AMD Announces Polaris Architecture in Time for CES – GCN 4.0

Posted by at 8:49 am on January 4, 2016


Polaris is new codename for 14/16nm FinFET architecture that will be introduced with new graphics cards later this year. From rumors going around Sin City today, AMD is planning to launch first Radeon 400 cards in the summer. Even though the launch is still months ahead, the company decided to share more details about their future portfolio to tease gamers and investors alike.


Radeon Technologies Group_Graphics 2016-page-007_575px

To give you a perspective, this is how Polaris fits after 28nm architecture.

2011 — 28nm GCN 1.0 — Tahiti / Cape Verde
2013 — 28nm GCN 2.0 — Hawaii / Bonaire
2015 — 28nm GCN 3.0 — Fiji / Tonga
2016 — 14/16nm FinFET Polaris (GCN 4.0)

Radeon Technologies Group_Graphics 2016-page-011_575px


In the last 10 years fabrication process shrunk significantly (in 2005 it was 90nm). Obviously smaller node means higher power efficiency and therefore higher performance at lower power consumption. Unfortunately the slides are not very accurate, in fact they don’t even have any numbers, so I can’t share more details as of yet.

Radeon Technologies Group_Graphics 2016-page-013_575px

The GPU design was modified to include new logical blocks. What’s new is Command Processor, Geometry Processor, Multimedia Cores, Display Engine and upgraded L2 Cache and Memory Controller.

Last but not least, the new architecture has 4th Generation Graphics Core Next Compute Units (aka. GCN 4.0).

AMD Polaris will compete against NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture. Both are believed to utilize High-Bandwidth-Memory 2 (HBM2).

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