This year's GPU Technology Conference (GTC), an annual event hosted by Nvidia, will not have a keynote. Instead, Nvidia now plans to issue a string of news announcements on Tuesday, March 24, with info that had been scheduled to be shared in the keynote. Whether or not details about Nvidia's next-generation GeForce cards will be included remains to be seen.
The change in plan comes a week after Nvidia announced it was shifting GTC to a digital-only event due to the coronavirus outbreak. Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang was still going to deliver a keynote address, only it would be via livestream rather than in front of a physical audience. That is no longer the case.
"Amid the worsening coronavirus situation, the company said earlier this month that it was shifting much of the conference to its digital platform. The company believes that continuing public health uncertainties would challenge its ability to produce and deliver a digital keynote," Nvidia says.
Nvidia still plans to host other digital events, including live webinars, recorded talks and panels, trainings, and so forth. But whatever was going to be unveiled during the keynote will now be issued by way press releases instead.
Rumors have swirled that Nvidia might reveal details about its next-generation Ampere GPU at GTC, especially since AMD will be launching a next-gen version of its Navi GPU later this year. If that was the plan—and I don't know for fact that it was—I'm not so sure Nvidia would relegate it to a press release.
There is a lot riding on Ampere. AMD recently shared some details about its RDNA 2 architecture that will underpin the next version of Navi, and the claim is it will deliver a 50 percent improvement in performance per watt over RDNA 1. AMD also made clear that it fully intends on competing at the extreme high-end by releasing "top-of-stack GPUs with uncompromising 4K performance." In other words, it'd gunning for Nvidia's throne.
I have to think that Nvidia is prepared for increased competition from AMD, and perhaps Intel as well, which is getting into the discrete GPU space this year. That made this year's GTC keynote of particular interest.
This is all secondary to health concerns, so it is what it is. Those of us covering the hardware scene at PCGamer will be keeping an eye out for whatever Nvidia decides to announce later this month.