GF106 die photos appear in the wild

Chinese rumor sites never cease to amaze me. The folks at ZOL haven't just posted two leaked die shots showing Nvidia's upcoming GF106 graphics processor. They've also posted die size measurements and some fresh information about the GPU's launch schedule. Not bad for a product Nvidia hasn't even announced yet.

The shots show a small, square chip stamped with the text "GF106-250-KA-A1." ZOL says the GF106 measures 15.2 x 15.7 mm, which would make its die area around 239 mm²—smaller than the G92b but a fair bit larger than the Juniper GPU inside AMD's 5700-series Radeons.

ZOL goes on to say the GF106 will debut in GeForce GTS 440, 445, and 450 cards priced up to $170, more or less corroborating earlier rumors. However, the site adds that Nvidia has postponed the GTS 450 slightly from late August to September 12.

Whatever the specifics, it looks like Nvidia will finally be able to tackle the mid-range GPU market with hot new DirectX 11 products soon. There's just one problem: if true, that September 12 launch date will put GF106-cards almost a whole year behind AMD's Radeon HD 5770 and 5750. Nvidia might need to worry less about the 5700 series and more about AMD's next-gen Radeons, then, which might come out either late this year or early in 2011.

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