Geforce

Image source: NVIDIA. 

Each year, graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) hosts a developer conference that it calls the GPU Technology Conference, or GTC for short. The company's next GTC will be held May 8 through May 11 next year, a little later in the year than it was held in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

During CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's keynote at the 2015 conference, he said that every GTC needs to involve launching a new graphics processing unit, or GPU. NVIDIA has mostly kept to this promise as you can see in the table below:

Year

Product Name

GPU Configuration

2013

GeForce GTX Titan

GK110

2014

GeForce GTX Titan Z

2 x GK110

2015

GeForce GTX Titan X

GM200

2016

Tesla P100

GP100

Data source: company announcements.

The GeForce GTX Titan didn't bring a new GPU to market, but what it did was bring the GK110 chip, which the company had first introduced for professional/data center usage, to the gaming market. The Titan Z also wasn't based on new silicon, but the company delivered a new product for the gaming market by sticking two GK110 chips onto a single board.

In 2015, NVIDIA finally released a new high-end gaming graphics card, known as the Titan X, based on a new chip known as GM200. Then, at the 2016 GTC, the company released GP100, based on its Pascal architecture, for data center/hyper-scale usage.

If we assume that NVIDIA will strive to introduce a new graphics processor at each GTC from here on out, then the company may very well introduce the first product based on its upcoming Volta architecture in May 2017.

Interesting that GTC 2017 is being held in May, isn't it?

As I noted above, GTC 2017 will be held in May, rather than in March or in April, a choice that I suspect was quite deliberate. It wouldn't be reasonable to expect a product based on NVIDIA's Volta architecture to be ready to go in March 2017. Such an aggressive launch time frame would mean that NVIDIA's recently launched Pascal products would have been on the market for less than a year before being replaced.

By holding GTC 2017 in May 2017, the company has a better shot of being ready to announce a new GPU for either the data center or the gaming markets.

What I expect at GTC 2017 -- and beyond

If I had to guess, I suspect that NVIDIA will announce a GPU known as GV100 at GTC 2017, a high-end GPU targeted squarely at the data center market. This would give GP100 about a year as NVIDIA's flagship data center-oriented graphics processor before it's replaced; yearlong product cycles are quite common in this industry.

If GV100 is announced in May, then based on what we saw with when we saw NVIDIA announce the gaming-oriented Pascal chips (GP104 and GP106), it wouldn't surprise me to see the first gaming-oriented Volta chip, likely known as GV104, hit the market in June or July of 2017. The mid-range Volta part, likely to be known as GV106, as well as the highest-end gaming part, which should be called GV102, could come out by the fall of 2017.

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends NVIDIA. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.