AMD Rolls-Out New-Generation Radeon HD 6900 Graphics Processors

ATI Radeon HD 6900 "Cayman" Brings New Architecture, Performance Improvements

by Anton Shilov
12/16/2010 | 08:27 PM

Graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices this week unveiled its new graphics processing unit (GPU) code-named Cayman, which significantly changes the architecture of ATI Radeon graphics processors, but brings relatively small performance improvement compared to the previous generation of products.


“AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics feature AMD’s second-generation, DirectX 11-capable architecture, new image quality improvements and up to 2GB of graphics frame buffer, making it a great choice for gamers and enthusiasts,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of GPU division at AMD.

The Radeon HD  6900 "Cayman" GPU sports a number of major architectural changes compared to the previous-generation graphics processors.


“Delivering DirectX 11 performance with intelligent tessellation, image quality improvements with new anti-aliasing modes and AMD PowerTune technology, we believe AMD Radeon HD 6900 series graphics cards will make excellent gifts this holiday season," added Mr. Skynner.

Initially, AMD plans to release two graphics cards based on the code-named Cayman GPU:

Even though the new-generation graphics cards offer lower amount of stream processing elements than predecessors from the Radeon HD 5800-series, it does offer the same compute performance and even manages to leave the previous-generation products behind in actual games, based on the early-look at the graphics boards' performance from X-bit labs.

The Cayman graphics processor was supposed to be made using 32nm process technology at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Unfortunately for AMD's ATI division, TSMC scrapped the 32nm fabrication process and the chip designer had to redesign the chip and trim the number of its processing elements so to ensure high yields and moderate costs. If it was made using 32nm, it would have incorporated more SIMD engines and stream processors, which would have ensured much higher performance.

ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB and ATI Radeon HD 6950 2GB are available now from various suppliers across the globe, according to AMD.