AMD ROADMAP: VEGA & NAVI

AMD has recently shipped their Polaris 10 GPU as the RX 480 which is now starring to become more widely available. Starting next year AMD is expected to deliver the Vega GPU which will be more powerful than the Polaris which is a mid range gaming product. The smaller Polaris 11 is aimed at mobile and lower cost discrete cards which will become available in Q3 or Q4 in time for the holiday season..

Polaris is about 2.5 times more GFLOPS per watt compared to 28nm cards. AMD has confirmed that Vega will be made on the 14nm line like Polaris but the die size will be much larger. They are hoping Vega will deliver even more efficiencies.

The market had some expectation for a Polaris card with HBM however that option is limited to 4GB while GDDR5 affords an 8GB card. HBM2 however does provide for 16GB which may be too costly for the price point the RX 480 is being sold at. A dual GPU card with HBM is one option that would be popular.

AMD is expecting to have GPU and CPU products on the FinFET 14nm line through 2017.  AMD is continuing to refine their GCN architecture. The general purpose approach makes it easier to develop drivers. With growing parallel programming gaming will be much better as the years go by.

Right now the RX 480 provides 1920×1080 gaming rigs a big boost in performance for a modest $229 for an 8GB card NVIDIA does not have a new card to compete with this at all right now.

AMD may bring Vega ahead, depending on how well the development progresses, but the Polaris is an easy upgrade today. AMD has indicated they will have 2 models of Vega and 2 models of Navi.

It’s not clear if Navi will be made at 14nm or whether 10nm will be ready. Intel is expected to launch 10nm in 2017 so the rest of the industry will eventually follow suit.