AMD 400 Series Baffin/Ellesmere GPUs Launching In 2016 – Designs Completed And Taped Out, To Enter Production Soon

ExclusiveHardware 8 months ago by

AMD’s next generation “Arctic Islands” family of FinFET GPUs has been subject to a number of leaks this year. One of which indicated that the family contains three new GPUs, code named Greenland, Ellesmere and Baffin. Today we’re not only confirming that this is information is in fact accurate but that both Ellesmere and Baffin have in fact taped out and are awaiting commencement of FinFET process volume production to kick off next year.

AMD Radeon
AMD has also managed to secure a major OEM design win with both “Ellesmere” and “Baffin” GPUs a source with knowledge of AMD’s roadmap confirmed to WCCFTech. Greenland will be AMD’s next generation flagship GPU, while Ellesmere and Baffin will address the performance and mainstream segments of the market. The Arctic Islands family will debut with the three aforementioned GPUs in a variety of SKUs which will address the entire discrete GPU market top to bottom. We’ve seen this three GPU strategy before with AMD’s first 28nm GPUs code named “Southern Islands” in the form of the HD 7900 series, HD 7800 series and HD 7700 series.

AMD Arctic Islands Family Entering Production Next Year

Yesterday we detailed AMD’s plans to update the entire graphics line-up over “the coming quarters” with a new set of products that have “2X the performance per watt” of AMD’s current GPUs.

Lisa Su – Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. – President, CEO – Q3 2015 Earnings Teleconference
I think it’s also fair to say that the graphics portfolio is quite broad, and so you will see us updating the entire portfolio over the coming quarters,

Lisa Su – Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. – President, CEO – Q3 2015 Earnings Teleconference
We are also focused on delivering our next-generation GPUs in 2016 designed to improve performance per watt by 2X compared to our current offerings, based on design architectural enhancements, as well as advanced FinFET process technology.

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Despite the existence of three+ different iterations of GCN namely GCN 1.0 ( HD 7000 series ) , GCN 1.1 ( R9 290 series) , GCN 1.2 ( R9 285 and 380) and Fiji ( R9 Fury X, R9 Fury and R9 Nano) which is based on an updated GCN 1.2 design; according to AMD’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster there have only been two generations of GCN so far. With the next major iteration – 3rd generation – coming next year in the form of the “Arctic Islands” family of graphics chips.

Arctic Islands will feature a major architectural overhaul over AMD’s current current R 300 series and Fury series line-up. Additionally, AMD’s new product line will be produced on next generation FinFET process technology with very considerable performance and power efficiency gains.

It will be interesting to see how things shape up next year with Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs which will also be manufactured using FinFET..  When exactly Pascal and Arctic Islands GPUs will be released and how much they’re going to cost will depend almost entirely on production yields and volumes. But so far this is shaping up to be one of the biggest performance and power efficiency boosts we’re going to see from a new generation of graphics cards in a long while.

WCCFTechYearProcessFlagship GPUProductMemoryBandwidth
Southern Islands201228nmTahitiHD 79703GB GDDR5264GB/s
Volcanic Islands201328nmHawaiiR9 290X4GB GDDR5320GB/s
Pirate/Caribbean Islands201528nmFijiR9 Fury X4GB HBM1512GB/s
Arctic Islands201614/16nm FinFETGreenland??GB HBM21TB/s
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Senior Editor, Hardware --- Twitter : @KMoamm PC hardware & tech evangelist. Been building PCs for over a decade & following the industry for just as long. Also a doctor.

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