AMD details its Polaris GPU architecture
AMD made headlines in the past few days by unofficially announcing its new Polaris architecture. Back then, however, we did not have details on the upcoming chips, which left many people speculating and dreaming what they would get in year 2016. Fortunately for these folks, AMD has officially shared some more details on Polaris and we can tell you than the new architecture looks more than promising!
AMD’s Polaris chips will be based on the most advanced 14 nm FinFET production process and will offer a very remarkable jump in power efficiency. Apart from new performance heights Polaris will also come with AMD’s 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, a next generation display engine with support for HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3 and next generation multimedia features including 4K H.265 encoding and decoding.
“Our new Polaris architecture showcases significant advances in performance, power efficiency and features,” said Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD. “2016 will be a very exciting year for Radeon fans driven by our Polaris architecture, Radeon Software Crimson Edition and a host of other innovations in the pipeline from our Radeon Technologies Group.”
Unfortunately there are few details on the architecture as of now but the power efficiency improvements do look very exciting – AMD says that a Polaris GPU tested in Star Wars: Battlefront (1920 x 1080 pixels, medium quality) in a system running an Intel Core i7-4790K processor and 16 GB of DDR3 memory needed just 86W of power to produce 60 FPS. As a comparison a GeForce GTX 950 graphics card, which ran in the same system needed 140W of power to get 60 FPS. This makes the prototype Polaris GPU 60 per cent more energy efficient than the very efficient NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, which is a really great achievement.
AMD believes that the incredible power efficiency of Polaris will allow the creation of new and unthinkable computers like notebooks that make use of very powerful desktop GPUs with very low power needs. In addition we might get the first gaming ultrabook as well.
The first Polaris GPUs will be on the market in mid-2016.