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AMD's next-gen Polaris GPU architecture unveiled, arrives in mid-2016

By: Anthony Garreffa | AMD Radeon GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Jan 4, 2016 2:00 pm

Polaris Architecture - 'GPUs are more than just Graphics IP'

 

AMD introduced the new Polaris architecture, surprising us as they had shifted from the rumored names that had been floating around throughout the entire of 2015. We heard about Arctic Islands and all of that, but AMD landed on Polaris, with AMD explaining "Our guiding light is to power every pixel on every device efficiently. Stars are the most efficient photon generators of our universe. Their efficiency is the inspiration for every pixel we generate".

 

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The new Polaris architecture is a collection of different cores and engines, with AMD splitting this up into multimedia, display, caches, memory controllers and power management. All of these parts of the architecture have been redesigned for the new 14nm process, something we'll talk about soon.

 

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AMD's new Polaris architecture has a few different key features, the first of which is that it features the 4th-generation GCN architecture. The refreshed GCN has a primitive discard accelerator, hardware scheduler, instruction pre-fetch, improved shader efficiency, and memory compression.

 

On top of that, we have HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3 support, as well as support for H.265 Main10 decoding at up to 4K, and 4K H.265 at 60FPS (encode) support.

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