Where To From Here? The Radeon Brand Could Be Retired
That's a good question.
AMD is doing well with semi-custom but what about the Radeon graphics market? I've got rumors flying at me that people high up at AMD want the Radeon brand to dissapear. When I first heard that I dismissed it. But with the last 12-18 months where sources have repeatedly told me AMD is shifting heavily into semi-custom under Lisa, the 'Radeon brand will die' rumors are now making sense.
I'm not saying it's going to happen, all I'm doing is telling you what I've been told, and I've heard more than once that the Radeon brand could be killed off. Hell, the GPP would've made sure that happened eventually.
Would that allow AMD to come out with a new brand once the GPU architecture after Navi is unveiled? The first post-GCN architecture could be special enough that the Radeon brand is retired, and a new brand is born. It makes sense after the limped-to-market Polaris architecture, something that was born from the current-gen console APU development. Vega... well, let's not even bother going into that hot mess.
The GCN architecture is close to retirement, and will roll off into the sunset post-Navi. This opens up an opportunity for AMD, but it's so many years away from now that NVIDIA will be absolutely dominant.
NVIDIA's next-gen Turing GPU architecture is right around the corner, followed by Ampere in 2019-2020. GDDR6 is arriving in the coming months, and can drive between 14-20Gbps of bandwidth that brings HBM2 to tears. NVIDIA has had great success in the efficiency department with Pascal, and I expect the same for Turing and Ampere.
GDDR6 will bring additional benefits in both bandwidth and power consumption, without NVIDIA needing to change the GPU architecture to use HBM2. Volta is a professional GPU architecture that most people still think will be the GPU that powers the GTX 11 series, but that is a job for Turing. I've had a separate source tell me months ago now that Turing is the new GeForce, and Ampere comes after that.
With NVIDIA so far ahead of AMD in the GPU business, AMD will need to commit serious resources and talent to the RTG team to drive it forward. We're at least 2-4 years away from seeing this happen, which is a damn shame. If there was ever a moment for AMD to have a Radeon 9700 moment, it would be right now... and that's impossible.
It's years away from happening.
It might eventually happen, but who knows what and where RTG will be by then. Radeon has to survive the impending onslaught of next-gen GeForce GTX 11 series cards, with nothing to play with until Vega on 7nm in Radeon RX form appears. Even then, it will only be a little faster and not beat the current-gen GTX 1080 Ti, let alone the next-gen GeForce.
I see NVIDIA utterly dominating with the next-gen GeForce and dropping the prices of current-gen GTX 10 series cards, and that's for starters.
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