During its AMD Finacial Analyst Day conference, the firm gave news of all its projects. Perhaps the most anticipated is its new generation of AMD RDNA 3 graphics cards.
For several years, AMD has succeeded in remaking its name in the field of processors against ARM and Intel. On the other hand, in the graphics card sector, the results are more mixed. Admittedly, AMD is in constant progress and has succeeded in repositioning itself as a competitor with the RDNA 2 generation, but the firm is still behind Nvidia on many points.
Worse, it now sees Apple and Intel arriving on its land with their own solutions. All is not gloomy for AMD’s graphics division, which nevertheless benefits from the large game console market: PlayStation, Xbox and Steam Deck consoles integrate AMD solutions.
The brand must now continue this high-speed progress with the next generation RDNA 3. This is essentially what it was able to promise during its Financial Analyst Day conference, designed to take stock of its roadmap with investors. .
+50% performance per watt
RDNA 3 is the name of the next architecture for AMD Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards. They will therefore be the competitors of future Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000s. This is not a conference dedicated to graphics cards and AMD did not go into detail on the RDNA 3 architecture, but the first information is reassuring.
First, AMD is promising a move to 5nm manufacturing, likely the TSMC N5 process. This change should already offer the brand a huge optimization surplus compared to the TSMC 7N used with the RDNA 2 architecture. Associated with the architecture changes, AMD promises a gain in energy efficiency of more than 50% (Performance / watts ). This is a huge leap forward and the second in two generations since AMD RDNA 2 already offered a 50% boost over RDNA 1.
Some of you may be wondering what this energy efficiency is all about. It is simply the relationship between performance and power consumption, which is also called “Performance/Watts”, an indicator widely used by AMD and Nvidia. The greater this ratio, the better the performance of the card.
The performance per watt is a very important data for a graphics chip. A gain of more than 50% means graphics cards that will consume much less at equal performance for laptops or much more efficient desktop PCs.
The first GPU with a “chiplet” design
To achieve this efficiency gain, AMD mentions an optimization of the “Graphics Pipeline” and a change of architecture for the “Compute Units”, the main execution cores of a Radeon graphics card. The firm did not go into detail on these points. We hope that the new Compute Units will do better with the calculations of ray tracingthe big weak point of RDNA 2.
More interestingly, AMD confirms years of rumors by promising that RDNA 3 will be the generation of the “chiplet” design. This is a more modern way of designing a processor that has already been adopted by AMD for its Zen processors. The chiplet design makes it possible to create a modular chip that is easier to design and manufacture compared to a monolithic design. It is however a very difficult principle to apply for graphics chips because of the mass of data to be transmitted and processed in parallel, compared to a more conventional central processor.
AMD is therefore tackling this subject which could give it a definite lead over its competitors if the firm really manages to implement it. The industry agrees that the chiplet design represents the future of graphics chips and AMD could be the first to achieve this position for such a powerful graphics chip. It remains to be seen how the firm solved this data processing problem to create a chiplet design. Perhaps the brand is using technology similar to Apple UltraFusion, the solution Apple used to create the Apple M1 Ultra by connecting two Apple M1 Max chips.
Obviously, AMD is not going to stop with the launch of the RDNA 3 Radeon RX 7000 graphics cards planned before the end of 2022. The firm is already promising the launch of the RDNA 4 architecture by 2024. Manufacturing will be done on a advanced process “, without further details. AMD probably does not want to commit to a manufacturing capacity that depends mainly on developments from TSMC.
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