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AMD to Simultaneously Launch 3rd Gen Ryzen and Unveil Radeon "Navi" This June

TAITRA, the governing body behind the annual Computex trade-show held in Taipei each June, announced that AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su will host a keynote address which promises to be as exciting as her CES keynote. It is revealed that Dr. Su will simultaneously launch or unveil at least four product lines. High up the agenda is AMD's highly anticipated 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors in the socket AM4 package, based on "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and a multi-chip module (MCM) codenamed "Matisse." This launch could be followed up by a major announcement related to the company's 2nd generation EPYC enterprise processors based on the "Rome" MCM.

PC enthusiasts are in for a second major announcement, this time from RTG, with a technical reveal or unveiling of Radeon "Navi," the company's first GPU designed from the ground up for the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. It remains to be seen which market-segment AMD targets with the first "Navi" products, and the question on everyone's minds, whether AMD added DXR acceleration, could be answered. Lastly, the company could announce more variants of its Radeon Instinct DNN accelerators.

AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Deliver COMPUTEX 2019 CEO Keynote

Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) announced today that the 2019 COMPUTEX International Press Conference will be held with a Keynote by AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. The 2019 COMPUTEX International Press Conference & CEO Keynote is scheduled for Monday, May 27 at 10:00 AM in Room 201 of the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) in Taipei, Taiwan with the keynote topic "The Next Generation of High-Performance Computing".

"COMPUTEX, as one of the global leading technology tradeshows, has continued to advance with the times for more than 30 years. This year, for the first time, a keynote speech will be held at the pre-show international press conference," said Mr. Walter Yeh, President & CEO, TAITRA, "Dr. Lisa Su received a special invitation to share insights about the next generation of high-performance computing. We look forward to her participation attracting more companies to participate in COMPUTEX, bringing the latest industry insights, and jointly sharing the infinite possibilities of the technology ecosystem on this global stage."

Vega II Logo Trademarked by AMD

AMD late November filed a trademark application with the USPTO for a new logo, for its second generation "Vega" graphics architecture, built around the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. The logo looks similar to the original Vega "V," with two bands marking out the Roman numeral II (2). This logo could appear on the product and marketing on a series of new Radeon Pro and Radeon Instinct (and possibly even gaming-grade Radeon RX?) graphics cards based on AMD's new "Vega 20" multi-chip module. This chip features a doubling in memory bandwidth thanks to its 4096-bit wide HBM2 interface, and the optical shrink of the GPU die to the 7 nm node could enable AMD to dial up engine clocks significantly.

It Can't Run Crysis: Radeon Instinct MI60 Only Supports Linux

AMD recently announced the Radeon Instinct MI60, a GPU-based data-center compute processor with hardware virtualization features. It takes the crown for "the world's first 7 nm GPU." The company also put out specifications of the "Vega 20" GPU it's based on: 4,096 stream processors, 4096-bit HBM2 memory interface, 1800 MHz engine clock-speed, 1 TB/s memory bandwidth, 7.4 TFLOP/s peak double-precision (FP64) performance, and the works. Here's the kicker: the company isn't launching this accelerator with Windows support. At launch, AMD is only releasing x86-64 Linux drivers, with API support for OpenGL 4.6, Vulkan 1.0, and OpenCL 2.0, along with AMD's ROCm open ecosystem. The lack of display connector already disqualifies this card for most workstation applications, but with the lack of Windows support, it is also the most expensive graphics card that "can't run Crysis." AMD could release Radeon Pro branded graphics cards based on "Vega 20," which will ship with Windows and MacOS drivers.

AMD Unveils "Zen 2" CPU Architecture and 7 nm Vega Radeon Instinct MI60 at New Horizon

AMD today held its "New Horizon" event for investors, offering guidance and "color" on what the company's near-future could look like. At the event, the company formally launched its Radeon Instinct MI60 GPU-based compute accelerator; and disclosed a few interesting tidbits on its next-generation "Zen 2" mircroarchitecture. The Instinct MI60 is the world's first GPU built on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and among the first commercially available products built on 7 nm. "Rome" is on track to becoming the first 7 nm processor, and is based on the Zen 2 architecture.

The Radeon Instinct MI60 is based on a 7 nm rendition of the "Vega" architecture. It is not an optical shrink of "Vega 10," and could have more number-crunching machinery, and an HBM2 memory interface that's twice as wide that can hold double the memory. It also features on-die logic that gives it hardware virtualization, which could be a boon for cloud-computing providers.

AMD "Vega 20" GPU Not Before Late Q1-2019

AMD "Vega 20" is a new GPU based on existing "Vega" graphics architecture, which will be fabbed on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and bolstered with up to 32 GB of HBM2 memory across a 4096-bit memory interface that's double the bus-width of "Vega 10". AMD CEO Lisa Su already exhibited a mock-up of this chip at Computex 2018, with an word that alongside its "Zen 2" based EPYC enterprise processors, "Vega 20" will be the first 7 nm GPU. AMD could still make good on that word, only don't expect to find one under your tree this Holiday.

According to GamersNexus, the first "Vega 20" products won't launch before the turn of the year, and even in 2019, one can expect product launches till the end of Q1 (before April). GamersNexus cites reliable sources hinting at the later-than-expected arrival of "Vega 20" as part of refuting alleged "Final Fantasy XV" benchmarks of purported "Vega 20" engineering samples doing rounds on the web. Lisa Su stressed the importance of data-center GPUs in AMD's Q3-2018 earnings call, which could hint at the possibility of AMD allocating its first "Vega 20" yields to high-margin enterprise brands such as Radeon Pro and Radeon Instinct.

AMD Vega 20 Possible Performance Spotted in Final Fantasy XV Benchmark

It would appear AMD's 7nm Vega 20 has been benchmarked in Final Fantasy XV. While the details are scarce, what we do know is the hardware device ID 66AF:C1 can be linked to Vega 20 via the Linux patches back in April. Now considering AMD has not confirmed any 7nm Vega graphics cards for consumers, It is more likely this version is an engineering sample for the new Radeon Instinct or Pro series cards.

AMD Implements xGMI for "Vega 20" as Competition to NVLink

xGMI (inter-chip global memory interconnect) is a cable-capable version of AMD's Infinity Fabric interconnect. A line of code in the latest version of AMDGPU Linux drivers reveals that "Vega 20" will support xGMI. This line tells the driver to check the state of xGMI link. A practical implementation of this could be inter-card high-bandwidth bridge connectivity that would otherwise saturate the PCI-Express host bus; similar to NVIDIA's usage of the new NVLink bridge for Quadro and Tesla products based on its "Volta" and "Turing" GPU architectures.

By no means should xGMI and NVLink implementations be interpreted as a coming back of multi-GPU to the gaming space. There are still no takers for DirectX 12 multi-GPU, and fewer AAA games support SLI or CrossFire. Even at higher resolutions/refresh-rates, existing SLI/CrossFire physical-layer standards have sufficient bandwidth for multi-GPU. The upcoming GeForce RTX 2000 graphics cards feature a new multi-GPU connector that's physically NVLink, but this is probably an attempt by NVIDIA to discard the legacy SLI bus and minimize redundant interfaces on its silicon. The TU102 and TU104 chips are implemented in the enterprise segment with the Quadro RTX family. The main application of xGMI/NVLink is to make multi-GPU hardware setups abstract to deep-learning software, so hardware can scale in the background with memory access spanning multiple GPUs. "Vega 20" will be launched in Radeon Pro and Radeon Instinct avatars late-2018.

Samsung Doubles its HBM2 Output, May Still Fall Short of Demand

Samsung has reportedly doubled its manufacturing output of HBM2 (high-bandwidth memory 2) stacks. Despite this, the company may still fall short of the demand for HBM2, according to HPC expert Glenn K Lockwood, Tweeting from the ISC 2018, the annual HPC industry event held between 24th to 28th June in Frankfurt, where Samsung was talking about its 2nd generation "Aquabolt" HBM2 memory, which is up to 8 times faster than GDDR5, with up to 307 GB/s bandwidth from a single stack.

While HBM2 is uncommon on consumer graphics cards (barring AMD's flagship Radeon RX Vega series, and NVIDIA's TITAN V), the memory type is in high demand with HPC accelerators that are mostly GPU-based, such as AMD Radeon Instinct series, and NVIDIA Tesla. The HPC industry itself is riding the gold-rush of AI research based on deep-learning and neural-nets. FPGAs, chips that you can purpose-build for your applications, are the other class of devices soaking up HBM2 inventories. The result of high demand, coupled with high DRAM prices could mean HBM2 could still be too expensive for mainstream client applications.

AMD Radeon Vega 12 and Vega 20 Listed in Ashes Of The Singularity Database

Back at Computex, AMD showed a demo of their Vega 20 graphics processor, which is produced using a refined 7 nanometer process. We also reported that the chip has a twice-as-wide memory interface, effectively doubling memory bandwidth, and alsomaximum memory capacity. The smaller process promises improvements to power efficiency, which could let AMD run the chip at higher frequencies for more performance compared to the 14 nanometer process of existing Vega.

As indicated by AMD during Computex, the 7 nanometer Vega is a product targeted at High Performance Compute (HPC) applications, with no plans to release it for gaming. As they clarified later, the promise of "7 nanometer for gamers" is for Navi, which follows the Vega architecture. It's even more surprising to see AOTS results for a non-gaming card - my guess is that someone was curious how well it would do in gaming.

Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

Raja Koduri, chief of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has reportedly taken an extended leave from the company, running up to December 2017. Ryan Shrout, editor of PC Perspective stated that he got confirmation from the company about this development. Company CEO Lisa Su has taken direct control over RTG in the meantime.

Formed in 2015 after a major internal reorganization, RTG handles a bulk of AMD's graphics IP, developing and marketing products under the Radeon brand, including Radeon RX series consumer graphics chips, Radeon Pro series professional graphics chips, and Radeon Instinct line of GPGPU accelerators. This move is of particular significance as Q4 tends to be the biggest revenue quarter, as sales rally on account of Holiday.

AMD Giving Up on CrossFire with RX Vega

AMD is reportedly scaling down efforts on its end to support and promote multi-GPU technologies such as CrossFire, and not in favor of open-standards such as DirectX 12 native multi-GPU, either. Speaking to GamersNexus, an AMD representative confirmed that while the new Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards support CrossFire, the company may not allocate as many resources as it used to with older GPU launches, in promoting or supporting it.

This is keeping up with trends in the industry moving away from multi-GPU configurations, and aligns with NVIDIA's decision to dial-down investment in SLI. This also more or less confirms that AMD won't build a Radeon RX series consumer graphics product based on two "Vega 10" ASICs. At best, one can expect dual-GPU cards for the professional or GPU-compute markets, such as the Radeon Pro or Radeon Instinct brands.

AMD also Announces Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning Accelerators

AMD also announced the Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning GPUs based on Fiji and Polaris cores, respectively. These parts comprise the more "budget" part of the still most certainly non-consumer oriented high-end machine learning lineup. Still, with all parts using fairly modern cores, they aim to make an impact in their respective segments.

Starting with the Radeon Instinct MI8, we have a Fiji based core with the familiar 4 GBs of HBM1 memory and 512 GB/s total memory bandwidth. It has 8.2 TFLOPS of either Single Precision of Half Precision floating point performance (so performance there does not double when going half precision like its bigger Vega based brother, the MI25). It features 64 Compute Units.

The Radeon Instinct MI6 is a Polaris based card and slightly slower in performance than the MI8, despite having four times the amount of memory at 16 GBs of GDDR5. The likely reason for this is a slower bandwidth speed, at only 224 GB/s. It also has less compute units at 36 total, with a total of 2304 stream processors. This all equates out to a still respectable 5.7 TFLOPs of overall half or single precision floating point performance (which again, does not double at half precision rate like Vega).

AMD Announces the Radeon Instinct MI25 Deep Learning Accelerator

AMD's EPYC Launch presentation focused mainly on its line of datacenter processors, but fans of AMD's new Vega GPU lineup may be interested in another high-end product that was announced during the presentation. The Radeon Instinct MI25 is a Deep Learning accelerator, and as such is hardly intended for consumers, but it is Vega based and potentially very potent in the company's portfolio all the same. Claiming a massive 24.6 TFLOPS of Half Precision Floating Point performance (12.3 Single Precision) from its 64 "next-gen" compute units, this machine is very suited to Deep Learning and Machine AI oriented applications. It comes with no less than 16 GBs of HBM2 memory, and has 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth to play with.
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