IT LOOKS LIKE Nvidia engineering is getting right back into its old fighting form once again. The GT300 chip is delayed until 2010, and the GT21x parts seem to be MIA.
The big news is of course the GT300 delay. A few weeks ago it was promising insiders parts in October, a goal that was laughably unrealistic given that the tapeout was set for June. It seems that realism might be poking it's head through the Santa Clara FUD, er... fog, and NV has told those who need to know that it will be Q1 2010 now. Given its timeliness of late, we think it should append a bold "Maybe...." to that though.
We are not sure if it is a delay to the tapeout, or a delay for said fog lifting, but I would bet on tapeout delay. In fact, if I were to shake the magic 8-ball of GPU futures very hard, I would bet that tapeout was delayed, and it is still not being realistic on time to market. That said, as of last week, sources deep inside big green had not gotten their GT300 themed tapeout party hats and related bonus materials (and one of these too).
That brings us to the GT215/216/218. They were set for about now earlier this year, then nothing. The silence is deafening. In fact, the silence is so deafening that Nvidia is jumping up and down talking about mobile 40nm parts now instead. We hear it is having massive 40nm yield problems, something you simply can't have for your intended high volume parts.
So, to change the subject, 40nm is all about mobile now! Ignore the fact that ATI has a very successful 40nm part out in the 4770 - Nvidia is telling OEMs to not position 9800 products against that because it can't match the price. The 40nm products that should compete with it are.... Mobile, did we mention Mobile?
We are hearing rumors of an editors day in mid-May, so the usual 2-week time line to introduction puts the 40nm launches at Computex. That means Nvidia won't have a competitive part in the meat of the market for almost all of Q2.
But all is not lost, we also hear Jen-Hsun is being tapped for a Hot Chips 21 keynote. That should be a morale booster for the green team, and if minor miracles happen, he might even have early silicon to show off. Given the rest of Nvidia's competitive situation, that will be the (singular) bright spot for Nvidia in the near future. µ