First Thoughts: A Peek At What’s To Come

Wrapping things up, while today’s reveal from AMD is only a teaser of what they have been working on over the last few years with Vega, it’s none the less an important one. Based on what we know so far, Vega stands to be the biggest change to AMD’s GPU architecture since GCN 1.0 was released 5 years ago, and the changes to the ALUs, the ROPs, the memory structure, and other aspects of Vega reinforce this notion. To be sure, Vega is not a wholly new architecture – it is clearly a further refinement of GCN – but then this is exactly why GCN was designed to be able to evolve through refinements over a very long period of time.

What we have for now then is a quick look at what’s to come from AMD. There are still many things we don’t know, not the least of which is the actual GPU configurations. But for a teaser it’s enough to show that AMD has been hard at work. It sets the stage for the hardware and marketing ramp-up to come over the next few months.

But for now, let’s close with an image. As I mentioned before, the first Vega has taped out, and Radeon Technology Group’s frontman and Chief Architect, Raja Koduri, has one. The chip was just a few weeks old as of December, and while trying to discern die size may be a little too error-prone, we can see one important detail: 2 HBM2 packages.

Raja and AMD will not tell us what chip we’re looking at – like Polaris, two Vega chips have been confirmed – but either way we are looking at one of them in all its alpha silicon glory. Bearing in mind HBM2’s much greater bandwidth per pin, we could very well be looking at a design for a Fiji-like 512GB/sec of memory bandwidth in the chip Raja holds.  And for AMD, that is one more teaser for today to keep attention focused right where they want it: on Vega ahead of its H1’17 launch.

HBM2 & “The World’s Most Scalable GPU Memory Architecture”
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  • Michael Bay - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Here`s your pity comment. Reply
  • Outlander_04 - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Not sure why you think "the desktop graphics game is lost" . In the market segemnts AMD decided to compete in they are winning . Taking market share and out performing nvidia on price and performance.
    If that scales into the top end then perhaps its nvidia who should consider becoming a maker of mobile graphics chips and abandoning the desktop graphics market ?
    Reply
  • Michael Bay - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Sure, garbage bin can be seen as some kind of a market too, if you`re desperate enough. Reply
  • negusp - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    Yeah, no. AMD is actually pretty successful with their current mid-range cards- especially with DX12 and newer drivers the RX 470 kicks 1060 ass.

    You sound like a butthurt nVidia fanboy scared as hell of Vega DGPs and Ryzen IGPs.
    Reply
  • Outlander_04 - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - link

    If the "garbage" is beating nVidia so handily then I think you are agreeing with my original statement Reply
  • LG25 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    Watch this video (all of it), and you will see what a sheep you've been.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN7i1bViOkU
    Reply
  • IUU - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - link

    Well, maybe you are right, but if desktop/laptop gaming dies completely, your solutions to professionals will be fucked up, and no longer evolve properly. In fact, it is in the interest of the "professionals" to not let this gaming die; if they are smart enough.

    Not only every new solution will be far more expensive, but it will be much more incremental, to the level of complete stalling. Gaming market, offers from the one hand the economies of scale and from the other the most demanding playground for researchers to develop new solutions.

    If you have complerely bought the myth, "that there's the serious computing for every day problems and the amater one for gaming ", think again. It may not seem like this right now, but gaming trends towards simulating reality, albeit with small steps everytime. Believe me, there's nothing more computationally demanding than simulating reality, and gaming is the ideal platform for it.

    If those who are in charge don't get it, and let it degrade only to get a tiny and insignificant competitive edge, they will regret it exponentially later.
    Reply
  • Gastec - Thursday, January 12, 2017 - link

    Aha, it's clear then! This is what gamers are supposed to do now:
    1. Buy graphics cards from Nvidia, no matter the price.
    2. Stop gaming.
    Or better yet we should just lay down and die and let the trolls rule the World.
    Reply
  • LG25 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    Gee. Yet another NVidia sheep. Baaa-a-a-a Reply
  • waltsmith - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    So, lets talk pricing already!! lol Reply

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