Along with a bevy of roadmap announcements at financial analyst day, AMD has also slipped in a full-on mobile GPU announcement today at the event.

Being announced today is the Radeon M300 series. With so much other news coming out of FAD we’re still tracking down more information on the product line, but of the information released by AMD so far, we do know that these parts are being advertised as refined parts with better efficiency and power management. AMD’s FAD presentation has not made any mention of what specific GPUs are being used here or of specific SKUs (we may yet see a press release), so it’s not clear whether there are new GPUs involved or if these are simply rebadges of existing GPUs and products.

AMD does note that M300 systems should already be available from several of AMD’s usual partners, including Alienware, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba. Meanwhile given the timing of the announcement and the fact that AMD is specifically advertising these GPUs as supporting Dual Graphics mode with AMD’s A-series APUs, I suspect some of these GPUs may be intended to work alongside AMD’s Carrizo APU, which is due this year.

Update: AMD has since released the details of the M300 SKUs on their website, and though they’re not incredibly detailed, they give us an idea of just what AMD is up to.

AMD M300 Series GPU Specification Comparison
  R9 M375 R7 M360 R5 M330
Was Variant of R9 M270/M260 Variant of R7 M270/M260 Variant of R5 M255
Stream Processors 640 384 320
Texture Units 40 24 20
ROPs 16 4? 4?
Boost Clock <=1015MHz <=1015MHz <=1030MHz
Memory Clock 2.2GHz DDR3 2GHz DDR3 2GHz DDR3
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 64-bit 64-bit
VRAM <=4GB <=4GB <=4GB
GPU Cape Verde Oland Oland
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Architecture GCN 1.0 GCN 1.0 GCN 1.0

Unfortunately it looks like everything is going to be a rebadge/rehash of AMD’s existing GCN 1.0 GPUs. While AMD’s specs do not confirm which GPUs we’re looking at, and hence we’re admittedly taking an educated guess, based on the specs and features we have every reason to believe we’re looking at Cape Verde and Oland, the two GPUs that also backed AMD’s M200 series. I had been hoping for a cut-down Bonaire in here, to bring GCN 1.1 to mobile, but it doesn’t look like that’s in the cards.

What we have then is a 3 product stack with some very unusual configurations. Compared to their M200 counterparts, all 3 M300 parts have much higher GPU clockspeeds. AMD is now allowing clockspeeds over 1GHz, even for the low-end M330. Though as always, we need to remind everyone that these are “up to” speeds, and OEMs get the final choice in what the shipping clockspeed of a M300 part will be in any given laptop.

And although clockspeeds are up, memory bandwidth is way, way down. All of these parts ship with DDR3, and of those only the M375 gets a 128-bit memory bus. The other two parts, based on Oland, are shipping with a 64-bit memory bus. On the M200 series AMD was using GDDR5 with Cape Verde and the full 128-bit memory bus with Oland, so these new parts have half (or less) of the memory bandwidth of their M200 counterparts.  The fact that AMD did this while increasing clockspeeds (which generally has a knock-on impact on power consumption) is very odd, and I would expect that these new parts are going to be bandwidth starved and will not reach the full potential of their respective GPUs. Meanwhile there's also some uncertainty over the number of ROPs enabled on the M360 and M330; with 64-bit memory buses on a chip that natively has a 128-bit memory bus, AMD may have disabled half of the ROPs in the process.

Looking at these parts overall, in AMD’s FAD event today the company specifically noted the dual graphics capabilities of the M300 series, and I suspect that’s precisely what these parts are meant for. They’re not intended to be stand-alone, but rather they’re designed to be paired with Carrizo/Kaveri APUs to inject more graphics silicon to improve GPU performance. In which case we’re looking at another wrinkle in performance, not only from dual graphics but from the fact that AMD’s APUs tend to be hungry for bandwidth as well, in which case the impact of these slower memory buses may not be as great.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that AMD only went up to M375 here. They did not introduce an M380 or M390 series part, not even rebadging the Pitcairn/Tonga parts that compose the faster members of the M200 series. This may be a sign that AMD intends to introduce faster parts later on, but for the moment that’s merely speculation on my part.

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  • chizow - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    @Gigaplex, Sure Nvidia rebrands too, but not an entire product stack like this. I mean there is literally nothing new in there, in fact, everything is really old. GCN 1.0? I mean I know as an AMD fan you don't want to hear it, but this is really the culmination of spending resources unwisely and having a backlog of GPUs that the market doesn't really want. Like I said in another thread, this is what happens when you have deep staffing cuts and spend your limited funds on dead-end APIs. You don't have enough teams working on different products and you end up with a really stale product stack.
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - link

    Because screw name, that's why.
    They really adopted Shakespeare seriously on what is in a name.
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    It's embarrassing now working for them, can you imagine, they send a machine code add to the laser snipper then call the PR department and tell them the new old stock is out and it's slower but laptop apu/crossfire gonna save the day, stuttering, crashing, draining the battery, but hey Alienware !

    rofl - it's embarrassing they are so short staffed they can't make anything - play some liquid vr 3d and stay steamed over dead ended mantle slavework - embarrassed and ticked off !
  • beginner99 - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    I doubt these are rebadges. The fact that the memory system has so much lower bandwidth is a hint that these GPUs are using the new color compression and hence also need much less bandwidth. With that we know it's not a rebadge but in fact a new GPU.
    The only other possibility is, that they really are meant to be paired with an APU and the APU also has terrible bandwidth and would be the bottleneck anyway. So rather save power to, the bottleneck is there anyway. What exactly is mentioned on the AMD page?
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    I doubt you read the article.

    Yes, they're rebrands.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    (repeatedly slams head into desk) WHY? Give us some new freaking chips AMD. this is why nobody uses your stuff in laptops. give us some new gcn 1.2 chips, gpu's from 2012 don't sell. Or, has the fact that nobody uses the m290x in their laptops, and the non existent sales of the r9 290 series in general just slipped your mind?
  • yapmeo - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 - link

    Radeon M330 (1gb) is a joke, it is slower than intel 5500...

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