Igor's Lab is back again with new information on the current state of Nvidia's Ampere. Based on the new information, the German news outlet has estimated the production schedule for Nvidia's upcoming 7nm GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Founders Edition cooler that's been spreading around the Internet is one of two possible options being evaluated by Nvidia. The chipmaker is allegedly testing another design from a competing OEM, which, according to Igor's Lab, has worked with Nvidia on past occasions.
Ampere is currently in the DVT (Design Validation Test) phase, where Nvidia's engineers are testing various designs to evaluate different criteria, such as performance, costs of materials, and long-term durability. The leaked Founders Edition cooler was rumored to cost roughly $150, and it could very well be true. The cooler reportedly features a tailored vapor chamber to help with cooling.
Knowing that Ampere is still in the DVT stage, Igor put together a plausible schedule for the next-generation graphics cards. It's important to highlight that Igor bases the estimation on past product launches from both Nvidia and AMD. Assuming Nvidia doesn't deviate from any of the steps, the timetable should have a high level of accuracy.
|BOM release||Bill Of Materials Release||May / June|
|EVT||Engineering Validation Test||June|
|DVT||Design Validation Test||June / July|
|EMI Test||Electromagnetic Interference Test||Mid or End of July|
|PVT||Production Validation Test||End of July to beginning of August|
|PVT sorting||Production Validation Test Sorting||Beginning of August|
|PPBIOS||Meals the final source BIOS||Beginning of august|
|Ramp & MP||Start of mass production (FE)||August|
|Launch||Media Event and first Benchmarks||September|
According to Igor's estimation and barring any setbacks, Nvidia should have a working sample of its Ampere graphics card next month. Consequently, the chipmaker might start mass production of its Founders Edition models in August. Therefore, a September launch doesn't look unlikely.
It's uncertain which Ampere graphics cards Nvidia will reveal first. The GeForce RTX 3090 and GeForce RTX 3080 are valid candidates, but Igor thinks that a lower-tier SKU could also show up.
As a refresher, an unspecified Hong Kong manufacturer produced the first samples of the GeForce RTX 2060 that made their way into the hands of reviewers and hardware shelves. Foxconn would later take over mass production of the graphics card. History could repeat itself on this new generation, so don't be surprised if you see the GeForce RTX 3070 or GeForce RTX 3060 make a guest appearance on launch day.
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Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.