AMD Nomenclature Analysis: New AMD 14nm FinFET Polaris Graphic Card Listed in RRA Proof of Certification

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Feb 25, 2016
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AMD has its next generation of Radeon graphic cards coming up soon and it looks like another one has entered the final testing phase. An AMD (ATI) board with the C91101 code-name was recently given the RRA’s stamp of approval – which is a compulsory loophole for any IC coming into South Korea. We have previously seen another variant of Polaris on Zauba but the part number on the certificate is slightly different – indicating a new configuration of Polaris.

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AMD Polaris board C91101 passes RRA certification – on schedule to hit the shelves soon

The RRA certification is something all consumer ASICs have to go through in South Korea – just like in the US. Unlike the States however, RRA publishes its certifications in the public domain, and a brand new board from AMD was just recently certified. Interestingly, we have not seen this board before on Zauba, but this is almost certainly a Polaris product – how do we know that? Lets find out.

Conveniently for us, AMD uses a predictable nomenclature while naming its test boards. All of these boards start with the letter C (which probably stands for consumer) followed by five numbers. The first digit after C almost certainly denotes the generation of the graphic card. The numbers that follow are much harder to guess at externally and can depict any specification whatsoever. Since the numbering follows a very obvious trend however, its not that hard to figure out how AMD builds the lineup. Before we go any further, take a look below.

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Hawaii boards for were named C6XXXX, Tonga boards C7XXXX and Fiji boards C8XXXX. In fact, if we are being specific about it than the exact code names were:

  • Hawaii XT had the C67101 code name.

  • Tonga had the C76501 code name.

  • Fiji XT had the C88001 code name.

By the same logic, Polaris boards should have the C9XXXX nomenclature, and this is something we have already seen before. Remember the Baffin XT leak that happened a few days ago? Well, we are now pretty damn sure that we were looking at the big Polaris. Since we are are looking at at least two Polaris iterations, this discovery fits neatly into the grand scheme of things.

  • The Baffin XT GPU listed on Zauba had the C98101 code name.

  • The GPU listed in the RRA certification has the C91101 code name.

The first two digits of the nomenclature are accounted for, as a constant and generation respectively. The numbers that follow these two could probably depict relative ranking metrics. If you look closely at the code-names given above, Hawaii has a “7” following the generation-digit, Tonga has a “6”, and Fiji has an “8”, which more than makes sense. Since Baffin XT has an “8” as well, we can safely assume that this is a powerful die – and most probably the big Polaris The other board however, has a “1” following generation-digit, which can mean one of two things: 1) the second digit does not mean what we think it means or 2) we are looking at the small Polaris die. In either case, we can be 100% sure that both these boards are Polaris.

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AMD’s Polaris architecture is built on the 14nm FinFET node and will offer a huge leap in performace per watt over the last generation. The raw leap gained just by jumping the node (from 28nm) is roughly 2 times, although AMD is throwing around the word “2.5 times” a lot, which shouldn’t be that hard to achieve with IPC gains. Polaris architecture will initially be divided into Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 – one of which will be big Polaris and one, small. AMD has also previously revealed that the Polaris GPUs will target the ‘minimum VR spec’ at  affordable price levels below the $349.

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