Q3 may be the next launch window for Nvidia Volta graphics cards

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We’ve all been patiently waiting for Nvidia’s next-gen graphics card launch window to creep closer. Yet, every time a suspected launch gets near, it never actually happens. Seriously, this time… this time… it’s going to happen. Maybe. GDDR6 from SK Hynix is slated for mass production around July, and that’s as good a sign as any that Nvidia are preparing new graphics cards for launch soon after.

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The news comes from Gamers Nexus, who spoke with an industry insider very close to SK Hynix at GTC. According to their source, the monstrously large memory provider – who are responsible for 28.7% of the world’s DRAM supply – will be cranking up production of GDDR6 memory in three months.

This could be quite a momentous occasion for graphics card production as it has been slated that Nvidia (and likely AMD at some point) will be utilising this speedy memory standard in their next generation – in fact, almost exclusively across the graphics card range according to these latest rumours.

While mass production of memory modules isn’t a direct confirmation regarding production of Nvidia’s Volta graphics cards, it’s the best we’ve got to go on right now. A Q3 launch isn’t entirely new news, a previous rumour alluded loosely to the same window, but we’ve had very little supporting evidence beyond the fact that they simply haven’t launched so far this year.

Hynix GDDR6 graphics memory

According to the same source, GDDR6 will be around 20% more costly to manufacturers at launch than GDDR5 – although set to reduce over time as manufacturing capacity increases. Hopefully this is representative of non-inflated pricing, especially due to the looming risk of imminent price hikes, otherwise no one will be able to afford the damn cards anyways.

GDDR6 offers up to 16Gbp/s bandwidth, and will supposedly arrive in 8Gb and 16Gb chip densities likely running at 1.35V across the board.

With GDDR6 mass production supposedly on the books for July, it may not be until late Q3 (August to September time) when we actually see any launch activity for Nvidia’s Volta, Turing, or Ampere graphics cards (Pick your poison).

SK Hynix aren’t the only manufacturers getting into GDDR6, however. Samsung have already started mass producing GDDR6 chips themselves, “for use in advanced graphics processing for gaming devices and graphics cards”, and Micron are also jumping on the GDDR6 bandwagon, and surely close to finishing development. All of which renders a Q3 launch date solely based on SK Hynix’s sole ramp up of production subject to a considerable leap of faith.