News Posts matching "Volcanic Islands"

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AMD Outs "Bristol Ridge" APU Performance Numbers

Although AMD's upcoming socket AM4 heralds new lines of processors and APUs based on the company's next-generation "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, some of the first APUs will continue to be based the current "Excavator" architecture. The "Bristol Ridge" is one such chip. It made its mobile debut as the 7th generation A-Series and FX-Series mobile APUs, and is en route to the desktop platform, in the AM4 package. What sets the AM4 package apart from the FM2+ package, and in turn "Bristol Ridge" from "Carrizo" is that the platform integrates even the southbridge (FCH) into the APU die. This could explain the 1,331-pin count of the AM4 socket.

The "Bristol Ridge" silicon is likely built on the existing 28 nm process. That's not the only thing "current-gen" about this chip. Its CPU component consists of two "Excavator" modules that make up four CPU cores, with 4 MB total cache; and its integrated GPU will likely be based on the Graphics CoreNext 1.2 "Volcanic Islands" architecture, the same one which drives the "Tonga" and "Fiji" discrete GPUs. The integrated memory controller supports dual-channel DDR4 memory. In its performance benchmarks, an AM4 APU based on the "Bristol Ridge" silicon was pitted against older 6th generation APUs, in which it was found to be as much as 23 percent faster.

Source: HardwareCanucks

Radeon R9 290X Pictured, Tested, Beats Titan

Here are the first pictures of AMD's next-generation flagship graphics card, the Radeon R9 290X. If the naming caught you off-guard, our older article on AMD's new nomenclature could help. Pictured below is the AMD reference-design board of the R9 290X. It's big, and doesn't have too much going on with its design. At least it doesn't look Fisher Price like its predecessor. This reference design card is all that you'll be able to buy initially, and non-reference design cards could launch much later.

With its cooler taken apart, the PCB is signature AMD, you find digital-PWM voltage regulation, Volterra and CPL (Cooperbusmann) chippery, and, well, the more obvious components, the GPU and memory. The GPU, which many sources point at being built on the existing 28 nm silicon fab process, and looks significantly bigger than "Tahiti." The chip is surrounded by not twelve, but sixteen memory chips, which could indicate a 512-bit wide memory interface. At 6.00 GHz, we're talking about 384 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Other rumored specifications include 2,816 stream processors, four independent tessellation units, 176 TMUs, and anywhere between 32 and 64 ROPs. There's talk of DirectX 11.2 support.
It gets better, the source also put out benchmark figures.

Next-Generation AMD Radeon Series Nomenclature Detailed

Since the very first DirectX 10-ready graphics cards by AMD, we've been used to the "Radeon HD xyz0" nomenclature, in which "x" denoted generation, "y" market segment, and "z" variant. That all is about to change with the company's Volcanic Islands GPU family, which will be unveiled (at least to the press), later this month. Using the same "x, y, z" variables as mentioned before, the new nomenclature could look like "Radeon Ry xz i" (where the new variable "i" could denote special features).

An example of this new nomenclature could be, say, Radeon R9 280 X, where "9" denotes the high-end market segment, currently held by Radeon HD 7900 series, "2" indicating generation, and "80" denoting variant. "XT" (full-spec) chips could get the "80" marking, and "Pro" (partial-spec) chips could get the "60" or "70" marking, but it isn't fixed, and could even be "50" and "40" for lower-end parts. At this point, we can't even speculate what the "i" (special feature) could denote. For mobile parts, the letter "M" could be prefixed to the "xz" component of the model number (example: Radeon R9 M380 X). Validations for graphics cards running early drivers with this naming scheme, have been showing up on our GPU-Z Validation database for days now, and our analysis is our best understanding of their naming strings. Capiche? Can't blame you.

AMD Updates Product Roadmap for 2014-2015

AMD reportedly updated its consumer products roadmap for 2014 thru 2015 to account for changes in the industry. The company is expected to unveil its next-generation "Volcanic Islands" GPU family by late-September, 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, the company is expected to unveil its 4th generation entry-level APUs, codenamed "Kabini." Built in ST3 socket for notebooks, and FS1B for desktops, this product family will include dual- and quad-core parts, with TDPs under 25W. Among the quad-core parts are the A4-5350 and A4-5150, and among the dual-core ones is the E1-2650.

"Kabini" will enter mass-production in February 2014, and will be formally announced in the following month. Kabini's early-2014 launch, delayed from late-2013, will have a cascading effect on its successor's launch. "Beema," its successor, will now launch in either late-2014, or early-2015. "Beema" will be based on the same socket types as "Kabini," but will incorporate more HSA technologies.

NVIDIA Working on GK110-based Dual-GPU Graphics Card?

GeForce GTX 295 showed that its possible to place two GPUs with ludicrously high pin-counts next to each other on a single PCB, and if you get a handle over their thermals, even deploy a 2-slot cooling solution. NVIDIA might be motivated to create such a dual-GPU graphics card based on its top-end GK110 chip, to counter AMD's upcoming "Volcanic Islands" GPU family, or so claims a VideoCardz report, citing sources.

The chips on the card needn't be configured, or even clocked like a GTX Titan. The GTX 780 features just 2,304 of the chip's 2,880 CUDA cores, for example. Speaking of 2,880 CUDA cores, the prospect of NVIDIA developing a single-GPU GeForce product with all streaming multiprocessors on the GK110 enabled, the so-called "Titan Ultra," isn't dead. NVIDIA could turn its attention to such a card if it finds AMD's R9 2xxx within its grasp.
Source: VideoCardz

AMD Never Settle Forever Gaming Bundle Detailed

By the time AMD unveils its "Volcanic Islands" GPU family in Q4-2013, the company will have pulled on with a single product stack for well over 20 months. A part of what kept AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series competitive over these months, apart from frequent price cuts, is its "Never Settle" game bundles, which give buyers of graphics cards from Radeon HD 7700 series and above, two to eight free game coupons, some of which are recently launched AAA titles that are $60 off market. AMD plans to launch the next edition of its Never Settle bundles with its next GPU family, which will be named "Never Settle Forever."

"Never Settle Forever" takes a different approach to game bundles than its predecessors, which gave buyers a predetermined set of freebies depending on which series of Radeon products, or what quantities they purchased. The new bundle lets buyers choose what games they want, broken down from three selections, probably tied to what series of graphics cards they purchase. "Radeon Rewards Bronze" lets you choose any one game from a selection of six, "Radeon Rewards Silver" lets you pick any two games from a slightly wider selection of eight games, and "Radeon Rewards Gold" lets you choose three games from a selection of nine. Buying a Radeon x700 series product gets you access to the Bronze selection, x800 series Silver, and x900 series Gold. The slide below shows an example of such a bundle, which could be implemented for current Radeon HD 7000 series. The selections could change with "Volcanic Islands," especially with all the talk about AMD roping in Battlefield 4 into its future bundles.

AMD "Hawaii" Press Sample Boxes Surface

Some time in late September, the 25th to be precise, AMD is flying the press at large over to Hawaii, to unveil its "Volcanic Islands" GPU family, with its flagship part, codenamed "Hawaii." This chip is expected to succeed "Tahiti," on which AMD's top-end Radeon HD 7900 series is based. An poster on ChipHell forums leaked these pictures of a press-package of AMD's flagship Hawaii-based graphics card, which has things going both for and against its credibility.

To begin with, the picture shows an audio CD-type jewel case holding Battlefield 4. Given that the game won't launch until late-October, we find it implausible that its release DVDs will be ready a month in advance. There's also a graphic printed on the box that shows the shore of a volcanic island (where magma meets the ocean) in the background, and an AMD logo in the foreground. The thread also contains a few alleged x-ray shots from a different poster, but we're pretty sure that they're of a motherboard. Nice try.
Sources: ChipHell forums, Expreview

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's Answer to GeForce GTX 700 Series: Volcanic Islands

GPU buyers can breathe a huge sigh of relief that AMD isn't fixated with next-generation game consoles, and that its late-2013 launch of its next GPU generation is with good reason. The company is building a new GPU micro-architecture from the ground up. Codenamed "Volcanic Islands," with members codenamed after famous islands along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the new GPU family sees AMD rearranging component-hierarchy within the GPU, in a big way.

Over the past three GPU generations that used VLIW5, VLIW4, and Graphics CoreNext SIMD architectures, the component hierarchy was essentially untouched. According to an early block-diagram of one of the GPUs in the series, codenamed "Hawaii," AMD will designate parallel and serial computing units. Serial cores based on either of the two architectures AMD is licensed to use (x86 and ARM), could handle part of the graphics processing load. The stream processors of today make up the GPU's parallel processing machinery.
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