Nvidia unveils road map for Kepler and Maxwell GPUs

Nvidia has unveiled a new road map for its next GPUs, establishing a release date for “Kepler” next year and “Maxwell” in 2013.

The plans were revealed at Nvidia’s GPU Technical Conference, which is currently being held in San Jose, California.

Kepler, the successor to Nvidia’s Fermi range, will feature a 28 nanometer manufacturing process and is expected to be released some time next year.

“We expect to go into production later next year, the design is progressing very rapidly,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia. “There are hundreds of engineers working on it.”

The Kepler range of graphics cards are expected to deliver a two to three times greater performance than current Fermi cards. 

The Fermi cards are not long out, and Kepler is still some time away, but Nvidia is already talking about its follow-up to next year’s offering, a series of cards using the Maxwell moniker. These could see a five times higher performance than the Kepler cards or up to eight times more than Fermi GPUs.

Nvidia is also hoping to compete with Intel and AMD by adding Tegra processing cores licesened from ARM to its GPUs, effectively matching what the big chip companies are doing with integrating GPUs into their CPUs.

Huang said that uptake of Tegra cards is around a year behind Nvidia’s goals, but that Tegra 2 uptake is “phenomenal” and will continue to grow throughout the rest of this year.