The year 2016 is a turning point for the two largest graphics cards producers, NVIDIA and AMD. Even if AMD offered the revolutionary Radeon R9 Fury X graphic card last summer, Nvidia was the company which ended last year with better sales.This year AMD plans to win the graphics cards race for good by announcing a new architecture named “Polaris” which will be used on the upcoming 2016 GPU’s.
AMD has offered its customers a sneak peek into the future by presenting the new architecture and highlighting a number of improvements including support for HDR displays and improved performance per watt. AMD chipsets will use Polaris architecture from the second half of the year 2016.
The GPU processors with AMD Polaris 14nm FinFET architecture ensures a significant improvement in energy efficiency compared to the previous generation. The graphic processors using Polaris architecture are designed to deliver seamless images in games, multimedia and VR applications running on PCs with a very low profile.
“The new Polaris architecture demonstrates a significant progress of energy efficiency, performance and functionality,” said Lisa Su, Chairman and CEO, AMD.
“2016 will be a very exciting year for the Radeon™ fans, beginning with the Polaris architecture, the Radeon Software Crimson Edition and a number of other innovations prepared by our Radeon Technologies Group division.”
Polaris architecture is the 4th generation AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) . It features s a new display engine supporting HDMI® 2.0a + DisplayPort 1.3 and next-generation multimedia functions including 4K h.265 encoding and decoding.
It is worth mentioning that the FinFET architecture is one of the most advanced ways to piece together a larger number of transistors on a silicon surface. Also worth noting that the new architecture promises the encoding of 4K material with a framerate of 60 fps, which is quite impressive.
Although AMD has not said which graphics cards will support this new architecture, the company has shown some clips from Star Wars Battlefront where Polaris had offered an improved energy consumption compared to the Nvidia card. Although no GPU names were given, it is possible that the first graphics cards to use the Polaris architecture will be the ones dedicated to tablets and gaming laptops due to the low power consumption.
Also, AMD does not mention whether the new chip architecture will also benefit from the new HBM memories which made their debut in Fiji this summer, but the chances of this to happen are very high.
Hopefully, with this release AMD will compete with Nvidia in terms of heat and power consumption, excesses that put the US company at a disadvantage for so long.