Nvidia details next-gen GPU platform, announces $3K card

|By:, SA News Editor

Nvidia's (NVDA +0.3%) promises its Pascal GPU architecture, the successor to its recently-launched Maxwell, will deliver a 5x-12x improvement in GPU-to-CPU and GPU-to-GPU transfer speeds by leveraging the chipmaker's NVLink interconnect. Pascal, due in 2016, will also support 3D memory chips, something it expects will improve densities by 2.5x and memory energy efficiency by 4x.

Pascal will underpin mobile processors and HPC GPUs in addition to PC GPUs. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang goes as far as to say it will enable new machine learning/A.I. apps.

Nvidia, which is hosting both its investor day (webcast) and its annual GPU conference (live blog) today, has also: unveiled Titan Z, a flagship dual-GPU graphics card solution (relies on Nvidia's Kepler architecture) that will retail for a whopping $3K. Nvidia's current flagship (the GTX Titan Black) only goes for $999, and AMD's top-of-the-line R9 290X (previous) has a $549 MSRP.

Nvidia has been growing GPU sales in spite of a weak PC market with the help of strong HPC and PC gaming market demand. Likely helping: The company has been ramping R&D spend (+13% Y/Y in the Jan. quarter) at a time when AMD has been cutting costs and directing more resources towards embedded/console opportunities.