AMD’s new graphics architecture is called Polaris


The rumours were true: AMD’s new graphics architecture is called Polaris (it previously went under the codename Arctic Islands), it’s based on a 14nm FinFET process, and it’ll ship in “mid-2016.” Given that AMD’s GPUs—and indeed Nvidia’s—have been stuck at the larger 28nm process node for several years, the move to 14nm should bring huge improvements in power consumption and performance per watt. Details are thin on the ground—AMD has promised to go into much greater detail at a later date—but for now the company has confirmed that Polaris is the fourth generation of its Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The current GCN architecture, GCN 1.2, is used by the likes of the Radeon R9 285 and R9 Fury. Improvements to the command processor, geometry processor, L2 cache, memory controller, multimedia cores, and display engine are promised in fourth-gen GCN, as well as to the all important compute units at the heart of the GPU. Polaris will support hardware 4K h.265 encoding and decoding at 60 FPS, DisplayPort 1.3, and, at long last, HDMI 2.0a. The latter was missing from AMD’s recent Fury and 300-series of GPUs, which instead featured HDMI 1.4a that limited 4K signals to 30 FPS at 60Hz, making them less than ideal for use in the living room with 4K TVs. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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AMD’s new graphics architecture is called Polaris


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