NVIDIA has used SIGGRAPH 2018 to announce its new GPU hardware and has upstaged just about everyone else. The new Turing architecture is a big step up and it means that GPUs can get back to what they were intended for - graphics.
And perhaps AI and many parallel computing tasks. I don't know about you, but personally I find the way GPUs have become the workhorse of the cryptocurrency miners a shameful waste of computing power.
The new Quadro RTX™ 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000 are billed as the first ray-tracing GPUs - although claiming first for anything is a risky business.
The amazing basic data on each is:
Memory with NVLink
Quadro RTX 8000
10 GigaRays/ sec
Quadro RTX 6000
10 GigaRays/ sec
Quadro RTX 5000
6 GigaRays/ sec
The estimated street prices are $2,300, $6,300 and $10,000, so they are hardly consumer-level products unless you are really serious about your graphics.
The point-by-point spec is:
RT Cores to enable real-time ray tracing of objects and environments with physically accurate shadows, reflections, refractions and global illumination.
Tensor Cores to accelerate deep neural network training and inference, which are critical to powering AI-enhanced rendering, products and services.
Turing Streaming Multiprocessor architecture, featuring up to 4,608 CUDA cores, delivers up to 16 trillion floating point operations in parallel with 16 trillion integer operations per second to accelerate complex simulation of real-world physics.
Advanced programmable shading technologies to improve the performance of complex visual effects and graphics-intensive experiences.
First implementation of ultra-fast Samsung 16Gb GDDR6 memory to support more complex designs, massive architectural datasets, 8K movie content and more.
NVIDIA NVLink to combine two GPUs with a high-speed link to scale memory capacity up to 96GB and drive higher performance with up to 100GB/s of data transfer.
Hardware support for USB Type-C and VirtualLink, a new open industry standard being developed to meet the power, display and bandwidth demands of next-generation VR headsets through a single USB-C™ connector.
New and enhanced technologies to improve performance of VR applications, including Variable Rate Shading, Multi-View Rendering and VRWorks Audio.
The new devices should be available in the fourth quarter of this year. As well as graphics, they should be useful for any application needing a supercomputer in a box, including AI, number crunching and, yes I suppose, cryptocurrencies.
As well as the hardware, NVIDA announced a slew of new software in support. The RTX developer platform is aimed at ray tracing, deep learning and simulation and is the major release.