Open main menu

Turing is the codename for a graphics processing unit (GPU) microarchitecture developed by Nvidia as the successor to the Volta architecture. It is named after the prominent mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing. The architecture was first introduced in August 2018 at SIGGRAPH 2018 along with professional workstation Quadro RTX products based on it[1] and one week later at Gamescom along with consumer GeForce RTX 20 series products based on it.[2] The architecture introduces the first consumer products capable of real-time ray tracing, which has been a longstanding goal of the computer graphics industry. Key elements include dedicated artificial intelligence processors ("Tensor cores") and dedicated ray tracing processors. Turing leverages Microsoft's DXR, OptiX, and Vulkan for access to ray-tracing. In February 2019, Nvidia released the GeForce 16 series of GPUs, which utilizes the new Turing design but lacks the ray tracing and artificial intelligence cores.

Nvidia Turing
Release dateSeptember 20, 2018 (2018-09-20)
Fabrication processTSMC 12 nm (FinFET)
PredecessorPascal (consumer)
Volta (professional)

Turing is manufactured using TSMC's 12 nm FinFET semiconductor fabrication process. The high-end TU102 GPU includes 18.6 billion transistors fabricated using this process.[3] Turing also uses GDDR6 memory from Samsung Electronics, and previously Micron Technology.



The Turing microarchitecture combines multiple types of specialized processor core, and enables an implementation of limited real-time ray tracing.[4] This is accelerated by the use of new RT (ray-tracing) cores, which are designed to process quadtrees and spherical hierarchies, and speed up collision tests with individual triangles.

Features in Turing:

  • CUDA cores (SM, Streaming Multiprocessor)
    • Compute Capability 7.5
    • traditional rasterized shaders and compute
    • concurrent execution of integer and floating point operations
  • Ray-tracing (RT) cores
  • Tensor (AI) cores
    • artificial intelligence
    • large matrix operations
    • Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS)
  • Memory controller with GDDR6/HBM2 support
  • DisplayPort 1.4a with Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2
  • PureVideo Feature Set J hardware video decoding
  • GPU Boost 4
  • NVLink Bridge with VRAM stacking pooling memory from multiple cards
  • VirtualLink VR

The GDDR6 memory is produced by Samsung Electronics for the Quadro RTX series.[6] The RTX 20 series initially launched with Micron memory chips, before switching to Samsung chips by November 2018.[7]


Nvidia reported rasterization (CUDA) performance gains for existing titles of approximately 30–50% over the previous generation.[8][9]


The ray-tracing performed by the RT cores can be used to produce reflections, refractions and shadows, replacing traditional raster techniques such as cube maps and depth maps. Instead of replacing rasterization entirely, however, the information gathered from ray-tracing can be used to augment the shading with information that is much more photo-realistic, especially in regards to off-camera action. Nvidia said the ray-tracing performance increased about 8 times over the previous consumer architecture, Pascal.

Tensor coresEdit

Generation of the final image is further accelerated by the Tensor cores, which are used to fill in the blanks in a partially rendered image, a technique known as de-noising. The Tensor cores perform the result of deep learning on supercomputers to codify how to, for example, increase the resolution of images. In the Tensor cores' primary usage, a problem to be solved is analyzed on a supercomputer, which is taught by example what results are desired, and the supercomputer determines a method to use to achieve those results, which is then done with the consumer's Tensor cores. These methods are delivered via driver updates to consumers.[8]


Turing's development platform is called RTX. RTX uses Microsoft's DXR, OptiX and Vulkan for access to ray-tracing.[10] It includes access to AI-accelerated features through NGX.

Windows 10 October 2018 update includes the public release of DirectX Raytracing.[11][12]

Products using TuringEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "NVIDIA Announces the GeForce RTX 20 Series: RTX 2080 Ti & 2080 on Sept. 20th, RTX 2070 in October". Anandtech.
  3. ^ "NVIDIA TURING GPU ARCHITECTURE: Graphics Reinvented" (PDF). Nvidia. 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Nvidia announces RTX 2000 GPU series with '6 times more performance' and ray-tracing". The Verge. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "The NVIDIA Turing GPU Architecture Deep Dive: Prelude to GeForce RTX". AnandTech.
  6. ^ Mujtaba, Hassan (August 14, 2018). "Samsung GDDR6 Memory Powers NVIDIA's Turing GPU Based Quadro RTX Cards". Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Maislinger, Florian (November 21, 2018). "Faulty RTX 2080 Ti: Nvidia switches from Micron to Samsung for GDDR6 memory". PC Builder's Club. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "#BeForTheGame".
  9. ^ Jeff Fisher. "GeForce RTX Propels PC Gaming's Golden Age with Real-Time Ray Tracing". Nvidia.
  10. ^ "NVIDIA RTX™ platform". Nvidia.
  11. ^
  12. ^

External linksEdit