NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang kicked off this year's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose and used his keynote to shed a little light on the company's future GPUs - including revealing the architectures' codenames for the first time.
Entering into production sometime at the end of 2011 will be the Kepler architecture (continuing the theme of great scientists started with Tesla and Fermi). This will be based on a 28nm process and progress on the design is apparently progressing rapidly.
The focus for NVIDIA is on efficiency, with Huang telling the audience that "transistors are free, power is not". Accordingly the company is promising to increase performance per watt by three to four times with the Kepler GPUs.
Following on from this will be the Maxwell architecture, which is expected to arrive in "a few years". While there were few details on what these chips would bring, the CEO anticipated a 16-fold increase in performance per watt over Tesla, showing almost exponential growth from generation to generation.
In the same way that Fermi brought ECC, Maxwell will introduce a series of new features specifically for high-performance computing. This includes pre-emption, virtual-memory support and a reduced reliance on the CPU, meaning that less processing time will be wasted while the GPU waits for data from the main processor.
For now, this is all that we know about NVIDIA's next-generation architectures. While the focus of GTC is on GPGPU and high-performance computing, there will undoubtedly be more news over the coming days on the company's plans for the future.