NVIDIA VP Jen-Hsun Huang shared quite a lot of information during the latest conference call and among others Apple came up. Apple is a very important player that also Intel values highly, and NVIDIA believes it has a good chance to sell GPUs to Apple again.
When NVIDIA was asked about its future with Apple it replied that it needs to have a great GPU at the right time. Apple is a company that is more famous for its products than few other companies, and they often have slim designs. With that in mind the company puts great emphasis on energy efficiency, and here AMD has been ahead with both HD 5000 and HD 6000, which gave them Apple. NVIDIA has started to come back with GeForce 500, which was Fermi done right.
NVIDIA says Apple has its own roadmaps that doesn’t share the product cycle of neither processors nor GPUs. This means they pick the best alternative available for mass production at the time, and AMD seems to have had better timing there since every dedicated graphics card in Apple’s current assortment use AMD graphics. NVIDIA hopes to win back Apple with ”the right GPU, at the right time”.
Kepler shipping to partners in 2011, but not to market until 2012
NVIDIA’s coming architecture is called Kepler and will be built on 28nm, like AMD’s coming Southern Islands architecture. AMD has said that it expects to have the first circuits based on the new architecture on the market before the end of the year, some rumors points to September even. NVIDIA has confirmed that Kepler will ship in 2011, but the first products will not appear until 2012.
Even though Kepler has been moved into 2012 there is time to win back Apple – if they have a winning architecture. Considering Apple’s earlier products it will be the one with the greatest energy efficiency that gets the contract.