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nVidia’s GT300 is “smaller, faster than Larrabee”?

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It looks like nVidia is dead set on calming the PR storm the competitors are releasing, and the mood in the company is more relaxed. nVidia is certain they have a winner on their hands, but only time will tell whether they managed to pull it through or not.

We already gave you details on the architectural side. GT300 or G300 or NV70 is consisted out of 512 cores [or Shader Processors, whatever you like], features a 512-bit memory controller connecting to GDDR5 memory and well, it is a beast. nVidia packed everything in around 2.4 billion transistors using TSMC’s 40nm high-performance process [yes, the one with currently sucky yields]. Given that the original GT200 packed 240 shaders in 1.4 billion trannies, one could argue that nVidia did some heavy dieting on its own architecture and managed to get a body builder shader power in a size zero body. GT300 packs 512 MIMD-capable cores and yet it uses “just” one billion transistors extra. I’ll be first to admit that I wondered how GT300 packs at least three billion transistors, but according to our highly confidential source, the 2.4 billion transistors are packed in just 495mm2.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. 2.4 billion in less than 500mm2 will put sweat on both ATI and Intel’s forehead, since this chip could be profitably manufactured and yet pack performance to potentially blew the competition out of the water. Each of original 65nm GT200 chips took 576mm2 of wafer space, while 55nm refresh GT206/GT200b eats up 490mm2.

In comparison, Intel’s high-end Larrabee part is manufactured in 45nm and takes around 600mm2.

Now, if you are wondering why nVidia created a single-PCB GTX295, think again. This part is more than an engineering exercise – but let us put it in this perspective – if nVidia managed to put 2.4 billion transistors in less than 500mm2, with an interesting performance delta between GT200-GT300 in clock-per-clock comparison… we could say that Jen-Hsun definitely opened a can of whoop-ass on its competitors.

Original Author: Theo Valich


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