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.

Comments closed
    • Shining Arcanine
    • 12 years ago

    Do you remember the ATI Radeon 9700 Pro and the Nvidia GeForce FX 5800 Ultra? They both performed the same in DirectX 8 benchmarks, but when DirectX 9 benchmarks debuted, it was clear that the more future-proof design was superior.

    The situation is now reversed, with Nvidia being far-sighted and ATI being short sighted. It has been that way ever since the GeForce 8 series.

    • Shining Arcanine
    • 12 years ago

    It is a fairly large niche, worth something on the order of $10 billion.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 12 years ago

    I doubt AMD is too worried about making the absolute fastest single chip product, they are more interested in remaining profitable.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 12 years ago

    Beautiful, isn’t it?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    Charlie is just tech news with a severe bias done in a completely trashy British tabloid story.

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    He can be, his rumor mongering on nV and AMD has been pretty good for a while now though.

    • Deanjo
    • 12 years ago

    Yup, heard that same banter dating all the way back to the 9700 days. Just go back to the GF 5 series reviews and you can see all the same old fanboy “nvidia doomsday” prophecies. It takes a hell of a lot to kill a company, take a look at how Creative Labs is still kicking around.

    • Wintermane
    • 12 years ago

    People were saying that about nvidia not all that long ago.. And they were and still are in a much better finicial position then amd is.

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    As fast as a 480GTX but much cheaper and cooler would be a tough combo to beat IMO.

    Still have to wait and see if they can pull it off, not like AMD hasn’t screwed up before.

    • Game_boy
    • 12 years ago

    1. Can you link evidence of that? Their strategy seems to be working – after all, they sell cards based on current performance not future.

    2. AMD have a great roadmap on CPU and GPU whereas Nvidia’s main business segments are in trouble. Low-end GPUs are going away with Llano/SB. Chipsets are dead. And Tegra/Tesla have yet to take off in a big way, while other ARM vendors / Larrabee and FireStream respectively are catching up.

    AMD are paying their debt each quarter and still in the black. As long as that continues then debt is not an issue. Similarly, all the cash in the world won’t help Nvidia if they can’t get their products to sell (though they are still profitable now).

    3. OEMs make the most difference to AMD and Nvidia’s bottom line and they are not swayed – except by heat issues and Bumpgate [see how Apple dropped Nvidia cards from their new lineup? Or the lack of Tegra products after claiming so many design wins?]

    Enthusiasts were choosing AMD, mostly. See the Steam survey, a good indicator of the tech-aware market. The GTX 460 has turned that around a little, it’s a good card, but Nvidia’s not making any money on it due to large die sizes and yields less than half of AMD’s.

    • Drive
    • 12 years ago

    that go both way
    1./[

    • Wintermane
    • 12 years ago

    There are 3 main problems amd faces.

    1 To get that smaller die they had to make 4 out of 5 of thier shaders very small. This is good for current games but bad for new ones.

    2 Amd is still deep in debt while nvidia has alot of cash. Even if they both do equaly well in a given year just from this difference alone amd will fail in the long run.

    3 Nvidia has managed to get alot of people to just see nvidia as gaming. This means alot of peopel simply wont be thinking at all of ati cards as to them thats not gaming;/

    • Game_boy
    • 12 years ago

    Charlie is hinting HD6xxx is 30%+ faster for not much more die area, and better yields than Evergreen so the effective cost will be lower.

    • tviceman
    • 12 years ago

    According to techreport’s dx11 showdown, 20% faster would make the 5870:

    tie the gtx480 in Dirt 2
    slightly faster than a gtx480 in BBC2
    slightly slower than a gtx480 in AvP
    slightly slower than a gtx480 in JC2
    slightly slower than a gtx470 in Metro2033
    slightly faster than a gtx470 in Borderlands

    So what you are saying is essentially an hd6870 would most of the time match a gtx480? I’m without a doubt that Nvidia will be ready to answer that with a retooled gf100 that will have improved performance and lower thermals/tdp.

    • tviceman
    • 12 years ago

    ATI has better performance per watt and smaller dies, but did you look at the latest techreport dx11 showdown? Performance wise, Nvidia owned the show. No other way to put it.

    • tviceman
    • 12 years ago

    I said bread and butter profit. I specifically meant profit margins.

    • wira020
    • 12 years ago

    The picture looks fake to me, the text of series number looks highlighted while other text on the chip blurs..

    Btw, is it possible for AMD to release new gpu that supports DX11.1? Like how they did it with the 4000series and dx10.1…

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    Laptop GPU’s based on GF106 will probably be out 3-6 months after the desktop GPU’s are released, barring delays of course.

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    I dunno about destroy, particularly if AMD screws up and doesn’t order enough parts from TSMC and ends up keeping prices high vs. the competition like they did this time. It should do very well though even if nV executes properly.

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    Supposedly the 6xxx series will be ~20% faster than the 5xxx series while keeping a _similar_ but not identical die size. Mostly they’re doing efficiency improvements but they’re also supposedly making changes to the actual SP’s themselves (switching to 4 from 5D units) to improve performance. This is all rumors at this point but it makes a lot of sense and sounds doable.

    • mesyn191
    • 12 years ago

    Yea still niche, but its got growth potential. Right now NV has the lead in that field, but that market also has savvy buyers who watch the bottom line closely. Once the tools improve enough for OCL/DC I think you’ll see AMD’s Firestream products gain some ground too.

    • can-a-tuna
    • 12 years ago

    ATI is technology/process wise at least half a year ahead of nvidia. HD6000 will destroy Fermi and its derivatives. That’s how simple it is. There is still no denying that nvidia is back in the game with GTX460. Rest of the Fermi’s are crap.

    • Flying Fox
    • 12 years ago

    HPC is their bread and butter? I think HPC is still a niche for everyone.

    • tviceman
    • 12 years ago

    Agreed. Is there any news of Nvdia using GF104 in laptops? It would both outperform and have a lower TDP than the current castrated GF100 mobile solution.

    • tviceman
    • 12 years ago

    I just don’t see the hd6000 series being that big of a jump from the 5000 series. AMD is keen on staying with smaller die sizes, so they’re not going to make mammoth hybrid/refresh chips with southern islands. Remaining at 40nm while trying to add features/improve performance means that die size and TDP will have to increase, which means the chips won’t be as cheap to make, which means they’re likely going to have to carry higher prices.

    If the gts450 outperforms the 5770 and is priced appropriately, then the only thing we’re going to see is more market stagnation. If anything, AMD’s 6000 series will just supplant the 5000 series and drive ASP of GPUs up.

    At the same token, with 32nm so far away, I don’t think Nvidia is going to rest on their laurels. Nvidia has much more than just the consumer segment riding on GF100-style products. I see the GF100 being refreshed much the same way that NV30 was. Their bread and butter high HPC profits would benefit immensly from a reworked GF100 with lower TDP’s (and yields, and performance if possible).

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 12 years ago

    Not so worried about how late they are NOW as much as hopeful these lead to better GPU’s for laptops. G92-based GPU’s for laptops are just plain annoying now. And no, a hacked Fermi-based 465 put into a laptop’s case does not a mobile GPU make.

    • jdaven
    • 12 years ago

    “Not bad for a product Nvidia hasn’t even announced yet.”

    That is why they are called rumor sites. No?

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