With all the media buzz surrounding NVIDIA’s brand spanking new 12nm RTX 20 series Turing graphics cards over the past couple of weeks, which promise to deliver 40% better performance than their predecessors, a similarly exciting news story on the Radeon side has seemingly flown under the radar.
AMD Confirms New 7nm Radeon Graphics Cards Launching in 2018
Earlier this week the company confirmed in a press release, and later President and CEO Dr. Su confirmed in an interview with Marketwatch, that AMD is on track to launch the world’s first 7nm graphics cards this year. While the world’s first 7nm CPUs, built on the company’s next generation Zen 2 x86 64-bit core, are on track to be on-shelves next year.
“AMD’s next major milestone is the introduction of our upcoming 7nm product portfolio, including the initial products with our second generation “Zen 2” CPU core and our new “Navi” GPU architecture. We have already taped out multiple 7nm products at TSMC, including our first 7nm GPU planned to launch later this year and our first 7nm server CPU that we plan to launch in 2019″
The company had already demonstrated working 7nm GPU silicon back in June at Computex, which has been sampling since and is set to be available for purchase later this year. Based on an improved iteration of the Vega architecture which debuted last year, 7nm Vega is nothing short of a beast. The new GPU supports intrinsic AI instructions and features four HBM2 8GB stacks running across a 4096-bit memory interface for a total of 32GB vRAM.
AMD’s 7nm Vega is a Monster – 1.25x Turing’s Compute at Half The Size
Whilst the company hadn’t disclosed detailed specifications relating to the new GPU we could reasonably expect around one terabyte/s of memory bandwidth, higher clock speeds and significantly better power efficiency thanks to TSMC’s leading-edge 7nm process technology. Which has reportedly enabled the company to extract an insane 20.9 TFLOPS of graphics compute out of 2nm Vega. Which if true would make it the world’s first 20 TFLOPS GPU.
That figure is simply unheard of especially out of a chip of this size, which Anandtech estimates to be roughly 336mm² large. To pit into perspective, that’s 25% more graphics compute than NVIDIA’s most powerful GPU yet, the 754mm² monster Turing. And Vega allegedly achieves that whilst being less than half the size.
CEO Dr. Su had confirmed at the same event in June that AMD will in fact be bringing 7nm GPUs to gamers, although she did not provide any additional details. This has led to speculation as to whether 7nm Vega will ever make it to the gaming market, or if gamers will have to wait until the company’s successor code named Navi next year. The red team has very clearly been keeping its cards very close to its chest and if 7nm Vega is all it’s cracked up to be, we might see them surprise us with an ace or two later this year.
AMD Polaris 10, Vega 10 and Vega 20 GPUs
|GPU||Polaris 10||Vega 10||Vega 20|
|Graphics Card||RX 480, 470||Vega FE, 64, 56||TBA|
|Transistors In Billions||5.7||12||TBA|
|Stream Processors||Up to 2304||Up to 4096||TBA
|Performance||5.8 TFLOPS||Up To 13 TFLOPS||20 TFLOPS
|TDP||150W||Up To 290W||TBA|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5||Up To 16GB HBM2||32GB HBM2|
|950 MHz||1250 MHz|
|Bandwidth||256 GB/s||484 GB/s||1.28 Terabyte/s|