Friday, January 11th 2019

AMD CTO Mark Papermaster Confirms 7 nm Lineup Refresh for 2019

AMD's CTO Mark Papermaster, in an interview with TheStreet, confirmed AMD's plans with 7 nm for their graphics offerings are just beginning with Radeon VII. When inquired on AMD's plans for their graphics division, Papermaster said that "What we do over the course of the year is what we do every year. We'll round out the whole roadmap." he then added that "We're really excited to start on the high-end... you'll see the announcements over the course of the year as we round out our Radeon roadmap."

So these comments form papermaster seemingly confirm two things: first, that AMD plans to "round out" its lineup using the 7 nm process technology, which means increasing offerings at different price points. The use of the word "refresh" almost takes the breath away, since refreshes are usually based on the same previous architectures. However, AMD does have plans for a new mid-range chip to finally succeed Polaris in Navi, which should become the next AMD launch in the 7 nm process for graphics technologies.
However, what might put some of the enthusiasm down on AMD's plans is Papermaster saying that AMD's starting on the "high-end". As it stands, that seemingly means that yes, AMD will be releasing Navi-based graphics, but that such releases will offer lower performance than that of Radeon VII. Of course, there's still a chance that AMD can also refresh their high-end or explore above-Radeon VII performance - one of Navi's marketing materials does mention scalability - but... That just seems like hopeful speculation after Papermaster's words. It seems that any market above NVIDIA's RTX 2080 will be available solely for NVIDIA, as has become the norm in recent years. Source: TheStreet
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28 Comments on AMD CTO Mark Papermaster Confirms 7 nm Lineup Refresh for 2019

#1
HD64G
Very logical move to firstly make a small Navi to battle 2070 and 2060 and another one for consoles and later (2020) to make the big one to replace the Vega7.
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#2
Steevo
Mid-range is where the money is at, we are kinda fringe on some of us having the latest and greatest vs the rest of the world.
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#3
SIGSEGV
really? refresh again? /facepalm
damn, Nvidia domination is really unstoppable then...
I really hate AMD's graphics division...
judging by his face it seems he's drunk in the photo...oh well
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#4
moproblems99
SIGSEGV, post: 3974822, member: 104324"
really? refresh again? /facepalm
damn, Nvidia domination is really unstoppable then...
I really hate AMD's graphics division...
judging by his face it seems he's drunk in the photo...oh well
What if the refresh competes with the 20 series? Does it matter?
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#5
Valantar
Frankly, even if all they do is port Polaris to 7nm, add GDDR6 and use some of the area gains for more CUs, that could make for some killer GPUs for relatively cheap. Hope they improve the encode/decode blocks, but that's about it.

Of course, if this turns out to be talk of Navi arriving with an arch revamp that further increases perf/w, that would be great. Fingers crossed.
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#6
Fluffmeister
I wonder if Radeon VII is the best it's going be from AMD this year, starting at the high-end implies so.... shame.

-1 again! Casecutter is not loving me today!
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#7
Valantar
Not unlikely. They've now got a (reportedly) solid competitor at the 2nd tier, which price-wise is the old "aspirational flagship" tier. Don't need much more, as there's no money for an underdog above that. What they need to survive and grow (and become more than an underdog) is to focus on the mid-range. They've had great success with this for the past years, so I don't see any reason for this to change. It means I'll have to wait a while still to upgrade from my Fury X, but I'm happy with that. Then again, I'm not in the "money to burn" demographic.
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#8
Casecutter
Ok, they use Polaris architecture on entry 2048 SP part and 7nm; boost clocks in 14-1,500Mhz 4 Gb of GDDR6 as their new RX 560 that's above a RX 570 perhaps low 580 8Gb for a MSRP of $150. I can Live with that...

Then Navi that gives you Vega 64 for $280, while the gelding of that is like GTX 1070 for $230, and we wait for Navi or something with the HBM2 above the Vega 7.

Though I think I'm very judicious as to those prices, as I think we have already been bowled (or bowl-ed as in toilet) over to what was the old perf/$ curve and fear it's just going to be getting worse
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#9
HD64G
If small Navi is made for gaming instead of a multi-purposed chip as Vega, it will be more efficient and will be clocking much higher than Polaris while consuming less due to the lump to 7nm. My estimation is that RX680 will have less cores than 580, clocking close to 2GHz, coupled with GDDR6. That combo will probably get it between Vega 56 and 64 and close to 2070 (depending to the game engine liking clocks more than raw power) at a TDP<<200W. This for the full chip. The RX670 one will be battling 2060 with a TDP~150W. My 5 cents and let's all hope for that scenario in order to have fierce competition and get better prices than we have atm.
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#10
delshay
Their could now release 7nm Vega Nano. Don't know how many user(s) would be interested in such a card
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#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
AMD said nothing about Navi at CES and the source cited here doesn't either. The 7 nm products Papermaster is talking about could easily be Polaris 40 with a GDDR6 memory controller.
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#12
efikkan
So what will be the naming then?
AMD is the king of confusing naming:
- Radeon R5/R7/R9 300 series and R9 Fury
- Radeon R5/R7/RX 400 series
- Radeon 500/RX 500 series (the last one, RX 590 was introduced after the RX Vega series)
- Radeon RX Vega series
- Radeon VII (?)
AMD need to do better than this.
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#13
Aldain
SIGSEGV, post: 3974822, member: 104324"
really? refresh again? /facepalm
damn, Nvidia domination is really unstoppable then...
I really hate AMD's graphics division...
judging by his face it seems he's drunk in the photo...oh well
A refreshed porfolio of cards.. ffs you can read , right?
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#14
tvamos
SIGSEGV, post: 3974822, member: 104324"
really? refresh again? /facepalm
damn, Nvidia domination is really unstoppable then...
I really hate AMD's graphics division...
judging by his face it seems he's drunk in the photo...oh well
Unlike nvidias billions concetrated to only gpus, amd had not much money to invest in r&d on several fronts after bulldozer, and had to use wisely what they had. And they did, Ryzen took obviously biggest part, semi customs took the rest and radeon only got crumbs of the table. So viewing it from that angle, refresh or not, you got to give them a little bit of credit for still staying in the gpu game.

Next few years will show if rtg can really fight, when they can finally put some money in development. With new gen of consoles almost done, they can concentrate on radeon itself.
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#15
mtcn77
Glad to see THESTREET being accredited, though I wish it were a lot sooner and broader.
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#16
robot zombie
tvamos, post: 3974930, member: 162758"
Unlike nvidias billions concetrated to only gpus, amd had not much money to invest in r&d on several fronts after bulldozer, and had to use wisely what they had. And they did, Ryzen took obviously biggest part, semi customs took the rest and radeon only got crumbs of the table. So viewing it from that angle, refresh or not, you got to give them a little bit of credit for still staying in the gpu game.

Next few years will show if rtg can really fight, when they can finally put some money in development. With new gen of consoles almost done, they can concentrate on radeon itself.
Yeah that's kinda my thinking. I'm glad they haven't been dumping more money into GPU's. They've been in kind of a sinking ship situation where even if they had dumped in the cash I'm betting we'd still be living in a world with no TRULY awesome AMD GPU's AND no Ryzen. Hopefully as they continue to regain footing in the CPU game, they can start to get their GPU's back on track.

I think that's probably been their plan since before Zen went into production - no doubt their internal roadmaps would show that. They know very well that GPU's aren't gonna save them at this point, so they put in just enough skin to stay in the game while they focus on better opportunities. AMD, if nothing else, has been very, very coordinated and organized lately. It's actually been pretty cool to see them go from floundering around to systematically making shit work. Just about everything they do is blatantly calculated and it seems to really be paying off for them. They may not be on top right now, but I swear they actually have it more together than Nvidia or Intel atm. The way they operate now is very interesting. It's hard for me to pin down, but sometimes you can really see where leadership is and isn't.

The only surprises have been how decent the CPU's have been. And I think these GPU's are probably a calculated move, too. Small moves mean smaller failures, too. Bigger chance at a small success that won't really get them anywhere, but won't hold them back from succeeding elsewhere. They're not banking on any big successes with their GPU's just yet because they really don't need to just yet. I'm betting they've got a lot more going on in the future than they let on. I really sincerely doubt that what they have coming now GPU-wise represents them putting it all on the table. They're playing it smart and picking their battles IMO. So far I think they've chosen right, in both spheres.

Nothing really to go by, there. Just general observations.
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#17
TheinsanegamerN
moproblems99, post: 3974829, member: 155919"
What if the refresh competes with the 20 series? Does it matter?
Yes, because nvidia is still on 14nm. Once AMD starts putting out 7nm chips to compete against 2000 series nvidia cards, nvidia will likely have "3000" series at 7nm on the way, once again relegating AMD to the failure bin of GPUs for a third generation in a row.

It's not like AMD has some exclusive manufacturing process. If AMD needs processes to compete, it will never be competitive, and nvidia will be free to jack up prices even more while commandeering developer attention in the PC space.

AMD NEEDS to compete with something new. Only hardcore AMD fans that are going to pay $800 for thrice microwaved GCN chips.
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#18
moproblems99
TheinsanegamerN, post: 3974956, member: 127292"
AMD NEEDS to compete with something new.
Obviously and they obviously don't have anything else at the moment. If they can compete in the here and now then that is better than where we were two weeks ago.
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#19
Digital Dreams
SIGSEGV, post: 3974822, member: 104324"
really? refresh again? /facepalm
damn, Nvidia domination is really unstoppable then...
I really hate AMD's graphics division...
judging by his face it seems he's drunk in the photo...oh well
Wow you are trying way too hard. I guess he could have gone on a salty tirade like leather jacket man.
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#20
Bones
Right now AMD is playing it smart, catering to the mid-range crowd where the majority of sales are and they certainly need to.

Taking things in stride and making moves when they have to while keeping things headed in the right direction, it's a balancing act of sorts and so far they've been doing well at it. With Intel and Nvidia reeling from recent issues now is the time to make a move but AMD isn't going for the throat, instead intrenching themselves deep into the market as they should in baby steps and those add up over time. They aren't in a hurry to ramp up competiton vs Nvidia since those guys are for now tripping themselves up in comparision - Not severely but enough AMD can capitalize on said blunders and make a statement.

Metering out releases instead of trying to all-out slam Nvidia is the way to go if it's going to be done at all because it can't be done any other way.


In short AMD is playing it smart and it's paying off, all they have to do is keep the ball rolling in the right direction.
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#21
jesdals
Any news on AIB cards, will there be any Radeon VII AIB cards on feb ?
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#22
bug
I'm not sure which part of that statement means we'll see a mid-range Navi. The way I read that statement, 2019 will be 7nm Vega fest.
Add to that the CPU announcements that cover AMD's plan till Q2-Q3 and it's pretty obvious Navi is still pretty far from a launch.
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#23
Valantar
bug, post: 3975135, member: 157434"
I'm not sure which part of that statement means we'll see a mid-range Navi. The way I read that statement, 2019 will be 7nm Vega fest.
Add to that the CPU announcements that cover AMD's plan till Q2-Q3 and it's pretty obvious Navi is still pretty far from a launch.
Nothing in that interview mentioning Navi, pretty sure people were extrapolating using previous rumors. "7nm Vega fest" sounds unlikely, though - there's little chance there will be more than one SKU (it's already cut down, but just barely, too expensive with four HBM2 stacks for upper mid-range, and anything unsold will more than likely be gobbled up by datacenters). "7nm fest", sure. But a second 7nm Vega die is unlikely. Refreshed 7nm Polaris with updated memory seems more likely.
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#24
Octopuss
I am hopelessly confused.
I thought Navi was something architecturally new that was supposed to come after Vega. What is this then? That's not Navi :-O
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#25
Valantar
Octopuss, post: 3975187, member: 74316"
I am hopelessly confused.
I thought Navi was something architecturally new that was supposed to come after Vega. What is this then? That's not Navi :-O
No, it's not. If it was, people would be calling it so. Navi isn't out yet, and likely won't be for a while yet. It'll launch when it's ready. This is a die-shrink (with some other tweaks) of Vega, hence the VII name - it's a play both on VII as in '7' in Roman numerals for 7nm, And VII as in Vega II. Nothing at all to be hopelessly confused about. Navi is coming, but AMD has yet to tell us when, and for now they've launched this to be reasonably competitive above mid-range performance until Navi does arrive.
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