Friday, December 2nd 2016

NVIDIA to Release GTX 1060 Variants Based on GP104 Silicon

Due to the usual metrics and happenstances with foundry yields and wafer production, some chips contained in the production wafers are defective, with inoperative sections. This is always taken into account by companies, such as NVIDIA, while designing their product stacks (with the GTX 1070/1080 sharing the same silicon, and GTX 1070 samples being, mostly, defective versions of the fully-enabled Pascal GP104-140 chip). Other times, when supply of defective chips that can guarantee sufficient numbers of lower-tiered products, such as the GTX 1070, is insufficient to guarantee market demands (basically, things go better than expected at production), some sections of fully-operational chips are deactivated, so that it has the same working resources as the (otherwise defective) chips. Sometimes, like it happened with the Radeon HD 6950, these chips' resources can even be unlocked by simple BIOS flashing. According to recent reports, NVIDIA is bound to do something akin to that, by reusing GP104-140 chips on their GTX 1060 3 GB variants.
It appears as if NVIDIA is dealing with the latter case, in that the defective GP104-140 silicon appears to have more defects than the allowed for the chips to even achieve GTX 1070 specifications. The problem with this is that NVIDIA seems to think they don't have any more space in their product stack between the GTX 1060 6 GB and the GTX 1070. As such, the company is reportedly moving towards "cannibalizing" some of these defective GP104-140 chips towards the GTX 1060 3 GB models, effectively deactivating (through fusing or BIOS locks) the CUDA Cores in excess of 1152 (the number of cores in the GTX 1060 3GB).

Looking at the CUDA core counts, this move may seem puzzling - the fully-enabled GP 104 chip counts with 2,560 CUDA cores, while the GTX 1070 variants have only 1,920 of these being operational. This means that the defective chips count with even less operational CUDA cores than the 1,920 present in the GTX 1070. Naturally, one would assume that these chips would be repurposed as GTX 1060 6 GB, with 1,280 operational CUDA cores, instead of the 1,152 found on the 3 GB version of the card. What this may mean is that yields on the GP106 chip are good, with few defective cores, and that NVIDIA is looking to use these GP 104 chips as additions of sorts to the lacking numbers of GP106 defective chips, filling a more immediate gap in supply for the 1,152 CUDA core-version of the chip.

These cards may have higher power requirements than normal GP106-based GTX 1060's, which is why NVIDIA is supposedly playing this one quiet - reportedy, the GTX 1060 re-purposed GP104 chips can be exclusive to the chinese market, or even OEM-only cards. Most of this information's credibility is based on a few lines included in NVIDIA's latest driver, revealing the ID of this card (1B8_ family means GP104): NVIDIA_DEV.1B84 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB".Source: Videocardz
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8 Comments on NVIDIA to Release GTX 1060 Variants Based on GP104 Silicon

#1
RejZoR
People will try to unlock these for sure :D
Posted on Reply
#2
cryohellinc
Any BIOS around for gtx 1080 to turn it into Ti or TitanP? :laugh:

RejZoR said:
People will try to unlock these for sure
Well I cannot download a car YET, however if i can download a more powerful version of my video card, hell i would. ;)
Posted on Reply
#3
bug
The problem with this is that NVIDIA seems to think they don't have any more space in their product stack between the GTX 1060 6 GB and the GTX 1070.
I loled so hard...
Posted on Reply
#4
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
If I was living in China and I were to buy any GTX1060 I surely wouldn't buy one of these if they will be more power hungry than a "regular" GTX1060..:p

But yeah they'll probably end up in OEM computers anyway...
Posted on Reply
#5
EarthDog
bug said:
I loled so hard...
Ha! Me too...

There is PLENTY of room, both price wise and performance wise, for a 1060 Ti... seriously... who are they kidding?!
Posted on Reply
#6
Hood
EarthDog said:
Ha! Me too...

There is PLENTY of room, both price wise and performance wise, for a 1060 Ti... seriously... who are they kidding?!
They are "kidding" all of us, my friend, as usual. My first "decent" video card was a 550 Ti, next was a 660 Ti, and I now run a 780 Ti. These "cut down" GPUs are an important market segment for those of us who can't afford the next higher tier (in my case, at those times, I couldn't afford the 560, the 670, or the original Titan, so these "titanium editions" were my best options. So yes, I am also wondering why the mid-range no longer has Ti editions (no 760 Ti, 770 Ti, 960 Ti, 970 Ti, 1060 Ti, or 1070 Ti, so far). So is it corporate greed, or is it just better yields that killed these segments?
Posted on Reply
#7
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Hood said:
They are "kidding" all of us, my friend, as usual. My first "decent" video card was a 550 Ti, next was a 660 Ti, and I now run a 780 Ti. These "cut down" GPUs are an important market segment for those of us who can't afford the next higher tier (in my case, at those times, I couldn't afford the 560, the 670, or the original Titan, so these "titanium editions" were my best options. So yes, I am also wondering why the mid-range no longer has Ti editions (no 760 Ti, 770 Ti, 960 Ti, 970 Ti, 1060 Ti, or 1070 Ti, so far). So is it corporate greed, or is it just better yields that killed these segments?
The 980Ti was the cut down GPU the was equivalent to your 780Ti. But those were high end cards. All of the mid-range Ti cards were added to the product stack after the fact, almost certainly done just to get rid of bad silicon. There really weren't 700 series Ti cards becuase the 7 series was just a rebrand of the 6 series. So nVidia already knew what the long term yields would be like for the cores, and could make a product stack based on that.

EarthDog said:
Ha! Me too...

There is PLENTY of room, both price wise and performance wise, for a 1060 Ti... seriously... who are they kidding?!
I think they kind of hurt themselves by crippling the 1070 a little bit too much. They disabled 25% of the GPU, but in the past the 970 had only 18% of its GPU disabled. The mobile 1070 has only 20% of the GPU disabled, and IMO they should have used that for the desktop as well. That leaves more room for another GPU with 25-30% disabled between the 1070 and 1060.
Posted on Reply
#8
bug
Hood said:
They are "kidding" all of us, my friend, as usual. My first "decent" video card was a 550 Ti, next was a 660 Ti, and I now run a 780 Ti. These "cut down" GPUs are an important market segment for those of us who can't afford the next higher tier (in my case, at those times, I couldn't afford the 560, the 670, or the original Titan, so these "titanium editions" were my best options. So yes, I am also wondering why the mid-range no longer has Ti editions (no 760 Ti, 770 Ti, 960 Ti, 970 Ti, 1060 Ti, or 1070 Ti, so far). So is it corporate greed, or is it just better yields that killed these segments?
My guess is this is the olive branch for AMD. Nvidia would have crushed AMD these past years if they didn't leave the ~$250-300 segment for grabs, but then they would have faced monopoly charges. This and the console market allowed AMD to hang on.
But yes, in the meantime I also went 660Ti->1060, because nothing in between has been worthwhile to me.
Posted on Reply