Just days after the “Ampere” code-name surfaced, we have another one, and this time from a very credible source: Reuters. What is particularly interesting is that this news comes just around the time the Ampere codename leaked outputting things into a very interesting fray of rumour and speculation. Does this mean that the ‘Ampere’ news was wrong, or that it’s a different GPU entirely? Well, no one except NVIDIA really knows.
Reuters: NVIDIA launching ‘Turing’ GPU next month
We had already heard that NVIDIA would be launching a brand new next-generation graphics architecture in the coming month thanks to the Ampere leak (regardless of what you choose to call it). That said, there’s not much to this story except speculation so let this serve as the obvious disclaimer.
According to Reuters, A brand new NVIDIA Turing GPU is launching sometime next month. This means that either NVIDIA is undergoing a massive rebranding campaign or that Volta will not be making it to the consumer side of things. This itself has interesting implications because it could mean a couple of things: anywhere from NVIDIA optimizing the architecture further to yield concerns.
In any case, before we go further, a short intro to Turing. The codename Turing, of course, refers to Alan Turing who is considered the father of modern computing and was the chief architect of the British program to break Enigma machine encryption, used by Germany to encrypt communications during World War II. He is also the person behind the concept of the Turing machine, a hypothetical device that can simulate any algorithm regardless of how complex it is. Programming languages that can simulate this device are referred to as Turing complete languages.
Now there are two possibilities as I see them. 1) NVIDIA decided to ditch the Ampere codename because it’s very similar to another company – an ARM server maker called Ampere – or 2) it decided to fork the upcoming architecture into two distinct flavours, namely Ampere and Turing. Both possibilities are just as likely as NVIDIA has been known to do that in the past simply to discredit the leak scene (anyone remembers the GeForce GTX 800 series?).
The second possibility, however, is much more exciting, it could mean that NVIDIA is preparing two distinct products in the consumer space: Ampere and Turing. Since there have been rumours floating of a cryptocurrency focused product from the company soon then it could mean that the Turing GPU is actually the one NVIDIA will market as the mining variant. This makes a semblance of sense because Alan Turing is well known for his work on cryptography. In fact, he was part of the team that cracked the Enigma machine which resulted in the World War being won.
If Alan Turing’s cryptographic roots are indeed being honoured in this new product then it could very well mean that NVIDIA is becoming very serious about cryptocurrencies. The company has already given its customers free reign to use its GeForce GPUs in data centre environments as long as they are used for ‘blockchain mining’ purposes so this wouldn’t be entirely out of character. Of course, there remains the remote possibility that Reuters is simply wrong about this and there is only one GPU which will, in fact, be called Ampere after all.