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AMD reiterates plans to introduce new Radeon R9 300 GPUs in June

Advanced Micro Devices has reiterated plans to start high volume shipments of new graphics products and accelerated processing units later in this quarter with meaningful revenue contribution starting in the second half of the year. As reported, AMD is set to officially release its new lineup of GPUs in June.

Because of weak demand for personal computers, AMD’s issues with channel inventory as well as competitive positions of its products, shipments of AMD microprocessors and graphics processing units have been dropping for about a year now. Moreover, AMD’s CPU and GPU market shares have been decreasing for many quarters in a row as well. As a result, the primary tasks for AMD’s management is to boost sales and improve positions on the market. According to the chief exec of the company, this is exactly what AMD plans to do in the second half of the year after launching “Carizzo” accelerated processing units, Godavari (Kaveri Refresh) APUs and all-new Radeon graphics processors in the late second quarter.

“As we go into the second half of the year, we would like to see some regain of share in both the desktop and the notebook business,” said Lisa Su, chief executive officer of AMD, in the company’s quarterly conference call with investors and financial analysts. “I talked about Carrizo being a strong product for us, I talked about some of our graphics launches that we will talk about later this quarter.”

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As reported, AMD plans to officially introduce its new Radeon 9 300-series graphics processors in June, around the Computex Taipei 2015 trade-show. According to sources with knowledge of AMD plans, this time the company will take a rather untraditional approach to introduction. Instead of unveiling numerous new graphics cards one after another, the company is going to reveal the whole family at once. As reported, the new series will contain both new and old graphics processing units.

Based on media reports and sources with knowledge of AMD’s plans, it is expected that the Radeon R9 300-series family will contain three all new graphics processors: Fiji, Grenada (improved Hawaii) and Trinidad. In addition, some forecast that AMD to finally use Tonga XT chip with all compute units/stream processors activated.

Here is the compilation of what we do know about the Radeon R9 300-series range so far (please keep in mind that not all model numbers and specifications may be accurate):

  • AMD Radeon R9 390/390X – Fiji Pro/Fiji XT graphics processing units featuring GCN 1.3 architecture with up to 4096 stream processors and 4096-bit interface to HBM memory. Price range: $649 and upwards.
  • AMD Radeon R9 380/380X – Grenada Pro/Grenada XT graphics processing units featuring GCN 1.2 or GCN 1.3 architecture with up to 2816 stream processors and 512-bit interface to GDDR5 memory. Price range: $249 – $299 – $329. Since “Grenada” GPU is basically a revamped “Hawaii”, it is possible that instead of making a new GPU, AMD will simply use the old one under a new moniker.
  • AMD Radeon R9 375X – Tonga XT graphics processing units featuring GCN 1.2 architecture with up to 2048 stream processors and 384-bit interface to GDDR5 memory. Price range: around $229.
  • AMD Radeon R9 375 – Tonga Pro graphics processing units featuring GCN 1.2 architecture with up to 1792 stream processors and 256-bit interface to GDDR5 memory. Price range: around $199.
  • AMD Radeon R9 370/370X – Trinidad Pro/Trinidad XT graphics processing units featuring GCN 1.3 architecture with up to 1536 stream processors and 256-bit interface to GDDR5 memory. Price range: $119 – $149.

The situation with the upcoming Radeon R7 300-series look less clear. On the one hand, AMD could continue offering its code-named “Curacao” graphics processing units for Radeon R7 360-series graphics cards, but the company could also introduce something powered by the GCN 1.2 or the GCN 1.3 for the price range of around $100.

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If the compiled information about the new Radeon R9 lineup is correct, then AMD’s positions in the second half of this year will be somewhat better than today. Still, given that the market is very competitive, a lot depends on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 900-series refresh plans. Nonetheless, AMD remains optimistic about its future products.

“I think from the standpoint of being able to capture more of the market and increase more to where our normal shares are in graphics, I think that something that we believe we can make progress towards,” said Ms. Su.

AMD did not comment on the potential Radeon R9 300-series lineup.

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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see how successful will the new Radeon R9 300-series family be. Releasing one new graphics card after another ensures that every GPU receives a lot of attention from the media. When AMD launches the whole lineup at once, the press concentrates on the flagship product and hardly covers mainstream offerings. As a consequence, some customers may never learn about AMD’s new offerings in the $100 – $200 range.

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