Having just left the stage at AMD’s financial analyst day is CEO Dr. Lisa Su, who was on stage to present an update on AMD’s computing and graphic business. As AMD has already previously discussed their technology roadmaps over the next two years earlier in this presentation, we’ll jump right into the new material.

Not mentioned in AMD’s GPU roadmap but now being mentioned by Dr. Su is confirmation that AMD will be launching new desktop GPUs this quarter. AMD is not saying much about these new products quite yet, though based on their description it does sound like we’re looking at high-performance products (and for anyone asking, the picture of the card is a placeholder; AMD doesn’t want to show any pictures of the real product quite yet). These new products will support DirectX 12, though I will caution against confusing that with Feature Level 12_x support until we know more.

Meanwhile the big news here is that these forthcoming GPUs will be the first AMD GPUs to support High Bandwidth Memory. AMD’s GPU roadmap coyly labels this as a 2016 technology, but in fact it is coming to GPUs in 2015. The advantage of going with HBM at this time is that it will allow AMD to greatly increase their memory bandwidth capabilities while bringing down power consumption. Coupled with the fact that any new GPU from AMD should also include AMD’s latest color compression technology, and the implication is that the effective increase in memory bandwidth should be quite large. For AMD, they see this as being one of the keys of delivering better 4K performance along with better VR performance.

In the process AMD has also confirmed that these HBM-equipped GPUs will allow them to experiment with new form factors. By placing the memory on the same package as the GPU, AMD will be able to save space and produce smaller cards, which will allow them to produce designs other than the traditional large 10”+ cards that are typical of high-end video cards. AMD competitor NVIDIA has been working on HBM as well and has already shown off a test vehicle for one such card design, so we have reason to expect that AMD will be capable of something similar.

With apologies to AMD: NVIDIA’s Pascal Test Vehicle, An Example Of A Smaller, Non-Traditional Video Card Design

Finally, while talking about HBM on GPUs, AMD is also strongly hinting that they intend to bring HBM to other products as well. Given their product portfolio, we consider this to be a pretty transparent hint that the company wants to build HBM-equipped APUs. AMD’s APUs have traditionally struggled to reach peak performance due to their lack of memory bandwidth – 128-bit DDR3 only goes so far – so HBM would be a natural extension to APUs.

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  • chizow - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    Except your point is nonsense, because Optimus was fixed early on without nearly as many issues, while Enduro is still junk today.
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - link

    Oh really? Did Optimus leave people with $1800 laptops unable to game for months because the driver was broken and then go around deleting forum threads of anyone who dare point it out?
  • Scannall - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    Does NVidia pay you to troll forums? If not, why all the brown nosing? Personally, I am a fan of the best bang for the buck when I go to buy a video card. That seems to change month to month, if not week to week. Sometimes I buy NVidia, sometimes AMD.

    And really, drivers are a non-issue. Been that way for quite a long time now.
  • chizow - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    No they don't need to pay me a thing, I'm quite happy with my salary, this is just a fun way to pass the time. Its always a pleasure holding AMD and their fanboys accountable and I do enjoy going back and reading all the stupid crap AMD fans say over the years, its like reading parallel universe fiction.

    If your bang for the buck preferences and buying requirements change month to month and week to week, that just means your standards and use cases are extremely novice/superficial. The bang doesn't really change, and the buck is always going to be competitive.
  • 01189998819991197253 - Friday, May 8, 2015 - link

    What are you, some sort of GPU SJW?
  • Refuge - Friday, May 8, 2015 - link

    Agreed, I've not had GPU driver issues in years.

    Now games coming out in BETA on the other hand... Lets redirect some anger at them for that. When my hardware and drivers are proper, I shouldn't have to wait 3 months until after release for a game I pre-ordered to be playable....
  • chizow - Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - link

    Yeah not going to dismiss your experiences, but I think its important to keep in mind, there are going to be different use cases beyond your own that may start to show some of the problems with AMD drivers.

    Don't get me wrong, if you have one monitor and occassionally play some games, AMD drivers may be just fine, but if you delve a bit deeper and come to rely on some of these more advanced technologies, and game support of these technologies, that's were you may start running into problems.
  • just4U - Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - link

    I almost never have problems with Amd or Nvidia drivers on 100s of builds /w systems used in a variety of ways. I would be another one who'd say that both companies are on par when it comes to drivers.
  • MisterAnon - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    On the other hand my Nvidia drivers crash when doing simple things like playing League of Legends.

    I think wasting money on a Titan X has fried your brain to the point where you're incapable of being impartial and realizing that Nvidia does everything you accuse AMD of.
  • chizow - Thursday, May 7, 2015 - link

    You must be doing it wrong? Nvidia sponsors League of Legends events and a number of top 10 teams, no drivers crash, must be a PEBCAK issue.

    The funny thing is, I would never dream of spending $1000 on AMD GPUs, there's just too many problems that would need to get resolved first, and no, waiting for a maybe solution 8-12 months down the road isn't going to work when these cards depreciate as fast as they do.

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