NVIDIA was all systems go for its Ampere GPU architecture (which I exclusively unveiled all the way back in April 2018) unveiling at its own GPU Technology Conference (GTC) last week, but it was canceled over the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This meant the Ampere announcement was also delayed.
But now Bloomberg’s Tai Kim has written a new article titled ‘NVIDIA’s Biggest Pleasant Surprise May Be Yet to Come’, where he goes into the fact that NVIDIA is kinda flourishing over the coronavirus outbreak. In positive news about coronavirus, more gamers are at home, and more games are being played right now than pretty much ever before in the history of gaming.
NVIDIA’s gaming segment (GeForce graphics cards) represents close to half of its revenue, so with more gamers playing games at home that is only a good thing for NVIDIA. Kim writes that NVIDIA management said they’ve seen a 50% surge in “total gaming hours from its installed base as many students and workers were staying-at-home“.
Kim also notes that NVIDIA’s other core business — data centers, is “also humming, with usage of internet services rising as more people work from home“. NVIDIA’s data center business represents around 30% of its revenues, so with gaming and data center businesses both “humming” right now, this leads into the positive news about Ampere.
But where are the next-gen GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards? Well, they were delayed because of NVIDIA cancelling its GPU Technology Conference last week over the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This delayed the announcement, but things will get better as the months go on — right through to September.
According to my sources and own analysis of the market, NVIDIA was going to launch its next-gen Ampere GPU architecture at GTC 2020. It most likely would’ve had some higher-end Quadro RTX offerings, and then the GeForce RTX 3000 series later this year — the same game plan for its Turing launch in 2018, where the Turing-based Quadro RTX graphics cards launched before the GeForce RTX graphics cards.
I can see NVIDIA teasing the new Ampere GPU architecture in June-July in Quadro RTX form, before fully unveiling its new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards shortly after that.
We should see a full ramp up through and into September 2020, just in time for Computex 2020. We normally see companies reveal a bunch of new PC hardware at Computex annually, which takes place in the last week of May/first week of June. But now ALL companies are forced to push it out by a few months because of the interruptions coronavirus COVID-19 is causing.
NVIDIA usually hosts an Editors Day for a big new GeForce graphics card launch, so if it did that it could use August 2020 as the month to reveal Turing to the tech media like myself. NVIDIA revealed Turing in August 2018 before a September 2018 launch, which makes sense again if they follow that plan with Ampere: August 2020 reveal, September 2020 launch.
— Ampere: August 2020 reveal, September 2020 launch —
This would also allow AIB partners to have custom GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards ready at Computex 2020.
We would’ve then seen NVIDIA release its next-gen GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards, both based on the new Ampere GPU architecture and packing some gigantic new performance improvements, and equally as impressive power efficiency.
That’s what Kim says in his article on Bloomberg even more interesting, where he adds: “So while NVIDIA is being rewarded for staying the course even as the coronavirus throws many other companies off track, it’s what’s not even baked in yet that may cheer investors the most“.
Oh really now, Kim. NVIDIA’s next-gen Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards are going to “cheer investors the most”. Now Bloomberg is much more business-focused, so they’re taking the business and hence, investor angle. But for gamers? The next-gen GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards are going to kick so much f***ing ass it’s not funny.
They’ll be launching in September-October 2020, right in line for NVIDIA to show them off at the now-delayed Computex 2020. We should see a bunch of next-gen games post-E3 2020, because NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards will be launching right before the next-gen Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5 consoles.
There’s NEVER been a better time to be a gamer, my friends.
NVIDIA Ampere GPUs
- GA102 – 84 SMs / 5376 CUDA cores / 12GB GDDR6 / 384-bit bus – 40% faster than RTX 2080 Ti
- GA103 – 60 SMs / 3840 CUDA cores / 10GB GDDR6 / 320-bit bus – 10% faster than RTX 2080 Ti
- GA104 – 48 SMs / 3072 CUDA cores / 8GB GDDR6 / 256-bit bus – 5% slower than RTX 2080 Ti
NVIDIA Ampere GA100 Specs
- 8192 CUDA cores @ 2GHz (2.2GHz boost)
- 1024 Tensor Cores
- 130 RT Cores
- 48GB of HBM2e memory @ 1.2GHz
- 300W TDP
- TSMC 7nm+
- 36 TFLOPs peak output
I’ve already written about rumors that NVIDIA’s next-gen Ampere GPU architecture would be up to 75% faster than current-gen GPUs such as the Turing architecture, right after rumors that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing. This is pretty crazy stuff right there.
Not only that, but we’ve got some rumored specs on the purported GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards, which will both be powered by NVIDIA’s new Ampere GPU architecture.
We’ve already heard that Ampere would offer 50% more performance at half the power of Turing, which sent the hairs on my neck standing up. Better yet, you can read about the leaked specs on the purported Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3070 right here.
GA103 (GeForce RTX 3080)
- 10/20GB GDDR6
- 320-bit memory interface
- 60 SMs
- 3480 CUDA cores
GA104 (GeForce RTX 3070)
- 8/16GB GDDR6
- 256-bit memory interface
- 48 SMs
- 3072 CUDA cores
AMD also just revealed its next-gen RDNA 2 / Navi 2X plans, something we referred to as Big Navi until just recently. Those specs are monstrous, but they pale in comparison to what NVIDIA has planned for its flagship HPC destined Ampere GA100 beast.
AMD RDNA 2 / Navi 2X / Big Navi Specs
- 7nm node (confirmed)
- RDNA 2 architecture (confirmed)
- 80 compute units
- 5120 stream processors
- 17.5 TFLOPs compute performance
- Hardware ray tracing support (confirmed)
Read More: Coronavirus / COVID-19
You can donate spare CPU and GPU power towards finding a coronavirus cure using Folding@Home, too.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has issued new COVID-19 coronavirus guidelines, where it wants to see in-person events of over 50 people limited, or outright canceled.
Starbucks have also implemented a new “to go” policy over the new social distancing push around the world. Xbox Live also went down for a few hours, which I’m sure was because Microsoft servers were overloaded with countless gamers playing games because more and more people are forced to stay and work from home.
EA has joined the coronavirus panic as well, ushering in new work-from-home policies lasting through to April 1 and postponing all in-person live events for games like Apex Legends and the FIFA franchise.
Not even Batman is safe from coronavirus, with Warner Bros. shutting production down on the Matt Reeves directed and Robert Pattinson as the Batman and Bruce Wayne movie The Batman. Speaking of movies, the largest theater chain in the US — AMC Theaters, has announced new social distancing methods of limiting theater attendance.
The Game Developers Conference will now be offering streamed conferences through Twitch, over postponing the physical game industry related event over coronavirus fears.
Bitcoin has dropped in price significantly, with a huge 40% reduction in its price from highs of $10,000 to a new 2020 low of less than $5000. Apple stock has also tumbled, dumping $300 billion from its market cap and reducing it to just over $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000).
Apple has recently postponed an event over coronavirus, where it was due to unveil new iPhones and a new iPad.
New York Governor Cuomo has established a 1-mile containment zone in New Rochelle over the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19 in New York, while Google has recently asked all staff based in Canada or the United States to work from home if they can. Apple has just canceled an event where it was due to unveil a successor to the iPhone SE, and a new iPad, too.
Delivery start ups including Postmates have now got a “non-contact delivery option” for those who are worried about contracting coronavirus, too.
We’ve seen some gigantic events being canceled or postponed over coronavirus / COVID-19 fears, with Mobile World Congress, the Game Developers Conference, Google I/O, Facebook’s F8 developer conference — and even chatter from Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, with the IOC talking about outright canceling the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Google has also ended all of its in-person job interviews for now over coronavirus fears, instead shifting to a digital-only Hangouts meeting for future employees. Twitter is also “strongly encouraging” its employees to work from home if possible, while Amazon has halted its near 800,000 strong workforce from all non-essential travel over coronavirus / COVID-19 fears.
But don’t worry, gamers… as AMD has confirmed that the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launches are “on track” for later this year and that coronavirus hasn’t forced a delay for these launches (yet).
You can read more on our coverage of coronavirus here.