Fermi strips at secret location

Dutch paparazzi capture it all

IT DOESN’T APPEAR as if Nvidia’s secret police managed to keep Fermi, or shall we say GTX480 away from the prying eyes of the press, as Tweakers.net has scored no less than three pictures of Nvidia’s latest and greatest creation, all undressed.

The pictures reveal some details that are of interest and the most obvious thing is the lack of Nvidia’s NVIO chip. Fermi was expected to have an NVIO chip, but it seems like Nvidia has at least managed to do one good thing and that is to wave bye-bye to the NVIO. Considering the space the NVIO chip took up, it’s unlikely that anyone, including Nvidia themselves, will miss it.

The next thing you might notice is the slightly unusual positioning of the memory chips, as normally you get at least pairs of chips next to each other. The GTX480 has a group of three, then a group of five and finally a group of four. This is unlikely to have any significant meaning, but it’s different from what we’ve seen in the past. The GTX470 card appears to have a three, four three layout for its memory chips, which is again slightly different. Tweakers.net claim that the card has 1.5GB of memory made up of 128MB chips.

There are a few big black areas that are intended to protect whoever allowed the pictures to be taken, but the GPU itself is revision A2, so in other words, not final silicon. It measures over 500 square millimetres and Heise.de even have a picture with a rules on top of possibly the same GPU (also revision A2) which puts it at about 41mm wide.

Nvidia has gone for a fairly traditional six-phase analogue power regulation design with what appear to be two additional phases for the memory. The eight-pin and six-pin power connectors are anything but secret at this stage, although it’s interesting that Nvidia has made a cut-out in the PCB for extra air circulation, as it has done in the past on its dual GPU board. The card has two DVI ports and one mini HDMI connector and this seems to be Nvidia’s practice for triple display setups.

The heatsink appears to be quite different from that of the GTX470, as it has no less than four heat pipes. The pictures we’ve seen so far of Fermi cards don’t have any heat pipes at all. This should hopefully help cool what is expected to be a very hot chip. It’s not clear from the picture as to what material the heatsink interface is made out of, but it ought to be solid copper.

All we’re waiting for now really is Nvidia’s announcement and some retail pricing. Interestingly, Tweakers.net claims that there will be an “initial run of 5,000 cards worldwide” however; we’d take this with a grain of salt. As always, Nvidia will prioritise some of its partners over others, but this is part of Nvidia’s typical “the way it’s meant to be distributed” strategy.S|A


The following two tabs change content below.