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Nvidia trademarks "Aerial" and "Hopper": New MCM GPUs on the way?

Hopper may be Nvidia's next-gen GPU (Image source: Nvidia)
Hopper may be Nvidia's next-gen GPU (Image source: Nvidia)
Unconfirmed rumors earlier in the year indicated that Nvidia was working on a next-gen MCM GPU architecture called Hopper. A US Trademark filing for "Nvidia Hopper" by the company indicates that these rumors may indeed be true.
Arjun Krishna Lal,

Nvidia recently trademarked two items at the US Patent and Trademark Office: Nvidia Hopper and Nvidia Aerial. The former, Hopper, is especially interesting: Rumors earlier in the year indicated that Hopper was the codename for an upcoming MCM (multi-chip module)-based GPU architecture. 

Last June, tipster @kopite7kimi claimed that Hopper will utilize MCM to "build giant cores." At the time, there was no corroborating evidence to back the "Hopper" claim. Nvidia's new trademarks change the situation. 

At this point, there is precious little we know about Hopper apart from the name itself and @kopite7kimi's claim that it will be an MCM architecture. Why is called Hopper? And why does going the MCM route matter?

Hopper is evidently named after Grace Hopper. During World War II, Hopper was a computer programmer for the Harvard Mark I. The Mark I was an electromechanical computer that helped with, among other things, the development of the US nuclear program. Hopper made significant early contributions to the development of computing: the COBOL langauge is based on work she did on FLOW-MATIC. 

What about Hopper being an MCM architecture? With Moore's Law slowing down, MCM is being explored by AMD, Intel, and Nvidia as a way to deliver year-on-year performance improvements and scaling. MCM is what, for example, makes the 16 core Ryzen 9 3950X possible at reasonable prices. 

With manufacturers struggling to shrink transistors below the 7nm point, Hopper may be a key inflection point in Nvidia's strategy. Multiple high-end dies in a single MCM package could return us to the days where GPU performance doubled every few years. If this is the case, playable 4K experiences might be possible on PC without a $1400 RTX 2080 Ti.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > Nvidia trademarks "Aerial" and "Hopper": New MCM GPUs on the way?
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2019-12-10 (Update: 2019-12-10)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.