AMD is having quite a show at this year’s CES. After showing its latest Ryzen CPU architecture, the company revealed its new Vega GPU. The company showed the Vega GPU die, which is huge. The die is larger than 500mm2, making it the larger FinFET GPU made by RTG (Radeon Technologies Group) ever. Below you can look at comparison made by Videocardz, showing different graphics chips, with the latest Vega chip being clearly the largest of the bunch.

Image Courtesy Of Videocardz.com
Image Courtesy Of Videocardz.com

Below you can see die sizes of a couple of AMD’s GPU architectures-

 HD 7000 SeriesRadeon 200 SeriesRadeon Fury SeriesRadeon RX 400 SeriesTBA
Flagship GPUTahitiHawaiiFijiPolaris 10Vega #TBA
Die Size 352mm2438mm2596mm2232mm2530-560mm2

The new architecture will be the first consumer chip made by AMD that utilizes the new HBM2 standard, doubling the capacity per die and clock per pin. If you remember, the Radeon R9 Fury X was the first graphics card to utilize HBM standard, but since memory used was the first HBM generation, the card was limited to 4GB of VRAM featuring 512GB/s memory bandwidth. There were 4 layers of memory per stack with 256 MB per layer. Although the new HBM2 standard also uses just 4 layers, it also uses higher densities per layer, meaning that the new Vega-based graphics card will be capable of having up to 8 GB of VRAM. Also, HBM2 supports clocks up to 2 Gb/s compared to 1 Gb/s on HBM1.The downside is that one stack of HBM2 memory is around 92mm2 large, while HBM1 was just 35mm2 in size.

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Some of the most important features of the Vega architecture are:

  • The world’s most advanced GPU memory architecture: The Vega architecture enables a new memory hierarchy for GPUs. This radical new approach comes in the form of a new high-bandwidth cache and its controller. The cache features leading-edge HBM2 technology which is capable of transferring terabytes of data every second, doubling the bandwidth-per-pin over the previous generation HBM technology. HBM2 also enables much greater capacity at less than half the footprint of GDDR5 memory. Vega architecture is optimized for streaming very large datasets and can work with a variety of memory types with up to 512TB of virtual address space.
  • Next-generation geometry pipeline: Today’s games and professional applications make use of incredibly complex geometry enabled by the extraordinary increase in the resolutions of data acquisition devices. The hundreds of millions of polygons in any given frame have meshes so dense that there are often many polygons being rendered per pixel. Vega’s next-generation geometry pipeline enables the programmer to extract incredible efficiency in processing this complex geometry, while also delivering more than 200% of the throughput-per-clock over previous Radeon architectures. It also features improved load-balancing with an intelligent workload distributor to deliver consistent performance.
  • Next-generation compute engine: At the core of the Vega architecture is a new, next-generation compute engine built on flexible compute units that can natively process 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit or 64-bit operations in each clock cycle. These compute units are optimized to attain significantly higher frequencies than previous generations and their support of variable datatypes makes the architecture highly versatile across workloads.
  • Advanced pixel engine: The new Vega pixel engine employs a Draw Stream Binning Rasterizer, designed to improve performance and power efficiency. It allows for “fetch once, shade once” of pixels through the use of a smart on-chip bin cache and early culling of pixels invisible in a final scene. Vega’s pixel engine is now a client of the onboard L2 cache, enabling considerable overhead reduction for graphics workloads which perform frequent read-after-write operations.

According to reports, the Vega sample equipped with 8 GB of VRAM has the power between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, at least while running the latest DOOM. Vega architecture should launch during the first half of 2017, and there are chances for the AMD to launch Vega and Ryzen simultaneously.