Along with this week’s teaser of the forthcoming Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 at E3, AMD also held a short press briefing about Polaris. The bulk of AMD’s presentation is going to be familiar to our readers who keep close tabs on AMD’s market strategy (in a word, VR), but this latest presentation also brought to light a few more details on the company’s two Polaris GPUs that I want to quickly touch upon.

First and foremost, AMD’s presentation included a slide with pictures of the two chips, and confirmation on their full configurations. The larger Polaris 10 is a 36 CU (2304 SP) chip, meaning that the forthcoming Radeon RX 480 video card is using a fully enabled chip. Meanwhile the smaller Polaris 11 (note that these pictures aren’t necessarily to scale) packs 16 CUs (1024 SPs). This puts it a bit below Pitcairn (20 CUs) before factoring in GCN 4’s higher efficiency. Meanwhile as is common for these lower-power GPUs, AMD’s slide also confirms that it features a 128-bit memory bus.

AMD is expecting Polaris 11 to offer over 2 TFLOPs of performance. Assuming a very liberal range of 2.0 to 2.5 TFLOPs for possible shipping products, this would put clockspeeds of a high-end Polaris 11 part at between 975MHz and 1220MHz, which is similar to our projections for RX 480/Polaris 10. Note that AMD has not yet announced any specific product using Polaris 11, however as we now know that RX 470 is a Polaris 10 based card, it’s safe to assume that RX 460 is Polaris 11, and the over-2 TFLOPs projection is for that card.

Second, briefly mentioned in AMD’s press release on Monday was the low z-height of at least Polaris 11, and it pops up in this slide deck again. There was some confusion whether z-height referred to the laptop or the chip, but the slide makes it clear that this is about the chip. So it will be interesting to see how thin Polaris 11 is, how that compares to other chips, and just what manufacturers can in turn do with it.



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  • Murloc - Thursday, June 16, 2016 - link

    well there's the home cinema market which has 100'' screens and TV-like viewing distances. Reply
  • blahsaysblah - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    This is incorrect. DP1.3 has the raw bandwidth for 4k@96@30bit. DP 1.4 does not add any more raw bandwidth. Nowhere near the 4k@240Hz, forgetting any jump in color bits... The 8k support listed is all via supposedly "visually lossless" but mathematically lossy compression. Same with 4k@144Hz support, its partly via 8 bit displays(4k@120@8bit/color is max raw) and rest with your perfect pixels from source being transformed. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    I think you meant "That is correct." Doesn't matter if it's lossy or lossless, DP1.4 still supports 8K60/10-bit/HDR and 4K120/10-bit/HDR. Reply
  • blahsaysblah - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    No, DP1.4 has raw bandwidth for 4k@96Hz@10bits/color, 4k@120Hz@8bits/color. Anything beyond that is via "visually lossless" but mathematically lossy compression features theyve been introducing for a while. All that 8k support is bogus.

    DP1.4 cant even support 4k@144Hz with raw perfect source pixels. So expect strong push from VR and or gamers.
  • D. Lister - Saturday, June 18, 2016 - link

    Wow, you would be getting a 460, for an 8K display? That... is just... fantastic. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    Low Z-Height sounds like the sort of thing Apple would be interested in - a nice thin Polaris 11 would be an ideal match for their Macbook Pro range. I wonder if they had a hand in that requirement? Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    It was designed for notebooks and several Polaris 11 notebook GPUs have already been announced. It wouldn't be too surprising to see one in a MacBook Pro the TDP is about right. Reply
  • shelbystripes - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    I would love to see an MBP with RX460 inside. It would almost justify the long delay in updating the MBP's hardware... Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    Pretty please yes. It's crazy that the most money I can pay for a Macbook today will get me GCN 1.0. The M370X doesn't even offer enough performance lead over my Iris Pro 5200 model for me to be tempted. Reply
  • trane - Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - link

    This is a sure shot. Macbook Pro is going to ship with RX 480M. As will XPS 15, and a whole bunch of notebooks. I bet a RX 470M or a lower power variant of Polaris 11 even makes it to ultrabooks like Surface Book. That's what the low z-height is about. Reply

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