what we like to call "the repeated truth". Bear in mind that this was the same team in charge of spreading rumors that Larrabee is now in its third or fourth generation of silicon, which is direly incorrect. But we’ll address Larrabee and the turmoil there in a future article.
Our sources [and the senior managers] are still saying that the GT300 is slated for a Q4 2009 launch. This means that you should expect the new GT300 to show up around the end of November. This is most likely a follow up to Editor’s Day that should happen at the beginning of November. Most likely nVidia is pitching the GT300 chip exactly three years after its revolutionary G80 [also known as NV50] architecture, pitching it right around Thanksgiving, however from what we are hearing it is looking more like the very end of November or early December.
Still with this news it does take a little notch out of the AMD announcement. We are sure that NVIDIA will be making more information public as the momentum grows around AMD?s new 5xxx series GPUs. After all nothing works better to kill potential sales than leaked information on a possibly better product. Since we already disclosed some GT300 performance figures, expect an interesting war of words.
We all will have to wait to see if the GT300 can outperform the HD 5870, HD 5850X2 and the HD 5870X2 but as the current HD5870’s margin is not that big we might see an interesting upset. No matter what the outcome the GPU race is certainly going to be very interesting in the coming months.