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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  • LG25 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    There is, unfortunately, another element to this. It's the sheep mentality of team green supporters (hate the word "fanboy"). I watched a pretty good video on YouTube from Adoredtv talking about the past decade of AMD engineering prowess vs NVidia sheep mentality. They have been buying lesser cards for more money for years, and they're feeding a viscous cycle in which they (and us) will be slaves to NVidia's R&D laziness and pricing. All the while, AMD has had little to show for their investment and research. Thanks to NVidia sheep, buying lesser cards for much more money
  • noBSplz - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Why would anyone sell their AMD stock? LOL It went from $2 to $11.50. I Put in 25k last year when they hit their slump and already made 140k. Reply
  • close - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Because "market analysts" like that guy think that somehow in every field there's only room for one. And since there's only one CPU manufacturer, one car manufacturer, one phone manufacturer, etc. why not have only one GPU manufacturer, right? Oh wait... Reply
  • Threska - Friday, January 6, 2017 - link

    One government. :-D Reply
  • LG25 - Friday, July 14, 2017 - link

    Yes, usually right before they buy as much stock in the one they think should win, right before trashing the other. Reply
  • euler007 - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Might want to realize some of your profit, and have some stops in place. Unless you're banking on 500% a year for several years... Reply
  • michael2k - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Um, you sell high, buy low. That's how you make money.
    So $2 to $11.50 is the perfect reason to sell.

    Then the question is, will it go higher or will it drop again? If it will drop then you wait until then to buy again and you'll have made $140k. If it goes higher than, well, you'll have still made $140k.
  • eachus - Saturday, January 14, 2017 - link

    Selling (in the money) calls a year out may be the best strategy. You guarantee the money you get from selling the calls, even if the stock drops to nothing. If the stock goes up and the calls are exercised? You made $140k plus the income from selling the calls. Best situation for you with this strategy may be if the stock drops to where the calls don't get exercised, then bounces back. ;-) Reply
  • negusp - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    I'm holding out for Ryzen and Vega, ye with little faith.

    So what if nVidia has another hardware iteration? This could be better.
  • eachus - Saturday, January 14, 2017 - link

    Don't forget that Vega plus Ryzen will significantly outperform Vega plus Intel. (Virtual memory will be usable between CPU and GPU.) Since AMD uses MOESI vs. Intel's MESIF for virtual memory, I suspect that even if nVidia wants to share memory with an Intel CPU, it will take a special card to do so. Of course, nVidia might go ahead and support AMD's virtual memory scheme, but I doubt it. Reply

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