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New AMD GPU Family Codenames "Volcanic Islands" and "Pirate Islands"

AMD's next generation GPU family that leverages upcoming silicon fab technologies to increase transistor counts, while maintaining or lowering thermal envelopes, is codenamed "Volcanic Islands," and we've known about that for some time now.

The centerpiece of "Volcanic Islands" family is "Hawaii," a high-end GPU that makes up top single- and dual-GPU SKUs; followed by "Maui" and "Tonga." Not much is known about these two. A dual-GPU product with two "Hawaii" chips is confusingly codenamed "New Zealand," which is already used to designate certain Radeon HD 7990 graphics cards. AMD is expected to debut its first "Volcanic Islands" GPUs in Q4-2013, when foundry partner TSMC's swanky new 20 nm node is expected to take flight.

AMD Maui Platform Makes Market Debut

The company slogan change, from "Smarter Choice" to "The future is fusion" marked a major shift in core-Strategy for AMD. The company now focuses on delivering solutions, more so than mere products, with a solution comprising of several products working together to let the PC serve a purpose. One such solution is the AMD Maui entertainment platform. Maui platform makes AMD hardware work with AMD's own Live! Media Center software to deliver a complete home-theater PC solution.

On the hardware front, Maui includes a qualifying AMD Athlon X2 or Phenom series processor, a motherboard based on the AMD 7-series chipset with integrated graphics. Video is handled by the 7-series IGP, while audio is handled by a special audio component-riser card that has pre-amp circuitry onboard, which enables users to connect speakers in the 5.1 channel configuration directly to the motherboard. Future models would bring in 7.1 channel support. The first motherboard to use this design, is the MSI Media Live DIVA 5.1 780M.
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