Nvidia

Nvidia Reveals Ada Lovelace GPU Secrets: Extreme Transistor Counts at High Clocks

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When Nvidia introduced its Ada Lovelace family of graphics processing units earlier this week, it mainly focused on its top-of-the-range AD102 GPU and its flagship GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card. It didn’t release too many details about its AD103 and AD104 graphics chips. Fortunately, Nvidia uploaded its Ada Lovelace whitepaper today that contains loads of data about the new GPUs and fills in many gaps. We’ve updated the RTX 40-series GPUs everything we know hub with the new details, but here’s the overview of the new and interesting information.

Big GPUs for Big Gaming 

We already know that Nvidia’s range-topping AD102 is a 608-mm^2 GPU containing 76.3 billion transistors, 18,432 CUDA cores, and 96MB of L2 cache. We now also know that AD103 is a 378.6 mm^2 graphics processor featuring 45.9 billion transistors, 10,240 CUDA cores, and 64MB L2 cache. As for the AD104, it has a die size of 294.5 mm^2, 35.8 billion transistors, 7680 CUDA cores, and 48MB of L2.

Nvidia Ada Specifications vs. Ampere
GPU/Graphics Card Full AD102 RTX 4090 RTX 4080 16GB RTX 4080 12GB RTX 3090 Ti
Architecture AD102 AD102 AD103 AD104 GA102
Process Technology TSMC 4N TSMC 4N TSMC 4N TSMC 4N Samsung 8LPP
Transistors (Billion) 76.3 76.3 45.9 35.8 28.3
Die size (mm^2) 608 608 378.6 294.5 628.4
Streaming Multiprocessors 144 128 76 60 84
GPU Cores (Shaders) 18432 16384 9728 7680 10752
Tensor Cores 576 512 320 240 336
Ray Tracing Cores 144 144 80 60 84
TMUs 512 512 304? 240 336
ROPs 192 192 112 80 112
L2 Cache (MB) 96 96 64 48 6
Boost Clock (MHz) ? 2520 2505 2600 1860
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost) ? 82.6 48.7 40.1 40.0
TFLOPS FP16 (FP8) ? 661 (1321) 390 (780) 319 (639) 320 (N/A)
TFLOPS Ray Tracing ? 191 113 82 78.1
Memory Interface (bit) 384 384 256 192 384
Memory Speed (GT/s) ? 21 22.4 21 21
Bandwidth (GBps) ? 1008 736 504 1008
TDP (watts) ? 450 320 285 450
Launch Date ? Oct 12, 2022 Nov 2022? Nov 2022? Mar 2022
Launch Price ? $1,599 $1,199 $899 $1,999

One of the interesting things that Nvidia tells in its whitepaper is that Ada Lovelace GPUs use high-speed transistors in critical paths to boost maximum clock speeds. As a result, its fully-enabled AD102 GPU with 18,432 CUDA cores is ”capable of running at clocks over 2.5 GHz, while maintaining the same 450W TGP.” Keeping this in mind, we’re not surprised that the company is talking about 3.0 GHz clocks for the GeForce RTX 4090 (with 16,384 CUDA cores) reached in its labs. At 3.0 GHz, the GeForce RTX 4090 will absolutely headline our list of the best graphics cards around. 

(Image credit: Nvidia)

In addition to high clocks, Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace GPU also boast massive L2 caches that improve performance in compute intensive workloads (e.g., ray tracing, path tracing, simulations, etc.) and reduces memory bandwidth requirements. Essentially, Nvidia’s Ada GPUs take a page from RDNA 2 Infinity Cache’s book here, although we believe that general targets for the new architecture were set well before AMD’s Radeon RX 6000-series products debuted in 2020. 



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