NVIDIA announced a number of things at Supercomputing, such as an Arm server referece design. Despite the show being the major hub event for high-performance computing/supercomputers, it isn’t often the location where NVIDIA launches a GPU. Nonetheless we saw a new model of NVIDIA’s high performance Tesla V100 at multiple booths at Supercomputing.

The new GPU we saw was called the V100S (or V100s). Firstly, the name: I didn’t realise it was new/unannounced until it was pointed out to me. The way it was written on a few of the billboards looks like it is just referring to ‘multiple V100 units’, but a couple of companies confirmed to be that it is a new product. For these vendors, they were actually told before the show that NVIDIA was planning to announce it there, and were surprised that the CEO Jensen Huang did not mention it in his off-site two hour presentation to press and partners.

Nonetheless, NVIDIA’s partners had printed the billboards, built the displays, built the systems, and hadn’t been told *not* to show it off. So they did. I was informed to look out for the gold shroud at one particular booth – they were differentiating by having the standard V100 with a green shroud, and their V100S will have a gold shroud. This is despite the gold shroud units also just say ‘V100’, which is meant to signify the family of the card.

Finding out what is different about this card has actually been a task – none of my usual contacts seem to know exact numbers, although a couple confirmed it was ‘faster memory’, referring to the on package HBM2. I’m still looking into exact frequency changes, and presumably the knock on effects on TDP, but as it stands ‘faster memory’ is the only information I have. There might also be a price difference for anyone interested in these variants.

One thought is that NVIDIA might not actually announce the V100S as a separate model, but just a higher memory version of the V100 and customers will just have to check exactly what the memory frequency is when they purchase – just like different consumer cards can have different memory speeds. No-one was discussing exact launch timing, but it seemed NVIDIA’s partners were deep into validation, if not already offering them to select customers.

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  • HollyDOL - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    Looking on the loose pair of 8pin PCIe connectors on topmost photo it seems one card was borrowed for review by somebody :-)
  • Kevin G - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    I wonder if we'll get a Titan VS then.
  • imaheadcase - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    What is that foam insert behind the cards about? It almost looks like shipping material they forgot to remove..
  • Qasar - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    what foam ??
  • mode_13h - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    The foam is a strip between the motherboard and the ends of the cards.

    What strikes me about that pic is how little room there is for airflow between the cards.
  • extide - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    In a server the air flows through the cards lengthwise -- you can see the front of the nearest one -- these cards don't even have fans on them, they rely on the fans in the server which are directly behind them, to blow air through them and out the back of the case. That way they can be packed right up next to each other with no issue.

    The foam looks like a little bit of additional support, they are probably fairly heavy.
  • Valantar - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    Wouldn't it be logical for the foam also being to ensure that as much air as possible goes into the cooler rather than passing underneath the GPU?
  • extide - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    Well the only way for the air to get out the back is probably to go through the GPU's.
  • imaheadcase - Saturday, November 23, 2019 - link

    Yah, seems kinda odd is all to see. Even seems like airflow blocking. seems like the PCI slot should of been more than enough..considering the monster cards DYI do at home with default slots.
  • DaveLT - Saturday, November 30, 2019 - link

    The foam is there to stop each other from touching another. Most quadros meant for servers dont have fans but are much better off having the chassis fans of the servers forcing air into them.
    Those 120mm fans at speed are fantastically powerful!
    Blower coolers won't be able to cool the Teslas.

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