We've been treated to Nvidia's Kepler architecture for a few years now, forming the basis of the GTX 600 and 700 series. With graphics card refreshes occuring nearly every year, it makes logical sense that Nvidia would turn to their next-generation architecture, 'Maxwell', for their upcoming GPU line.
What isn't so clear, though, is what graphics card would be the first to incorporate Maxwell. The latest rumor points to the GeForce GTX 750 Ti as being the first Maxwell card, which may come as a surprise to some, especially as the card would replace the GTX 650 Ti in the $149 to $169 price range.
However it's expected that the 750 Ti would serve as a test platform for Maxwell on a TSMC 28nm process - the current process used for Kepler-based 700 series GPUs - before the architechture gets slimmed down to 20nm for higher performance parts, likely to be named under the GTX 800 series. No other details for the card, such as clock speeds, shader processor counts, or performance figures, were shared.
The 750 Ti will reportedly launch on February 18th, bringing new features as part of the shift to Maxwell. One such feaure is unified virtual memory (UVM), which allows the CPU and GPU to essentially share the same memory; other improvements in the architecture will focus on power optimization, and performance per watt.