Kepler hitting production 'soon'; Tegra 3 Win8 tablets in the works

In a conference call following yesterday's quarterly results announcement, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang spoke briefly about Kepler, his company's upcoming 28-nm GPU architecture. SeekingAlpha has a transcript of the conference call, in which Huang noted that Nvidia's "[K]epler generation GPU" will tape out "shortly" and has helped Nvidia secure a record number of notebook design wins. Huang also mentioned that Tegra 3-powered Windows 8 tablets are already in development:

The vast majority of the [OpEx] increase is coming from the very significant increase in design wins that we have in several areas. We have more notebook design wins for the Ivy Bridge cyle than we ever had in notebooks. And this is likely the most successful notebook cycle we've ever experienced. And so we've got a lot of engineers dedicated to getting those notebooks into production. The reason for our success, I believe, is because our kepler generation of GPU was designed for intense energy efficiency. And with energy efficiency, we were able to translate that to simultaneously higher performance, as well as longer battery life. And so that's the first part. The second thing is we have more smart phones in design as a result of Tegra 3. And on top of that, we have Windows 8 tablets and devices that we're building all over the world. And so those, all of those design wins translate to quite a bit of customer engineering, customer-facing engineering to build these exquisite devices. And then there's a portion of it that is related to 28-nanometer tape out of new processors that will go into production shortly.

At the GPU Technology Conference last year, Huang revealed that Kepler is designed to crank out almost three times as many double-precision FLOPS than the current Fermi architecture per watt. If Nvidia has secured so many design wins on the notebook side, I expect it has a whole line of Kepler-based GPUs in the works. We won't see any of them until 2012, though—that much has been made clear.

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