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Siggraph 2016 - AMD has announced its new Radeon Pro SSG graphics card, with it being one of the first under the new Radeon Pro branding, with AMD rebranding its FirePro graphics card range.
AMD's new Radeon Pro SSG is a super unique new way of professional graphics, as it has flash memory attached to the graphics card, which can see professional graphics solutions scale far beyond the 32GB limit we're at now. Instead of having a 32GB frame buffer, which might sound like a lot to gamers, it gets used very quickly with massive professional workloads.
Radeon Pro SSG uses flash memory that can scale into the terabytes, which means we'll see professional graphics cards with 1TB or 2TB of memory available. The flash memory has direct communication with the GPU but doesn't work in the way of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) which is physically on the Interposer, with the GPU. Performance wise, the flash memory on Radeon Pro SSG can handle 8K video at 96FPS compared to the previous high-end FirePro graphics card that was only capable of 8K at 17FPS - a huge 5.6x increase in performance.
Where the Radeon Pro SSG comes into its own thing, is pre-visualization on movie sets, where directors can have near-final visual effects running in real-time thanks to the Radeon Pro SSG. Normally studios will have to water down the super high-end assets that visual effects studios make so that they can provide a real-time look at the visual effects on the set, but with Radeon Pro SSG they can do it in real-time at a much higher level of detail.
Siggraph 2016 - AMD has changed its entire professional graphics branding at Siggraph 2016, with Radeon Pro replacing the FirePro branding, bringing all of AMD's graphics cards under the Radeon umbrella under Radeon Technologies Group.
AMD has three new Radeon Pro WX professional graphics cards, with all of them powered by their new Polaris architecture. We have the Radeon Pro WX 4100, WX 5100 and the higher-end WX 7100 with AMD telling us that they will all be priced at under $1000, with the WX4100 and WX5100 being priced "well below" $1000. What does WX stand for? Workstation experience, which makes sense, and makes things easier to discern between Radeon RX (consumer graphics) and Radeon Pro WX (workstation graphics).
The traditional workstation industry is who AMD are targeting with the Radeon Pro WX series graphics cards, as the WX series will have companies like Dell or HP that will have specific requirements in the way of power use, or clock speeds so that their workstations will last for years and years
SAPPHIRE has just officially unveiled its new NITRO+ Radeon RX 480, which is positioned perfectly for 1080p and 1440p gaming.
The new NITRO+ Radeon RX 480 has the same 2304 stream processors as the AMD Radeon RX 480 reference card, with the Polaris 10 GPU overclocked to 1342MHz on boost. It has 8GB of GDDR5 clocked at 8GHz on a 256-bit memory bus, while the 4GB model has a boost clock of 1306MHz and has its 4GB of GDDR5 clocked at 1750MHz.
SAPPHIRE includes the usual VR support thanks to AMD, with two HDMI ports which makes it much easier to get your VR headset connected into the graphics card. Normally most graphics cards only have a single HDMI port, so if you have a monitor or TV connected, you need to disconnect it in order to get your VR headset connected.
NVIDIA has just unleashed its new Quadro P6000 and P5000 graphics cards, both based on the new Pascal architecture and on the 16nm FinFET process.
Starting with the higher-end Quadro P6000, we have a P100 GPU with the full 3840 CUDA cores and a huge 24GB of GDDR5X RAM. It will have 4 x DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and DVI, with NVIDIA saying the Quadro P6000 can support four 5K 60Hz displays.
The Quadro P5000 has the GP104 GPU (the same one found in the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070) while it has 2560 CUDA cores. There's 16GB of DDR5X RAM, four DisplayPort and DVI outputs. Where Quadro cards differ from the GeForce side of things, is that the new Quadro graphics cards support 4K 120/240Hz and even 8K video at 30Hz.
NVIDIA will be launching the new Quadro P6000 and P5000 graphics cards in October, aimed at the business market and professional side of the business.
NVIDIA might have just launched its next-gen Titan X graphics card, but thinking into 2017 - what will NVIDIA do since it has so many high-end, enthusiast graphics cards out on its Pascal architecture? Volta, baby.
According to the latest rumors, NVIDIA will launch its Volta architecture in May 2017 at its own GPU Technology Conference that is being held May 8-11. NVIDIA's current roadmap has Volta ready for 2018, but the new rumors suggest NVIDIA is preparing Volta for a big unveil in the second half of 2017 - over six months ahead of schedule.
Volta was meant to arrive on the 10nm process, but according to Fudzilla, it will use the 16nm FinFET process - the same node that the new GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1060 are all on. Volta will use stacked DRAM, so we should expect it to be quite the monster when it comes to performance. Fudzilla adds that the performance per watt is "expected to increase tremendously", which is exciting to hear.
With the release of the Radeon RX 480, we have seen a newly-focused AMD that isn't trying to compete in a market that it can't compete in yet against NVIDIA. The mainstream market is where the money and consumers are, and this market is thriving.
Well, now we have leaks on SAPPHIRE's upcoming Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards, led by the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 470 Platinum Edition. Sapphire's take on it looks like AMD's reference card, and that's not a bad thing - but the price will be what gamers will jump at - with a rumored price of just $179 USD.
SAPPHIRE's Radeon RX 470 Platinum Edition PCB features a 4+1-phase design, whereas the Radeon RX 480 had a 6+1-phase design. One single 6-pin power connector is required, keeping PSU requirements nice and low.
NVIDIA has just announced its new monster graphics card, the new Titan X. NVIDIA's new Titan X is based on the Pascal architecture, featuring a pretty damn good increase in specs over the already fast GeForce GTX 1080.
The new Titan X has 3584 CUDA cores compared to the 2560 CUDA cores on the GTX 1080, while we have 12GB of GDDR5X on a 384-bit memory bus, compared to the 256-bit memory bus on the GTX 1080. The new Titan X uses the GP102 which is based on the 16nm FinFET process, while GP104 powers the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.
Power consumption wise, we're looking at a 250W TDP - up from the 180W on the GTX 1080, while we have 12 billion transistors on the new Titan X, compared to the 7.2 billion found on the GP104-based GTX 1080. The memory bandwidth has been increased thanks to the 384-bit memory bus, where we have a huge 480GB/sec - very close to the 512GB/sec offered by HBM1 on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X.
AMD impressed the world with its Radeon RX 480, priced at $199/$239 for its 4GB/8GB versions - and still coming out on top when it comes to performance for your dollar against NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1060. Well, the AIB partner cards are now rolling out with the devilish PowerColor Red Devil RX 480 8GB announced.
PowerColor has priced its new Red Devil RX 480 8GB at $269 in the US, with its GPU clocked at up to 1.33GHz and the 8GB of GDDR5 clocked at 2GHz. There's a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, with 6+1-phase power with each phase providing 25W of power compared to 22.5W on other boards.
PowerColor has deployed its latest fan technology dubbed Double Blase III, which "increases airflows and prevents dust deposition on the fans". Double Blase III is made with triple 80mm 2-ball bearing fans, and 2pcs of 8mm and another 2pcs of 6mm nickel-plated heat pipe for the best heat dissipation.
AMD has been ahead of the game when it comes to Asynchronous Compute support in their GPU architectures, and now id Software is throwing their weight behind Async Compute when it comes to their idTech6 graphics engine.
id Software's Billy Khan talked with Eurogamer recently, where he said that other developers will begin to see the benefits of Asynchronous Compute, and will take better advantage of it. Khan said: "Doom is already a clear example where async compute, when used properly, can make drastic enhancements to the performance and look of a game. Going forward, compute and async compute will be even more extensively used for idTech6. It is almost certain that more developers will take advantage of compute and async compute as they discover how to effectively use it in their games".
The developer also said that other game developers should jump right into Vulkan as well, with id Software's Axel Gnetting adding: "Vulkan actually has pretty decent tools support with RenderDoc already and the debugging layers are really useful by now. The big benefit of Vulkan is that shader compiler, debug layers and RenderDoc are all open source. Additionally, it has full support for Windows 7, so there is no downside in OS support either compared to DX12".
Tiago Sousa of id Software chimed in, saying: "From a different perspective, I think it will be interesting to see the result of a game entirely taking advantage by design of any of the new APIs - since no game has yet. I'm expecting to see a relatively big jump in the amount of geometry detail on-screen with things like dynamic shadows. One other aspect that is overlooked is that the lower CPU overhead will allow art teams to work more efficiently - I'm predicting a welcome productivity boost on that side".
TSMC has been hitting its stride this year, with the delivery of the 16nm FinFET process for NVIDIA's current GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and the soon-to-be-released GTX 1060. But what about the future?
Samsung has been pushing its Extreme Ultra-Violet Lithography (EUV) for the 7nm node, but TSMC isn't far behind, with the Taiwanese giant set to start 7nm node trials by the end of 2017. TSMC's co-CEO, Mark Liu, said that the company plans to push into EUV for 5nm by the end of 2020. Liu added that the company will simplify the process, improve density and cut down on the overall costs of the new node.
TSMC has also said that it has made more than one improvement to its existing EUV infrastructure, while it claims to have implemented 125W EUV source into its ASML NXE:3350 equipment. TSMC also says it now has in-house EUV technologies for inspection, masking and repair for lithography. When it comes to 7nm, TSMC has hit integration for scanners, masks and photoresist, while they'll be adding two more EUV scanners in 2017.