NVIDIA recently began manufacturing graphics cards based on their new Pascal architecture. This lineup, starting out with the GTX 1080 and its ilk, have been getting rave reviews all over the internet. For all intents and purposes, Pascal is a hit, and all of NVIDIA's usual manufacturing suspects, such as ASUS and MSI, are rushing to produce as many as possible to meet demand. The new Pascal-based GPUs' improvements over their immediate predecessors are quite notable, meaning that the new GPUs could find their way into VR rigs just as easily as any other type of device. This makes the list of potential buyers and manufacturers a long one. On Friday, reports arrived that a new manufacturer would be joining that list; Samsung.
Korean newspaper Chosun Biz reported that Samsung had picked up a contract from NVIDIA to manufacture Pascal GPUs. The manufacturing is set to begin before the end of 2016, and will use Samsung's patented 14-nanometer technology. Samsung is currently testing out manufacturing Pascal-based hardware at their S1 manufacturing plant in Giheung, Gyeonggi Province, and is expected to be able to bring the chips to mass production within the second half of the year. Samsung managed to snatch the GPU contract from TSMC, one of their biggest competitors in the chip space and a longtime contract manufacturer for Nvidia.
The stable of uses for NVIDIA's Pascal architecture is huge, with full support for virtual reality, supercomputer applications, artificial intelligence, and of course, the Vulkan API. Chosun Biz did not report what exact Pascal-based products Samsung would be manufacturing. While the desktop GTX series and Titan X Pascal-based GPUs have a long list of suppliers from ASUS to MSI, the laptop variant has not quite caught on yet. Earlier in the year, there was word that NVIDIA would be producing a mobile Pascal-based GPU for vehicles, but the rumored cancellation of their newest SHIELD Tablet means that they could be taking advantage of Samsung's 14nm process to produce a Pascal mobile chip that could reasonably be used in a refresh of the SHIELD Tablet. Right now, no exact date is set in stone for manufacturing to begin.