AMD Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri had a lengthy interview with VentureBeat about gaming technology like virtual reality, the creation of the stand-alone Radeon Technologies Group, and AMD's upcoming GPU solutions.
Lets focus on the new snippets about Polaris, AMD's upcoming graphics architecture. Koduri claims that with Polaris, the Radeon Technologies Group set a completely different goal than before, to accomplish something they haven't done before.
Talk about performance remains a bit vague, but Koduri promises it will be AMD's biggest revolutionary jump in performance so far, and he also mentions that the goal is to deliver console-class gaming on thin and light notebooks.
Koduri talks about two FinFET-based Polaris GPUs being under development: Polaris 10 and Polaris 11. The difference between these two chips is unknown, but he promises both will be extremely power efficient:
Koduri: Yes. We have two versions of these FinFET GPUs. Both are extremely power efficient. This is Polaris 10 and that’s Polaris 11. In terms of what we’ve done at the high level, it’s our most revolutionary jump in performance so far. We’ve redesigned many blocks in our cores. We’ve redesigned the main processor, a new geometry processor, a completely new fourth-generation Graphics Core Next with a very high increase in performance. We have new multimedia cores, a new display engine.
This is very early silicon, by the way. We have much more performance optimization to do in the coming months. But even in this early silicon, we’re seeing numbers versus the best class on the competition running at a heavy workload, like Star Wars—The competing system consumes 140 watts. This is 86 watts. We believe we’re several months ahead of this transition, especially for the notebook and the mainstream market. The competition is talking about chips for cars and stuff, but not the mainstream market.
In summary, it’s fourth generation Graphics Core Next. HDMI 2.0. It supports all the new 4K displays and TVs coming out with just plug and play. It supports DisplayPort 1.3, the latest specification. It’s very exciting 4K support. We can do HAVC encode and decode at 4K on this chip. It’ll be great for game streaming at high resolution, which gamers absolutely love. It takes no cycles away from games. You can record gameplay and still have an awesome frame rate. It’ll be available in mid-2016.
The power efficiency statement should be taken with a grain of salt by the way, I wrote about this a week or two ago and it appeared AMD was comparing its Polaris GPU with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 950. That chip isn't exactly NVIDIA's most energy efficient chip so the comparison is misleading.