AMD Already Taped Out Radeon R9 380X GPU – AMD’s Employee Lists Development Of 300W 2.5D HBM GPU SOC

Hassan Mujtaba

While it is known that AMD is preparing their next generation Radeon R300 series to tackle NVIDIA's highly efficient Maxwell graphics cards, it looks like the cards have been in development for a while and are already taped out as seen through LinkedIn profiles of AMD employees. The two cards show that AMD has put all of their development team in the production of true next generation parts which are presumably known as the "King of the Hill" series (might just be an internal condename).

AMD Radeon R9 380X GPU Taped Out - Development of 300W HBM GPU SOC Complete

The information suggests some bizarre specifications coming from AMD and from the looks of it, these might just be the most powerful update AMD might deliver to consumers after several years. According to the profile of Linglan Zhang, who is currently employed as the System Architecture Manager at AMD, it seems like a GPU SOC making use of stacked die HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) has already been developed. However, the most surprising bit regarding this news is that the GPU SOC chip which is based on a 2.5D discrete design has a TDP of 300W. The manager lists it as the world's  first 300W GPU SOC ever to be developed and this single bit might just suggest that AMD is sticking to the 28nm process node. As previously speculated, the Maxwell and Radeon R300 series might be the last chips to feature the 28nm node while unleashing the full potential from both specific architectures utilizing massive die size.

From the looks of it, the 300W GPU SOC which features the HBM specifications would be integrated inside AMD's next generation flagship Radeon R9 390X graphics card whose specifications have been leaked from various sources before however it's hard to say whether any of the listed specifications are true. The only thing that we have factual specifications regarding is the HBM memory which was leaked in a presentation few months ago.

AMD has already started sampling first generation HBM with their graphics cards. The specifications of the HBM memory are interesting featuring a voltage of 1.2 – 2.5V with the DRAM Die density of 2 Gb per stack, each stack featuring 4 DRAM modules. The bus interface would be 1024-bit wide and the command interface would be the traditional DDR (GDDR for graphics units). Each stack would be made up of a logic die which will feature a 2.5D or 3D interface on which four DRAMs would be stacked. This stacked layer would be fused on the PCB just like the regular memory chips but would deliver high performance as the name suggests (HBM = High Bandwidth Memory).

AMD High-Bandwidth Memory Design Specifications (TSMC):

 GDDR5  2-Hi HBM ‘Stacked DRAM’  4-Hi HBM ‘Stacked DRAM’
 I/O  32  512  1024
 Max Bandwidth Per Pin  7 Gbps  1 Gbps  1 Gbps
 Max Bandwidth  28 GBps  64 GBps  128-256 GBps
 Voltage  1.35 – 1.65  ~1.2  ~1.2
 Command Input  Single  Dual Dual
 Layers   1  2 + 1  4 + 1

AMD Radeon R9 390X Speculation Specifications:

Fiji XT (R9 390X) GM204 (GTX 980) Hawaii (R9 290X)
CUDA/GCN Cores 4096 2048 2816
Memory Capacity 4GB HBM 4GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
Memory Clock Speed 1Ghz 7Ghz Effective 5Ghz Effective
Memory Bandwidth 640GB/s 224GB/s 320GB/s
Boost Clock Speed 1.25Ghz ~1.2Ghz 1Ghz
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm

AMD Radeon R9 380X Taped Out

The second information is the most significant since it lists an actual name of the upcoming graphics card. The Radeon R9 380X which is presumably featuring a chip that would be identical to Hawaii but much better in terms of implementation has been listed by AMD's ASIC physical design engineer "IIana Shternshain" who has worked on taping out both the AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card and also the upcoming Radeon R9 380X GPU. It's impressive that AMD is actually going all out with next generation technology producing powerful chips since competition lies ahead against NVIDIA's own GM200 GPU core. It remains to be seen what the actual specifications of these graphics processing units would be once they are finalized in the months ahead. The AMD Radeon R9 380X graphics card would also utilize the 28nm process node however the manufacturing company should most likely make transition to Global Foundries from TSMC. Both choices remain to AMD but we are keen to see what new graphics update AMD is going to bring later in 2015.

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