AMD rumoured to ship 12nm ‘Polaris 30’ GPUs in October

AMD rumoured to ship 12nm 'Polaris 30' GPUs in October

AMD rumoured to ship 12nm ‘Polaris 30’ GPUs in October

The Linux boffins over at Phoronix have uncovered something interesting in the company’s latest AMDGPU Linux kernel patches; a new Polaris series part called the 0x6FDF.

AMD first introduced their Polaris series hardware in 2016, over two years ago, a time where Nvidia’s longlived Pascal architecture as new-fangled. This new Polaris product ID has not appeared anywhere before, suggesting that AMD is working on a new Polaris-based product, reigniting rumours of a “Polaris 30” graphics chip. 

At this time it is unknown what this new product is, with some suggesting that AMD plans to remake their Polaris Architecture on GlobalFoundries 12nm node, offering an expected performance uplift of around 15%. In theory, this will be enough to allow a hypothetical RX 680 (12nm RX 580) to comfortably outperform Nvidia’s GTX 1060 6GB in modern gaming title. It is also possible for AMD to deliver other small design tweaks that will enable enhanced performance, similar to AMD’s Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, perhaps by introducing a new Turbo clock/boost system or by lowering the latencies of some of Polaris’ internal caches. While AMD could use TSMC to create a 12nm Polaris part, the company is more likely to use Globalfoundries thanks to 12nm’s physical similarities to their existing 14nm node.      

Creating a new Polaris series graphics card will allow AMD to offer higher performance levels at a low price point, creating what is likely to be an excellent mid-range graphics card that will juxtapose Nvidia’s costly RTX series. The disadvantages of using Polaris over Vega are obvious, given Vega’s support for Rapid Packed Math and other hardware features like DSBR, though using Polaris will make the transition to 12nm simpler, assuming that AMD plans to create a GPU that has a design that is similar, almost identical, to Polaris 10/20, rather than an entirely new product.  

AMD rumoured to ship 12nm 'Polaris 30' GPUs in October  

AMD’s GPU roadmap has remained a mystery for quite some time, making it unclear when to expect next-generation Navi-based products from the company. While AMD has grown a lot in recent years, the company’s R&D funds remain lower than both Intel and Nvidia, which makes it difficult for the company to design a large range of new products, especially given their stakes in both the CPU and GPU markets. 

You can join the discussion on AMD’s rumoured 12nm ‘Polaris 30’ graphics cards on the OC3D Forums.