Nvidia's hot new Fermi chips rumored to appear in March

Nvidia plans to release in March its Fermi chips, which are literally hotter (temperature-wise) than anything on the market

Nvidia's next-generation CUDA GPU architecture, "Fermi"

Nvidia's next-generation CUDA GPU architecture, "Fermi"

Though Nvidia didn't say much about its upcoming Fermi chips at CES 2010 last week, rumors have been circulating that these GPUs will be available in mid-March in "low quantities" according to Tom's Hardware (via PC Launches; the original Tom's article on chip availability seems to have disappeared).

Despite the delays in shipping these chips to consumers (originally slated to be released in November 2009), yields are expected to be low, around the 4% figure cited for the Radeon 5800 (yes, you read that correctly: 4%).

Slightly more substantiated rumors abound regarding the abilities and running temperatures of these chips: first, Fermi chips have incredibly realistic rendering capabilities. If you're curious about the three billion transistors and what precisely they're doing to render pixels on your monitor, Tech Report has a rather detailed article on the technical details of this next-generation graphics processor.

In addition to being technically slick, Nvidia's latest effort may run a little hot, according to multiple reports. Tom's Hardware says that it's "hotter than the hottest ATI Radeon HD 5000 series" cards and admonishes users to carefully consider the setups of machines with multiple Fermi GPUs, as thermal issues will be a significant concern.

Hopefully Nvidia's final version of the Fermi will address these temperature problems. If not, and you're in the market for a smokin' hot GPU and a space heater, Nvidia has you covered.

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Alessondra Springmann

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