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AMD: Installed base of GCN GPUs is over 100 million units

Advanced Micro Devices has been using its latest GCN [graphics core next] architecture for its graphics processing units for over three years now and will release at least two new GCN-based product families. Without any doubts, GCN is one of the most successful GPU technologies ever. Apparently, it is one of the most widely used graphics processing architectures too. According to AMD, more than 100 million GPUs worldwide are GCN-based.

“With graphics core next, we provided an architecture to make it easier […] for programmers to unlock the value of our graphics both for visualization and compute,” said Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer at AMD at the company’s financial analyst day. “Really a ground-breaking architecture!

Different incarnations of AMD’s GCN architecture power Radeon graphics cards, accelerated processing units, various embedded application processors as well as high-performance system-on-chips for Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles. In fact, game consoles alone account for well over 30 million of GCN-based graphics processors.

“And you can see the adoptions. It is, of course, our discrete graphics business, but it is much more than that,” added Mr. Papermaster. “It is in the game consoles, you see it in the Mac Pro, the iMac 5K, leading workstation designs, server installations. It is scalable, from mobile applications to high-performance computing applications. It has got the installed base of over 100 million for developers to leverage. This has been a very successful architecture!”


So far, AMD has released three iterations of its GCN architecture. Next month the company intends to unveil its new GPUs based on the fourth-generation graphics core next – GCN 1.3 – design. Sometimes next year AMD plans to introduce graphics processing units based on the GCN 1.4 architecture, which are projected to deliver two times higher performance-per-watt efficiency compared to today’s GPUs.

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KitGuru Says: 100 million graphics processing units is clearly a lot. Imagine how many GCN GPUs AMD would have sold if its accelerated processing units were more competitive in general purpose workloads that rely on x86 performance…

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