AMD Vega Microarchitecture Technical Overview 29

AMD Vega Microarchitecture Technical Overview

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Introduction


AMD today unveiled its Radeon RX Vega family of consumer graphics cards, and with it, brought its new "Vega" GPU architecture to the bulk of the market. When AMD launched the "Polaris" GPU architecture in 2016, it was hoped that the company would build everything from entry-level graphics cards to the top of the line enthusiast segment ones - which were needed since it hadn't launched anything for the enthusiast segment since way back in June 2015.

In the end, "Polaris" was relegated to the lower end of the performance segment, and the company had its consumer graphics lineup undefended beyond the $300 mark. AMD ran the "Radeon Rebels" marketing campaign where it used alt-left imagery and sloganeering to paint their "Polaris" based products as catering to the needs of the many at an affordable price. At the time, AMD was already deep into the development of its "Vega" GPU architecture and hoped that it would be ready in time to launch high-end graphics cards. It's only by mid-2017, though, that the company is able to deliver. By now, rival NVIDIA has finished its entire product launch cycle for the "Pascal" architecture, and has already launched its first product using the next-generation "Volta."



The first silicon based on the "Vega" architecture is "Vega 10," which has powered the company's Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition graphics card the company launched at steep price points of $999 and $1499 this June. The company is today announcing the first consumer graphics cards, the Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56. The curious-looking numerical brand extension denotes the number of CUs the SKU it is endowed with and is in our opinion an easily understand method. "Vega" combines 5th generation Graphics CoreNext GPU compute cores with a host of new technologies we will discuss at length in this article.
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