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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  • Flunk - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Probably not, but the rumors have it that there is a card between the 1080 and Titan X (most assume it will be called 1080 TI) waiting in the wings. Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    There probably is a 1080Ti waiting around. I thought for sure it was going to hit yesterday at CES, but we'll have to wait a while for it I guess :( Reply
  • Gastec - Friday, January 13, 2017 - link

    It would be so beautiful for the 1080Ti to be released after AMD's Vega and to underperform. We desperatelly need a breath of air and break from the trap we're in right now. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Volta won't be out for a while, so this will compete with minor Pascal rebrands. Reply
  • canesin - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    Remember the good old days when we had a countdown to a reveal which an actual launch date and price? Reply
  • FalcomPSX - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    now we get a countdown to the date/time of the reveal of the launch date and time. What we need now is a countdown to the reveal of the countdown to the reveal of the launch date.. or something. Reply
  • Gastec - Friday, January 13, 2017 - link

    And while you wait "consume" some more $1000 cards :) Reply
  • Michael Bay - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    >Instinctive Computing Era

    Somebody`s marketing shoah is long overdue.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    It is kind of sad that the tile based rasterization obviously caught AMD completely by surprise. These guys are chumps. It took a 3rd party to even clue them in on how to capture huge efficiency gains. At any rate, congrats AMD for catching up to the two year old Nvidia designs! Reply
  • rpmrg - Thursday, January 5, 2017 - link

    You really must live in a green glass castle. Reply

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