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AMD "Vega" Outsells "Previous Generation" by Over 10 Times

At its Computex presser, leading up to its 7 nm Radeon Vega series unveil, AMD touched upon the massive proliferation of the Vega graphics architecture, which is found not only in discrete GPUs, but also APUs, and semi-custom SoCs of the latest generation 4K-capable game consoles. One such slide that created quite some flutter reads that "Vega" shipments are over 10 times greater than those of the "previous generation."

Normally you'd assume the previous-generation of "Vega" to be "Polaris," since we're talking about the architecture, and not an implementation of it (eg: "Vega 10" or "Raven Ridge," etc.). AMD later, at its post event round-table, clarified that it was referring to "Fiji," or the chip that went into building the Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 Nano, etc., and comparing its sales with that of products based on the "Vega 10" silicon. Growth in shipments of "Vega" based graphics cards is triggered by the crypto-mining industry, and for all intents and purposes, AMD considers the "Vega 10" silicon to be a commercial success.

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano Hands-on

After the AMD event, we got a chance to go hands on with the PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 56 Nano, the most compact desktop graphics card based on the "Vega10" silicon. This product is so special that it got an exclusive unveiling by AMD as a "one more thing." The card's PCB itself it slightly under 5 mm longer than that of the original R9 Nano, but the cooler adds another centimeter to its length. We can only imagine what SFF enthusiasts can do with this card under a specially-design full-coverage water-block.

It's also revealed that the card draws power from a combination of a 6-pin + 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The cooling solution consists of a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink. A single 80 mm spinner ventilates this heatsink, and a plastic shroud covers it all up. Given that this card has specific "RX Vega 56" SKU marking and not an off-beat "RX Vega Nano" branding, we think this card will be as fast as a stock RX Vega 56, out of the box. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4 and a HDMI 2.0. The MSRP for this card is set at USD $449.

On AMD's Raja Koduri RX Vega Tweetstorm

In what is usually described as a tweetstorm, AMD's RTG leader Raja Koduri weighed in on AMD's RX Vega reception and perception from both the public and reviewers. There are some interesting tidbits there; namely, AMD's option of setting the RX vega parts at frequencies and voltages outside the optimal curve for power/performance ratios, in a bid to increase attractiveness towards the performance/$ crowds.

However, it can be said that if AMD had done otherwise, neither gamers nor reviewers would have been impressed with cards that potentially delivered less performance than their NVIDIA counterparts, while consuming more power all the same (even if consuming significantly less wattage). At the rated MSRP (and that's a whole new discussion), this RTG decision was the best one towards increasing attractiveness of RX Vega offerings. However, Raja Koduri does stress Vega's dynamic performance/watt ratios, due to the usage of specially defined power profiles.
To our forum-walkers: this piece is marked as an editorial

SK Hynix 4 Gigabyte HBM2 Stack Availability Paves the way for Vega

SK Hynix, the principal supplier of high bandwidth memory (HBM) stacks to AMD since its pioneering Radeon R9 Fury series, released an updated HBM2 specifications document that pins availability of 4 gigabyte (32 Gbit) HBM2 stacks to the first quarter of 2017. This paves the way for mass-production and market availability of AMD's upcoming Radeon "Vega" graphics chip, which feature two such 4 GB HBM2 stacks, making up 8 GB of total memory.

SK Hynix H5VR32ESM4H-H1K memory stack, which will be integrated by AMD onto its Vega10 multi-chip module (MCM), ticks at 1.60 Gbps (per pin), with a cumulative bandwidth of 204.8 GB/s per stack. With two such stacks, Vega10 could feature 409.6 GB/s of memory bandwidth, assuming AMD uses the reference clock speeds for these stacks.

Possible Upcoming AMD Radeon GPUs Spotted: Polaris 10 XT2 and Polaris 12

when looking up at an hex file taken from macOS Sierra drivers, Anandtech forum user Glo found what could very well possibly amount to upcoming graphics chips from AMD: Polaris 10 XT2 and Polaris 12. We could very well be looking here into an as-of-yet unknown revision of AMD's Polaris 10 architecture, as well as a totally different chip from the already released Polaris 11 and Polaris 10. Maybe Polaris 12 is the mysterious 687F:C1 chip previously benchmarked in AOtS?

Also of note is the referral to Vega 10, lending further credence to reports of an early 2017 release. Given the fact that all three different architectures are referenced in the same hex dump, this could mean that AMD is working on a new 500 line of GPUs for 2017 - possibly to complete a given ZEN platform and giving customers the chance to go all-in on an AMD system, while simultaneously capitalizing on AMD's apparent confidence in ZEN's market reception. In this scenario, AMD's Vega10 would serve as the successor to the Fury series, with Polaris 12 and Polaris 10 XT2 replacing Polaris 11 and Polaris 10 from the product stack. Another scenario is that Polaris 10 XT2 corresponds to a dual-gpu solution, whose rumors have been making the rounds for some time now.

AMD "Vega 10" GPU Crosses a Development Milestone

AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) chief Raja Koduri was in Shanghai last week to meet with one of the design teams of the "Polaris10" and the upcoming "Vega10." He tweeted that development of "Vega10" had just crossed a milestone, although it's a long way to go before you can see it. The 5th generation Graphics CoreNext architecture, and successor to the upcoming "Polaris" architecture, "Vega" promises a higher performance/Watt than "Polaris," which in turn boasts of a large energy efficiency leap over its predecessor.

One of the most notable derivatives of "Vega" is the "Vega10," poised to be a performance-segment GPU, which will make it to the market alongside "Vega11," a larger enthusiast-segment chip. The Vega10 is rumored to feature 4,096 stream processors spread across 64 compute units, and is expected to be a competitor to NVIDIA's GP104 silicon. The larger Vega11 could compete with larger chips based on the "Pascal" architecture, such as the GP102.
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