Despite all the hype over the reveal of the new NVIDIA Fermi based video cards earlier this week at the GTC 2009 conference, it would appear NVIDIA is even further behind in production of their next gen technology than originally anticipated. So far behind in fact, that CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was forced to go onstage and proudly display a dummy card.
Yes, that’s right, as it stands Fermi based video cards are just a hunk of PCB, plastic and metal; a very nice looking, futuristic paperweight. NVIDIA reps confirmed the phony news with Hardware Canucks this morning after some speculation around the web regarding the prototype’s legitimacy due to the lack of soldering points and pins on the back of the card, along with various alignment issues, blocked off venting so one couldn’t see inside the cooler and the use of common household screws to hold it all together.
It’s far from a scandal; the card’s physical appearance when released (at least the Tesla model) is very likely to mimic what was shown onstage, but it does serve to prove just how far away we are from seeing these cards on store shelves. Earlier this week, rumour speculated that consumers may be seeing the first of the cards in late November 2009, but in light of this fake card announcement, that seems all but impossible. Original estimates of a 2010 first or second quarter debut for the technology is far more likely.
NVIDIA does however insist that the live Fermi demo’s viewed at the conference were run using the Fermi cards, they were just to ugly to publicly showcase. They may be around in some fashion, we just haven’t really seen them….yet