[Beowulf] Volta: 1 TByte/s through stacked DRAM and twice the energy efficiency

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Mar 20 03:07:25 PDT 2013



It was way back in 2011 that NVIDIA first talked about Maxwell, the next-gen
CPU architecture coming after the current-gen Kepler. To reiterate, Maxwell,
which is slated for a 2014 release, will offer significantly higher
performance per watt than Kepler (roughly double) in addition to Unified
Virtual Memory support. Today, however, Jen-Hsun revealed some details of the
Volta architecture, coming after Maxwell. In addition to the new technologies
offered in Maxwell, Volta will again approximately double performance per
watt and feature Stacked DRAM. Anytime you have to take a signal off-chip and
traverse a PCB and external memory bus before accessing DRAM, the signal
degrades and must be slowed down. By using stacked DRAM, that signal can be
kept much closer to the chip; in fact it will reside on the same package as
the GPU. According to Jen-Hsun, Volta will offer 1TB/s of memory bandwidth to
the stacked DRAM over its interface, which is more than 3X the bandwidth of
NVIDIA’s current flagship GeForce GTX Titan.

Jen-Hsun also revealed that the image of the stacked DRAM and Volta GPU die
were ‘to scale’, for whatever that’s worth. No exact release date was
discussed for Volta, but the roadmap slide suggests a 2016 timeframe.


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