Report: No Fermi-based GeForce due until March


— 11:27 AM on January 4, 2010

Officially, Nvidia plans to introduce its first DirectX 11, Fermi-based GeForce in the first quarter of this year. According to DigiTimes, however, the launch will take place an the far end of that time frame—"sources from graphics card makers" claim Nvidia recently told partners to brace for a March unveiling.

Nvidia does intend to demonstrate the product at the Consumer Electronics Show later this week, DigiTimes says. But while the company was originally expected to stage a launch there, too, that schedule has reportedly slipped. The article suggests TSMC's 40-nm yield problems might have something to do with the setback.

Yields of 40-nm GPUs for AMD's Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards only stabilized late last month, putting an end to weeks of manufacturing problems and ensuing shortages. However, DigiTimes claims TSMC still doesn't have enough 40-nm capacity to "supply the two GPU giants fully." We certainly know Fermi will be a fairly large GPU—and the larger a GPU is, the more likely it is to have defects. At the very least, we wouldn't be surprised if TSMC's yields were still not up where Nvidia wants them.

Nevertheless, DigiTimes writes that the delay won't prevent AMD from going forward with mainstream derivatives of its new 40-nm, DirectX 11 architecture. New GPUs code-named Redwood and Cedar will reportedly see the light of day "at the end of January or in February 2010" as part of new Radeon HD 5600, 5500, and 5400 lineups.

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