AMD's North Star might arrive in time to top Christmas trees around the world

Subject: General Tech | July 3, 2018 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: rumour, Polaris, navi, amd

The rumour around the 'net today concerns AMD's new generation of GPUs, the 12nm Polaris 30 update and the 7nm Navi chip.  If these rumours are correct, we will see Polaris before the end of the year and it will come with a performance boost of 20% compared to the current Polaris 20 based cards.  It will be very interesting to see how they match up to Vega, both in price as well as performance; not to mention how much they narrow the gap between their cards and NVIDIAs.  Navi will initially be for mid-range GPU applications, likely to make AMD some good income from next generation consoles and eventually paired with HBM2 to replace Vega on the high end. 

You can track the rumours back to their source at The Inquirer.

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"The post notes that Polaris 30 will be manufactured using the 12-nanometre finFET process and will offer a 20 per cent boost in performance over the Polaris 20-based high-end GPUs that debuted in 2017."

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Source: The Inquirer

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July 3, 2018 | 01:33 PM - Posted by Rocky123 (not verified)

So finally they will release a mid range Polaris that will beat my over clocked Sapphire TRI-X 390x 8GB I might have to replace what was a high end card to a new mid range card. I won't touch Vega in it's current form.

July 3, 2018 | 04:16 PM - Posted by toffty (not verified)

@Rocky123
Just curious why you don't want to touch Vega?
I upgraded recently from a 290x to a Vega 56 and I can't think of going back - for both performance and thermal/noise.

If it's the price, yeah they are still expensive.

July 3, 2018 | 04:31 PM - Posted by Rocky123 (not verified)

I should have clarified Yes it is mainly the price as the reason as well as for my own needs the extra performance from the Vega would mostly go unused since I game mostly at 1080p 60Hz. I do upscale to 1440p on those games that will still allow for a constant 60 FPS from my card and some make it to 3200x1800 and run fine. If I was to go Vega it would be of coarse the Vega 56 card and yes it would allow for me to upscale probably every game to at least 1440p at a constant 60FPS or 4K even upscaled. Now I am starting to rethink it all...lol

July 4, 2018 | 08:23 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Based on the above rumors, AMD will be absent from the mid to hi end gaming market for the next 18-24 months. And they should do that. Miners buy, pros buy, stupid fanboy customers hope AMD to compete and lose by a small margin, only so they can go and buy cheaper Intel and Nvidia hardware. Well, AMD should just invest where people and companies will return that investment as hi margin profits.
Hope people enjoy their $XXXX+$500 GSync monitor with their $800 new graphics card with the mid range Turing GPU.
tech sites also will enjoy higher numbers of visitors, now that we have a de facto monopoly in graphics. So much hate against AMD between 2011 and 2016, it is finally paying off.

:D

July 4, 2018 | 10:55 AM - Posted by heheheamdbiggerthantherest (not verified)

why are you such a lolcow and always sperg out about the fanboys when you are clearly one yourself?

July 4, 2018 | 03:12 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Oh, someone is trying to be a troll. Good luck with that.

July 4, 2018 | 12:58 PM - Posted by tatakai

why would AMD be absent for 2 years?

July 4, 2018 | 03:22 PM - Posted by JohnGR

They clearly don't have the money or the designs to compete in the hi end GPU market. So they need money and new ideas to became competitive again. Hopefully EPYC and Ryzen will sell even better in the near future and probably a new design to succeed GCN, will give them a chance against Nvidia and probably Intel.

Polaris 30 looks like a bigger Polaris and Vega 7nm looks like that, a Vega at 7nm. Nothing amazing here, so Nvidia will have them for breakfast with Turing GPUs, if they try to be aggressive in the market. They have to hit the breaks, they have to let Nvidia play it's game without any pressure, throw something cheap into the market just to stay relevant and hope for a better design in a couple of years. Or else they will lose money badly by risking a price war that Nvidia will win with it's eyes close and it's hands tied.

July 4, 2018 | 03:19 PM - Posted by AMDwouldCompeteIfTheRevenuesJustifyTheExpenseOfRsAndDs (not verified)

What AMD will be doing with more of its graphics share coming via its APUs on laptops and also mini-PC systems(Zotac we are watching you) in addition to other OEM made lower cost PCs that make use of Raven Ridge. So AMD's Vega graphics may not currently have any new Die Tapeouts with enough ROPs to compete with Nvidia's Pascal/GP0102 based GTX1080Ti but that could change in the future.

It's not the Vega Micro-Arch that is at fault for Vega 10's Shader:TMU:ROP ratios, and the Vega 56 SKU has the exact same numbers of TMUs and Shaders as the GTX 1080Ti! It's just that the Vega 10 base die tapeout only provides for 64 ROPs max while Nvidia's GP102 based GTX1080Ti is using 88 out of GP102's 96 available ROPs that gives Nvidia a commanding lead in pixel fill rate compared to AMD's Vega 56/64 SKUs that only have 64 ROPs and a much lower pixel fill rate than the Ti's(88 ROPs), ditto for the GP104 based variants that top out at only 64 ROPs and they are not winnng against the Ti either! Lower Pixel fill rates equates to lower FPS and that's where Nvidia has the lead in available Tapeouts of its Pascal variants that can provide up to 96 ROPs.

AMD could do a base die re-tapeout of a new Vega variant with more ROPs and less shaders simply by changing up the Shader:TMU:ROP ratios on any new Vega Base die desogn but really AMD is not interested in the Flagship GPU market currently until AMD gets a stockpile of non performant Vega 20 dies to maybe spin up a new Dual GPU DIEs on one PCIe card variant to again take on Nvdia in the Flagship GPU competition.

AMD has bever really been interested in targeting a market as relatively small as the Flagship GPU market is compared to the mainstream GPU market. The markups on the professional Vega variants are where AMD is looking and that's not gaming only focused. There will be at some point in time plenty of Vega 20 dies that have defective Shaders/Other units that may not be performant enough for the professional markets such as poorer power usage metrics that would make any Vega 20 lower binned DIE usage unattractive for professional usage but that can still be used for gaming once enough of the die binns are bulit up for AMD to spin up a Dual GPU on a single PCIe card variant. AMD has for a good few generations taken to doubling up dies on a PCIe card for its top end GPU gaming variants.

AMD is a CPU maker also and Look at Intel's Integrated Graphis market share that has in percentage numbers the most numbers of overall systems in use. AMD is now clawing back integrated graphics market share with its Zen/Vega Raven Ridge variants with AMD still in the process of filling out its full line of Raven Ridge Variants(Raven Ridge H series High performance Laptop/Mobile Variants with up to Vega 11 nCUs if the rumors are true) in addition to the Desktop G and GE Raven Ridge variants and the Pro Variants of Raven Ridge that are also arriving/scheduled to arrive.

The maianstream is where the most consumer GPU revenues are in addition to the integrated market that Nvidia can not touch in the x86 based Market that represents most of the laptop/PC unit sales for SOCs/APUs.

The real bread and butter for AMD is in the professional markets just look at Nvidia's and Intel's revenues there in that pro market. AMD's Integrated Graphics will have an even larger per unit share compared to AMD's discrete GPU per unit market share as more Raven Ridge devices are sold.

What a percentage of systems come with integrated graphics even if the end user is using a discrete GPU for gaming, and that's the largest number. Vega Graphics will have the larger market per unit share for AMD very quickly in those low cost OEM consumer PCs/Laptops and also the Business Class Pro variant PCs/Laptops that are purchased by the 10s of thousands by companies every year.

July 4, 2018 | 03:28 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Integrated graphics are fine and offer nice market share numbers in JPR's reports, but they don't bring money. People consider integrated graphics a standard today and only a few care about them too much. Integrated graphics bring AMD a little more money than the integrated... IMC and FPUs. They are all consider standard features today and looking at the difference between the price of a quad core Ryzen CPU and a quad core Ryzen APU, well AMD is not going to become rich because of the integrated graphics.

July 5, 2018 | 12:18 AM - Posted by HaveTheVegaGraphicsAndTheyWillCome (not verified)

AMD is not going to become much of anything catering to the only the consumer markets anyways but those APUs that come with Vega graphics will sell plenty of units to both the consumer PC/Laptop and Busines laptop/PC markets with the pro versions of Zen/Vega. The really serious money comes from the professional markets but those Zen/Vega APUs are going to be used in plenty of lower cost PC/Laptop systems and even some higher value Business class PCs/laptops that use the Ryzen Pro APU variants.

AMD's Vega graphics will be in more products along for the ride with Zen CPU cores and there will be plenty of developers targeting their software products according to the numbers/percentages of PC/Laptop units that at least will offer Vega integrated graphics. The profits from APUs come with the volume of unit sales and no AMD will not become stinking rich on APU sales alone. There is Epyc/Radeon Pro WX/Instinct with the really good markups to allow for AMD to really make some stable profits over the longer term with the APU revenues there also requiring chip set purchases and creating a larger hardware ecosystem that will attract enough software development attention towards the Zen/Vega CPU/GPU ecosystem.

So the more OEM's begining to make use of Zen/Vega APUs the larger the ranks of the software developers that will begin to tweak for Zen/Vega in the market place. Plenty of Productivity software makes use of GPU acceleration and that drives more OEM's towards adopting Zen/Vega based systems. There is much more compute resources on an Integrated Vega APU than on Intel's Integrated Graphics and AMD's total CPU/Vega CPU/Graphics costs is usually more affordable than Intel's overpriced SKUs.

If you look at Vega's total install base that Graphics will become targeted like no other AMD product owing to the fact that Zen is very close in CPU core performance to Intel and Integrated Vega is around a little more than twice as performant as the Integrated Graphics that Intel makes use of in most of its in house offerings. So that's really going to attract units sales to the PC/Laptop OEMs on both the consumer and business(Raven Ridge Pro) PC/Laptop markets for Zen/Vega APUs.

Zen+ is here and Zen 2 will be arriving in 2019 at 7nm and APUs with more than 11 Vega nCUs to go along with 4 core/8 thread Zen 2 cores, and maybe even a 6 core Zen 2/Vega APU variant. Epyc/Rome procesers based on 7nm Zen 2 will sample in 2018 and arrive in 2019 and the consumer variants will soon follow.

Integrated Vega will be in more shipping units than any Vega based discrete GPU units so that's going to attract a much larger developer base to target Vega Graphics. Those Integrated Vega Developers work will benifit any Discrete Vega GPU based graphics and it's all because of those Zen cores that come with Vega Graphics. This can only help AMD and any of its Vega based graphics to become targeted by more indipendent software developers as more units begin shipping with Vega based integrated graphics.

Integrated Vega Graphics will help AMD reach that critical level of total PC/Laptop systems with Vega Graphics and that can begin to attract more third party funded development that is optimized and tweaked for Vega's nCUs and that's an installed base of Vega graphics that discrete Vega alone could not accomplish.

AMD's Integrated Vega graphics will bring revenues to AMD and attract more third party developers to invest their funds in targeting Vega's graphics features, so that's to AMD benifit and will not cost AMD. AMD's professional market products is where the big profits will come from for AMD. But any revenue producing product line helps fund the R&D and more PC/Laptop units with integrated Vega Graphics will most definitely attract more GPU software Developers, games developers and other software developers.

Developers/Development houses look at those JPR reports to get an idea of the total GPU/Graphics install base and that's a fact when decisions are made on what GPU micro-arch that the development houses will invest their money to target. That Includes games/gaming engines also for games that do not need a discrete GPU, and that market is large.

July 5, 2018 | 02:40 AM - Posted by JohnGR

You know that there is NO minimum limit for posts here, right? It's safe to restrain yourself in one paragraph replies. Difficult, but safe. So, no reason to repeat almost the same arguments and predictions 6-9 times in one post.

As for the APUs,yes these APUs does have a reasonably good CPU and don't suck big time in battery efficiency, but we all saw how well previous APUs did. Ryzen APUs with Vega GPUs will do better than Kaveri or Carrizo of course, but not that much. And as I said, they don't bring high margins and huge profits.

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