The use of prototypes, and placeholders are relatively common in the PC Industry – and they serve their purpose well through the years – hiding what the silicon really will look like from the eyes of the press or hiding something else they do not want us to know.
At CES 2016, Nvidia revealed their Drive PX2 – a 250W compute box for vehicles that should aid the development of self driving cars of the future. Apparently, the compute box should feature 2x Tegra Chips and 2x Pascal GPUs but based on the picture provided by Anandtech, it showed 2x 980 in MXM modules – the same parts used for discrete notebook graphics.
Back in 2010, Nvidia allegedly used wood screws for Fermi’s mock-up card, and it made such a ruckus inside the community – by allowing us to think that they did it due to the unavailability of the parts to make the demo card work – which in turn may mean that the card will not be ready for launch. (Which actually happened to the 40nm architecture)
Now that Pascal is on its way, and there’s no physical card present, there are speculations that it might get delayed too similar to Fermi. If that’s true, it is not good for the company, as the race for the sub 20nm process chips is actually looking good for the Red Team, allowing them to provide a preview of the Polaris to the consumers at CES 2016. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s just a speculation and the company might have a good reason not to show the actual Pascal Architecture until GTC 2016.