AMD might possibly be preparing their upcoming Tonga GPU to rival against NVIDIA’s GM107 chip based on the Maxwell core, as reported by Videocardz. Just a few days ago, we heard about AMD’s upcoming Volcanic Islands 2.0 graphics cards which include Tonga, Maui and Iceland along with AMD plans to feature HBM High Bandwidth on some of them.
AMD Possibly Preparing Tonga GPU Architecture For Radeon Cards
The codenames of Tonga, Iceland and Maui have appeared in Catalyst files several times but their reemergence means that AMD has had these chips under development phase for quite some time which may explain why we didn’t saw any new GPU architecture in the sub $299 range of the Radeon R200 series cards. The source reports that the Tonga GPU will not be based on a 20nm architecture nor would it feature the high-bandwidth memory which is due to several reasons.
The Tonga GPU architecture is being built on a new architecture which is presumably the GCN 2.0 design and not the GCN 1.1 architecture which has been featured on Bonaire and Hawaii. The Tonga graphics architecture will be built on the 28nm node from Global Foundries and would feature a new design scheme introducing latest architectural improvements such as new ACE (Asynchronous Compute Engine) Units and more focus towards compute shaders. It is also mentioned that Tonga will retain the basic technologies of the Radeon lineup such as Mantle, TrueAudio and XDMA for CrossFire support.
Now, the main focus of the Tonga GPU is said to be the power efficiency. We know that NVIDIA’s GM107 which is the latest Maxwell core architecture has dominated in this sector beating every other card in terms of the rated performance per watt. AMD will try to develop Tonga GPU so that it brings AMD back in this power efficiency competition, the throne of which NVIDIA stole from them since their Kepler generation of cards. The card would most likely be a mid-range card with the Radeon R9 branding. It is pointed that the card will end up with a Radeon R9 275X naming scheme which seems possible since AMD has their R7 265 names already taken up. Tonga based cards will feature 2 GB GDDR5 memory which calls for a Curacao replacement which is a rebrand of the Pitcairn core.
AMD recently introduced a price cut for several of its graphics card including the Radeon R9 290X, Radeon R9 280X, Radeon R9 280, and Radeon R9 270X. It is possible that these price cuts would be the first indication of some new sub $299 cards on the horizon since Tahiti and Pitcairn have lived a long life of two and a half years in AMD’s Radeon line of cards. It will be exciting to see what kind of performance per watt does AMD churns up if their Tonga GPU is indeed designed from the ground up to tackle NVIDIA’s entry level Maxwell core.