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Nvidia launches part-Kepler Geforce 600M series for Ivy Bridge laptops

Fermi gets a rebadge
Mon Apr 23 2012, 17:48

CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has released its Geforce 600M series, bringing its 28nm Kepler GPU to certain parts of the range.

Nvidia's Kepler architecture made its debut with the desktop Geforce GTX680, though thanks to reported supply shortages at TSMC the card has yet to see widespread availability. Now Nvidia has introduced four mobile Kepler SKUs as part of its Geforce 600M range for Ivy Bridge laptops.

Nvidia claims the enthusiast laptop market is growing faster than any other market but curiously the firm chose to stick with its Fermi architecture, which was originally released over two years ago. Nvidia wouldn't answer directly claims that the Geforce GTX675M is merely a rebadged Geforce GTX580M but the vital statistics look very similar.

Nvidia's 'new' Geforce GTX675M has 384 cores that can run at up to 620MHz, while the 2GB of GDDR5 memory can be clocked at 3GHz, exactly the same figures found on the 10 month old Geforce GTX580M.

While Nvidia will once again hear calls of rebadging old kit as new, the firm's Geforce GTX660M, Geforce GTX650M, Geforce GT640M and one Geforce GT640M LE will be based on its latest Kepler architecture. According to Nvidia, the Geforce GT640M is expected to be its most popular model.

All of Nvidia's Kepler 600M series GPUs can have up to 384 cores with up to 2GB of GDDR5 memory, except for the Geforce GT640M LE which features older GDDR3 memory. Nvidia's product segregation also highlights lower memory bandwidth, meaning punters will have to cast a very discerning eye to make sure they are getting the part they truly want.

Nvidia claims it has scored many design wins in Ivy Bridge laptops, citing Acer, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba as customers. Nvidia posted an impressive list but what was missing was a true thin-and-light laptop, where Nvidia claims its Geforce 600M series can be used.

Nvidia's Kepler architecture has been shown to be efficient and powerful, however the firm has been hit by supply shortages, like other chip designers that use TSMC. However Nvidia said supply won't be an issue and it expects any shortages on the desktop side to disappear by Summer.

Nvidia's Geforce 600M series of GPU chips has relatively little competition on Intel laptops. Intel's own integrated graphics might provide Microsoft DirectX 11 support but few would want to run games on it, meaning that Nvidia can get away with reselling the Fermi architecture for a few more quarters. µ


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