NVIDIA ordering 80nm G80s

Written by Brett Thomas

January 16, 2007 | 17:56

Tags: #80nm #90nm #g80 #r600

Companies: #ati #nvidia #tsmc

Here's a real short news bit from the guys over at DigiTimes:

"Nvidia has placed urgent orders with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for GeForce 8000 GTX and GTS series chips as demand for graphics cards supporting DirectX 10 is picking up, according to market sources, as cited by the Chinese-language Commercial Times.

Monthly shipments for the urgent orders, which will begin in March, will be equivalent to 3,000-4,000 12-inch wafers using 80nm technology, the sources were cited as saying. "

Since the chips are being migrated to 80nm, we can expect some pretty hefty changes in the way the 8800 series of cards are sold. As well, the change should have some particularly beneficial performance enhancements.

First of all, the die shrink should reduce the core's surface area from 420mm² to a bit under 380mm² if the process shrink involves perfect scaling. Power consumption will also drop due to the shorter distances between transistor gates. The two of these things combined mean that we should see some lower temperatures from the next round of G80s, which would be a blessing and a half - current models are not unknown to hit a blistering 90C under load.

The second blessing will come with cost - the die shrink means that there will be quite a few more chips per wafer. On the 90nm process, NVIDIA gets about 80 chips gross (meaning before defective chips are thrown out) out of each wafer. The move down to 80nm should increase this turnout to roughly 90 chips, a 12.5% increase. The increased yield will allow NVIDIA to drop the cost of the chips a bit, which we will hopefully see filter into the marketplace sooner than later.

As mentioned, the order expects that the chips themselves should be in production by March. Could we be seeing an April or May price drop for the G80? That would put it just behind (but still close to) the tentative March 2007 release date of ATI's R600.

We'll keep you informed as we know more. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in our forums.
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