AMD Reportedly Launching Volcanic Islands GPUs in 2013
Last year, a report revealed that AMD's Volcanic Islands series would be the first to make use of a 20nm process and would arrive sometime in 2014. However, in a recent interview with AMD's Jim Keller and Chekib Akrout, Rage3d has revealed that the Volcanic Islands GPUs would launch in 2013.
AMD 20nm Volcanic Islands GPUs in 2013?
"The next generation of graphics cards -- Volcanic Islands -- is coming this year and shaping up nicely. When you name products after places, it leads to interesting thoughts about where to hold events surrounding that namesake product. Typically places that are cheap to get travel to internationally for a worldwide congregation are preferred, so I'm off to renew my passport on the off chance I'm headed to Reykjavik later this summer. But I sure as hell wouldn't complain about being sent to Honolulu, either." Rage3D
This could be huge news if true for AMD fans and could possibly provide a hint at the late launch of the much anticipated Radeon HD 8000 series GPUs. It was hinted by various techsites that the launch wasn't planned to be late but it was delayed instead. The new VI (Volcanic Islands) GPU’s would be manufactured on a 20nm Gate-Last process through either TSMC or Common Platform Alliance.
Update: While this news is not confirmed by AMD yet, Sweclockers reports that Volcanic Islands could be coming in the last quarter and feature the Hawaii Core that replaces Tahiti. The Volcanic Islands architecture although not confirmed could stick to 28nm. Two additional and possible codenames have been hinted as Reychavik and Honolulu. (Both are active volcanoes)
AMD's 20nm Volcanic Islands series is not known whether it would be called the Radeon HD 8000 or Radeon HD 9000 series. Since there is no conformation that if the series is indeed coming in 2013 or not but if so then we will suspect a launch in Q4 2013 for the flagship products. This could be similar to what AMD did with their HD 7000 series GPUs by paper launching he flagship HD 7970 as the first 28nm GPU at the end of 2011 and launched it in the first week of January. AMD could go ahead and paper launch the HD 8970/HD 9970 in the last month of 2013 and official announce availability later in 2014. This would once again give AMD an head start with their GPUs being the first to utilize the 20nm architecture while NVIDIA's 20nm Maxwell is also sheduled for 2014 but we won't be looking at them atleast until Q2 2013.
But this does mean that if AMD follows this route, they would have nothing other than HD 7000 product refreshes such as the HD 7870 XT, HD 7790, HD 7730 and HD 7950 Boost to tackle the upcoming GeForce 700 series. We advise our readers to take this with a grain of salt for the time being since no one has official conformation about this news but if Rage3D is true on the Volcanic Islands bit then we have a massive battle under preparation between 20nm GPUs from both green and red teams.