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AMD Greenland GPU Rumored To Launch Next Year – Part of Radeon R400 “Arctic Islands” Family

Hassan Mujtaba
Posted Mar 31, 2015
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AMD is rumored to launch their Greenland GPU next year as reported by Fudzilla, which is believed to replace the Radeon R300 series cards launching this year. AMD is yet to launch their current R300 series lineup which is assumed to be known as the “Pirate Islands” family to replace their current Radeon R200 GPU family that are codenamed “Volcanic Islands” but we now have a clue or an indication to what AMD will call their next graphics component featured in the R400 series lineup.

AMD Greenland GPU Rumored To Power AMD’s Next Generation R400 Series Graphics Family

First of all, there have been no official confirmation by AMD on their codenames on current and upcoming products. AMD doesn’t go public with the codenames and naming schemes of their graphics products and family which results in confusion and the Volcanic Islands name was officially used by AMD in their slides just a few months ago. They hadn’t been used by AMD prior to few months back however the codename was first known several years ago. During the same time, we came to know about the Pirate Islands family and some reports confirmed it recently that AMD might indeed be branding their Radeon R400 series as the Pirate Islands family of Radeon graphics cards.

A report has emerged by Fudzilla which claims that the Radeon R400 series “Arctic Islands” family is coming in 2016 and will feature the Greenland GPU which will feature High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) support. It is not mentioned which specific graphics cards or branding will the Greenland GPU use it is pointed that AMD will be launching Fiji GPU in late June or Q2 2015 and the engineering work is now focused on the next series that will arrive in 2016. Greenland GPU is interesting since it won’t be fused on just graphics cards but the design and technology will be transferred to next generation APUs too, featuring HBM designs, as rumored by the source.

The Greenland GPU might not even end up as a pure desktop card but a graphics architecture that is designed specifically for accelerated processing units with HBM 2 (2.5 D) memory support. The GPU will be a shrunken node based upon the Fiji architecture that we will get to see on the upcoming Radeon R300 series lineup and will be fused inside APU designs. It should be noted here that this won’t be the first time AMD has used a GPU architecture carried from their discrete graphics offerings. AMD’s Kaveri APUs were the first to make use of a proper discrete class GCN core architecture backed by the enhancements we saw in the Bonaire and Hawaii generation of chips featuring TrueAudio DSPs and carrying full support for the Mantle API which were other wise not available on the Radeon HD 7000 series lineup which were also based on the GCN core architecture but an older “Southern Islands” revision.

It could be possible that while the Greenland GPU holds no place in the desktop family, it will still be denoted as a Radeon R400 series “Arctic Islands” chip. The Greenland GPU can make its way to several designs on the upcoming APUs based on the K12 ARM and x86 Zen core architecture which are due in 2016. Zen will be the high-performance replacement targeted towards servers and high-performance enthusiasts platform so it will be unlikely to see a iGPU variant on those processors until Zen cores are available later on APU market, later in its lifetime. As for K12 which makes use of ARM cores, its  highly possible for AMD to fuse the Greenland GPU there to enhance usability and compute performance of APUs utilizing HSA in the dense server, embedded and semi-custom markets. These GPUs and APUs are still a year away so nothing being reported has yet been materialized and this information currently remains unverified until official word from AMD.

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