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Advanced Micro Devices will continue to use names of islands as code-names for three forthcoming generations of its graphics processing units, it was revealed this week. Despite of the fact that the new chips' names will represent islands, the chips will be completely different and some of them promise to be truly revolutionary.

It is not a secret that AMD's next-gen family of graphics processing units (GPUs) is code-named Sea Islands. The year 2013 family of AMD Radeon HD graphics processing units is projected to be substantially more efficient than the Southern Islands when it comes to performance-per-watt and performance-per-transistor. However, there will be even more important architectural innovations, such as unified address space for CPU and GPU, GPU will be able to page system memory using CPU pointers, which will enable full memory coherency between the two.

Sea Islands will be made using now-proven 28nm process technology, hence we can expect a rapid ramp and more or less stable yields. What is noteworthy is that Sea Islands will hardly lower price on leading-edge GPUs significantly as Sea Islands chips are projected to be larger than their respective predecessors from the Southern Islands family.

In 2014, AMD will release rather revolutionary Volcanic Islands family (we are not sure whether it has a member code-named Eyjafjallajökull) of GPUs, which promises to become the pinnacle of heterogeneous - CPU+GPU - system architecture. Volcanic Islands GPUs, when accompanied by appropriate microprocessors and operating system, will support GPU compute context switch [GPU computes every single piece of application that it can] as well as GPU graphics pre-emption. Perhaps, accelerated processing units featuring Volcanic Islands GPUs with Excavator x86 cores will be able to do wonders by automatically using the most efficient execution unit (e.g., stream processors or x86 cores) for a particular task, which has potential to redefine the high-performance computing market (HPC), keeping in mind efficiency of stream processors in multi-threaded HPC apps.

It is known that AMD will be trying to maximally unify design methods of microprocessors and graphics chips. Potentially, this increases amount of potential foundry partners for each chip, which will not only let AMD to manufacture its VI chips using 20nm process technologies at different contract makers of semiconductors, but will enable the chip designer to quickly start manufacturing of accelerated processing units with Volcanic Islands GPUs inside.

The final "islands" family of GPUs will be Pirates Islands, reports VR-Zone web-site. Nothing particular is known about the family, which will become available in 2015. Given the naming and the timing, expect Caribbean code-names and chips made using 14nm process technology as well as further improvements when it comes to CPU+GPU collaboration.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: ATI, AMD, Radeon, Southern Islands, Volcanic Islands, Pirates Islands, Sea Islands

Discussion

Comments currently: 45
Discussion started: 09/21/12 04:54:58 PM
Latest comment: 10/18/12 07:54:33 PM
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AMD has a lot of good ideas. The trick is properly executing the operational strategy into silicon. If they achieve 50% of what they are aiming for by H2 '14 there will be a lot of very happy customers.
8 9 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 09/21/12 04:54:58 PM]
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Im been a Fan ATI video since Late 80 and Early 90. but since i bought my 5 ATI video they didn't last long for 3 to 4 years continuous use. however i still have ATI HD 5770. might switch to ATI again. Nvidia is much expensive but it last long like nt 7300GT its almost 6 years now
2 3 [Posted by: xentar  | Date: 09/21/12 05:44:15 PM]
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I've never had a single AMD/ATI or NV GPU fail on me. If you have had 5 ATI cards all fail on you, maybe the problem is something else like your PSU, electricity spikes, lack of UPC, etc. If you have had 5 failed GPUs, something could be wrong with the electric current or spikes in your house/wiring.

Finally, there could be other issues involved such as poor case ventilation, lack of dust cleaning which resulted in overheating, not re-applying drying thermal paste material every couple of years, etc.
8 9 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 12:09:37 AM]
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i dont blame ATI for that but company like Powercolor and GeCube i think they use low quality parts.

But they did not fail simultaneous there was an interval 1 year max. anyway 2 to 3 years dead Graphics Card is worth replacing for an upgrade. im using it for my Internet Shop.

High Temperature has been address by having good airflow. Thanks for the advice BestJinjo.
3 1 [Posted by: xentar  | Date: 09/22/12 05:20:17 AM]
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4 9 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 08:41:00 PM]
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The 7300GT was Generic PSU. this ATI was newer. I use Hec and Icute and im still using it today with Nvidia 9500GT, 9600GS and the new replacement GT430.
2 1 [Posted by: xentar  | Date: 09/23/12 06:28:26 AM]
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3 7 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 08:55:19 PM]
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My only criticism of AMD/ATI graphics is Linux support. I hope once they get more financial they can dedicate some R&D money towards getting things like video acceleration working - the AMD Vision technology just doesn't work properly in Linux. Even as an AMD investor, I still have to buy NVIDIA cards for use with Linux. This is also an area where Intel is thrashing AMD. Linux users are now swayed toward Intel graphics purchases. I understand they can't opensource their graphics drivers to the extent of Intel, but they need to employ more engineers on the job once they can afford to.
3 4 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 09/22/12 03:24:38 AM]
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3 11 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 08:52:31 PM]
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3 6 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 09/23/12 05:25:39 AM]
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3 7 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 08:59:41 PM]
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I respect your insights. I understand that the firm's financial situation is precarious (the worst rumour being that they'll go bankrupt). I have considered that in my posts. I agree with most of what you say (and I have agreed with you on a number of things in the past). But I would like to point you to the following to add to your knowledge -
http://www.phoronix.com/s...e=news_item&px=OTIwNA
http://www.phoronix.com/s...m=amd_xvba_xbmc&num=1
http://www.phoronix.com/s...=news_item&px=MTE3NzI
http://www.phoronix.com/s...e=news_item&px=OTQzNQ
http://www.phoronix.com/s...=news_item&px=MTE4ODU
http://www.phoronix.com/s...=news_item&px=MTEyNzA

John Bridgman who headed AMD Linux open-source efforts for the previous 5 years in a team of just 2 people was recently promoted to Linux Architect For HSA.

AMD has now a 4 person team working on AMD Linux open-source graphics, having doubled their team in June 2011. Intel has more than 80 engineers working on their Linux open-source graphics (unimportant? niche?). Even with AMD's financial difficulties, that's a huge difference, a factor of 20+ times. Although it seems that in March 2012 AMD advertised for 1000 Linux/open-source engineers for undisclosed projects. I do hope they can implement fundamental graphics features soon in both discrete and APU products. My feeling also is that Linux/FOSS could seriously gain traction on x86 tablets, just like netbooks, due to the restrictive abilities of Apple, Android (to a much less degree) and likely Windows ecosystems and also Linux's zero licensing fees equating to cheaper products/ lower total cost of ownership for consumers in developing countries in Asia, where a tablet will probably end up being a primary computing device for many people. Windows has already seen the threat and has bribed/threatened both Intel and AMD not to support x86 Linux on Hondo and Cedar-Trail for the time being. To playback multimedia files with video acceleration is fundamental to the success of a tablet or ultrathin/ultrabook (smoothness and increased battery life). I hope AMD gets this right when the Asian manufacturers want to launch Linux products, after being behind NVIDIA and Intel Linux driver development for the past few years. We may end up having to agree to disagree on this one though. We don't run the company so it's insignificant if we're ultimately wrong in our ideas.

But if anything else, please takeaway this idea - Linux is largely unimportant to Nth American consumers, the richest region in the world. But it will be very important to the 3 billion in the developing world who are yet to get on the internet. The Chinese government also favours Linux due to national security and/or CIA backdoors. This is a huge market for AMD.

Btw, I liked your comment on "AMD mafia manangement". I have confidence in Rory Read to clean up the company of the payroll gravy train. A good leader, less hierarchy and more engineers.
3 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 09/24/12 12:32:01 AM]
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0 4 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 09/21/12 04:59:28 PM]
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3 6 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 09/21/12 05:23:52 PM]
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Not according to the majority of AMD users... who are quite happy with AMD products.

There will always be a few folks who are unhappy because their legacy or oddball product isn't fully supported. That's part of the deal for all PC hardware as the PC industry is very dynamic and evolving all the time.
8 9 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 09/21/12 08:22:28 PM]
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ATI or AMD graphics supports high-end products better than low-end products. Gamers tend to over rate because they use high-end graphic cards while others uses low-end graphic cards. Also the latest graphics from AMD is still has poor driver support. Even an AMD graphics developer said that to use high-end graphic cards because we support them better.

Software from ATI and AMD graphics is poor compared to nVidia. nVidia may some problems, but they do fix it.
1 2 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 09/23/12 12:15:23 AM]
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2 7 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 09:35:09 PM]
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0 3 [Posted by: er_wendigo  | Date: 09/25/12 08:10:58 AM]
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5 9 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/21/12 11:56:34 PM]
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I'm not saying NVIDIA drivers are perfect.
1 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 09/22/12 04:40:44 AM]
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3 10 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 08:42:52 PM]
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Yes, AMD CrossFire scales better than NVIDIA's SLI, but NVIDIA's SLI has general better compatibility from the start. AMD is just getting now their HD7000 issues fixed. They also had problems with Rage and also under GNU/Linux have a lot more problems than NVIDIA.

As a result of their prowess on the software side, they had to drop support for all the cards up to HD4000 series and put all of them into legacy support. NVIDIA still maintains all their cards from 8800 series to 600 series under the same umbrella.

Of course, that doesn't mean no user on the NVIDIA camp has problems. Probably most of AMD's problems can be solved if you administrate your system carefully, but at times it seems to be a big pain in the ass.
1 2 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 09/23/12 06:19:12 AM]
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1 8 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 09:07:56 PM]
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Uh, what a big post.

At least you admit that AMD has worse drivers than NVIDIA. I only had problems with NVIDIA at the start of Windows Vista with the new driver model, but never with new cards.
If a little problem was to appear, NVIDIA was quick to solve. That's not the case on AMD's camp, as you say they took up to 6 months to start fixing issues with single-card configurations on Radeon HD 7000 series (on CrossFire still they've to solve a lot of problems).

The problem on Rage was not due to poor coding (although the game is poor coded) but because AMD included a bad version of OpenGL in the driver.

Geforce 8 series and up get more bug fixes than Radeon legacy cards. You know, NVIDIA also has legacy cards, but those are a lot older than Radeon HD4000.

Having worse support on GNU/Linux just shows AMD can't keep up with their software, and that legacy support means that all cards previous to Radeon HD5000 won't work on newer Linux systems. They even have problems with the latest cards. And Linux is important, so do think Valve, Google and NVIDIA among others. Linux has a monopoly in supercomputing market where GPUs are being used to compute, something I supposed GCN was meant engineered for. If they don't support Linux properly they're shooting themselves on the foot.

CF scales better than SLI, that's a fact. When both technologies work, CF scales better.

We all know that using two cards produces microstutter, better to get three cards which diminishes the problem.

As how to maintain an SLI/CF system and what to do with it, I won't talk about that, that's not the topic.

0 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 09/24/12 03:23:00 AM]
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You obviously haven't been keeping up with their software side over the last several months.
3 1 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 09/22/12 01:38:23 AM]
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You forgot when nVidia had serious issues with WDDM 1.0, they simply abandoned everything from GeForce 7 and down for over a year, just to mention something extreme on the other side. Those products weren't even outdated like a Radeon HD4000.
They just announced they won't write new drivers for anything older than GeForce 8 and their release cycle was always 2-4 month anyway.
For example Intel abandones everything after a year and the quality of their drivers is simply pathetic. So we are flooded by bs here.
5 4 [Posted by: Martian  | Date: 09/21/12 08:26:00 PM]
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5 10 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 12:01:44 AM]
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3 6 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 09/22/12 03:42:53 AM]
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4 9 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 10:21:46 PM]
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Performance is not my problem.
My problem, and everyone's on linux problem is that when you get an update, e.g. Xorg, you must have an updated driver to work with the new version of Xorg.
If the driver is not compatible, you don't lose performance, you lose the driver. The driver isn't working and you must be happy if your system can render your desktop, otherwise you are stuck with the console.
2 3 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 09/22/12 11:04:00 AM]
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This is why Linux is nonsense, APIs are not to change every second day simply because a developer had constipation.
As long as the Linux community doesn't understand the basics and importance of professional software development and acts like a bunch of rebel teenagers Linux will remain uncompetitive in the majority of it's potential markets.
4 5 [Posted by: Martian  | Date: 09/22/12 12:34:13 PM]
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The only people that say such things are people that have not used Linux at all or it is too hard for them to use, so they go back to an operating system they are familiar with.

API in Linux does not change every day. The API in Linux have stayed pretty much the same. GTK3 and KDE4 have changed, but that is only for those type of GUI toolkits. Xorg change to an API that is more dynamic with dbus and organized its configs in a directory instead of one big file which is usually a spaghetti mess.

Linux community is only as good as the developers. If companies are not willing to put in their time with some Linux projects, Linux will not be any better. There are companies that are working with Linux community to make the code better and adding features.
2 2 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 09/23/12 12:46:56 AM]
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Linux is a huge mess as it is because of the bearly controlled community based development model. It is not a complete system designed to work as a whole, it's just shoveled into a pile of code from thousands of scattered projects. Things that are not interesting enough or don't come with sufficient tribute are not taken care. Prerelease testing and bug-fixing is such thing for example, 99% of the distributions are in a constant beta stage even after official release. 7 out of 10 I gave a chance to a Linux it faild even to boot up the LiveCD for the past 10 years, it is simply pitiful.
3 2 [Posted by: Martian  | Date: 09/23/12 07:18:26 AM]
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1 8 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 09:25:42 PM]
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1 11 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/22/12 08:45:55 PM]
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Am I unrealistic? really?
do you know that if amd aimed for that market would've grown its market share by the 1/10 of its current market share.
Image how would the "we support linux" profile affect the market now that Valve is releasing in february the steam for linux, among with many of its games. The source game engine now runs natively in linux.
I won't even mention what they could do in the mobile market, including the tablet market with their apus, where the linux/unix like kernels are dominating. iOS and Android are unix like kernels.
FYI my 4870 on my desktop and my laptop rebranded 4670 to 565v are playing almost all current games on 80% settings, how the heck is that obsolete is beyond me.
I read once that the founder of AMD said "people first, products and profit will follow!". I believed that, until know.
1 0 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 09/23/12 06:22:30 PM]
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1 8 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 09:36:11 PM]
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You probably are dealing with a Linux distribution that prefers to be on the bleeding edge. This means any latest software is installed with out thinking of the consequences, so problems like this comes up. It is best to use a distribution that tests versions of software to designate what versions are actually stable. Though I have not run into this problem and I use Linux on a daily basis.

Your problem is probably cause by kernel version issue and not an Xorg issue. Video card drivers in Linux should work with new versions of Xorg. Some options may need to disabled in order to work and/or some resolution modes may need to be added.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 09/23/12 12:32:16 AM]
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that's problem with closed drivers and Xorg is graphical interface and ofc you lose everthing when your GPU drivers are lacking. i think that Xorg and others should be more robust, so that their minor update releases shouldnd break down compatibilty with everything (even need different file managers recompiled etc when minor update of xorg is done)
Xorg has many thing with mozilla that with its minor release cycle every three month usually loses previous stability. Its simply irritatingly wannabe management. Yep its free but you need to have stable branch and all minor updates that features improvement should be put in dev part until major update lets say on 12-18 month basis.
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 10/18/12 07:46:47 PM]
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What rubbish, every card made is supported, just the 4 series and below get updates every 3 months or so and nvidia is no better, they do the same for older gen cards.

Plus, what do you expect to get out of that card? why should nvidia or AMD waste resources on old chips that nobody buys or cares about?
1 0 [Posted by: keysplayer  | Date: 09/23/12 10:10:05 AM]
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1 7 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 09/23/12 09:39:49 PM]
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Its something called life cycle support. AMD is just more openly told us in HD2000 days that their card life cycle (marketing) will be 36 month and they really do they part on that. And even support obsoleted products (at least they claim) for longer period because its fair

And that some newbies think that all products should be abandoned after 3-5yrs is crazy.

Crazy gamer talk doesnt necessarily means that we all should think like that. There are even more cards that are 6-8x cheaper than gamers top end but that are in use for far longer periods than 5yrs. And those make most of their sales in the past. Same will be with APUs that should be supported for longer than 3yrs. Not everybody buys top end GPU every two years because old one is obsolete. And do you really think that 500USD GPU should be obsoleted just after 3yrs if its functional. And most of those dies in that period so no drivers are needed anyway
0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 10/18/12 07:54:33 PM]
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The name Volcanic islands has me worried, I hope it's just a name and has no reference to another space heater gpu!
Arctic islands has a nice name to it, Makes the card sound cool,Pun intended!

Sarcasm
3 3 [Posted by: ozegamer  | Date: 09/21/12 05:31:43 PM]
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1 8 [Posted by: keysplayer  | Date: 09/23/12 10:12:06 AM]
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