Sales of graphics processors to gamers form a substantial portion of NVIDIA's (NASDAQ:NVDA) business. In fiscal 2018, those sales came in north of $4.5 billion, and the company's overall gaming revenue (inclusive of sales of chips that power the Switch game console) was up 68% year over year in the first quarter of its fiscal 2019 and up another 52% in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
In late August, NVIDIA announced the first gaming-oriented graphics processing units (GPUs) based on its new Turing graphics architecture: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070. These are add-in cards designed for the gaming desktop personal computer market.
Although the gaming desktop market represents a huge part of NVIDIA's overall gaming graphics business, the market for gaming-oriented laptops is growing fast and is an important contributor to NVIDIA's business, too. In fact, on the company's most recent earnings call, CFO Colette Kress said that "[n]otebooks were standout this quarter with strong demand for thin and light form factors based on our Max-Q technology."
NVIDIA's current notebook-oriented graphics processors are based on its older Pascal architecture, but it's only a matter of time before the company transitions to newer Turing-based products. According to a report from WCCFTech, citing an unnamed source, NVIDIA is planning to begin launching Turing-based products for the gaming notebook later this year.
A full product stack
WCCFTech says that NVIDIA is planning to launch a top-to-bottom stack of notebook graphics processors with an RTX 2080 Max-Q Mobile part at the very top and an RTX 2050 Mobile part at the bottom (WCCFTech admits that it's not sure if the parts below the RTX 2070 in the stack will be prefixed with "RTX" or "GTX.")
The site also claims that the RTX 2070 and RTX 2070 Max-Q will launch "by [the] end of November," while the higher-end RTX 2080 Max-Q isn't set to launch until the first quarter of 2019.
Considering that NVIDIA has generally offered a broad, top-to-bottom notebook graphics processor stack in previous generations, it makes sense that the company would continue that practice with its upcoming Turing-based products.
Out with Pascal, in with Turing
NVIDIA's Pascal-based notebook products seem to be selling quite well, judging by the comments that Kress made on the company's last earnings call. When NVIDIA reports next on Nov. 15, we'll know if that momentum continued in its most recent quarter.
Although it might seem that the company isn't in any rush to get out its latest notebook graphics processors, it's important to keep in mind that with NVIDIA now promoting its 20-series products on the desktop, the company runs the risk of all of the gaming notebooks based on its 10-series products seeming outdated.
It'd make sense for both NVIDIA and its notebook partners to want to begin the rollout of notebooks powered by 20-series graphics processors as soon as they reasonably can.