AMD’s work with the new graphics card architecture Southern Islands continues and so does the rumors on the specifications on the new Radeon HD 7000 series that is expected this fall. The latest story talks about the connection to the motherboard and processor, where Radeon HD 7000 will be the first to bring PCI Express 3.0.
Modern graphics card use PCIe 2.0, which with our electrical x16 slots offers a maximal theoretic bandwidth of 8 GB/s in each direction (16 GB/s effectively). The new PCI Express 3.0 interface will doublt the theoretic bandwith in the same physical format to 16 GB/s (32 GB/s effectively) by increasing the bandwidth of each PCIe lane from 500 MB/s to 1 GB/s. Thanks to a more efficient decoding technology the new PCIe 3.0 interface will be more than twice as efficient bandwidth to reduce performance loss. PCI Express 3.0 will also bring other optimizations for signal handling, energy saving and better scalability.
Several motherboard makers have launched motherboards with PCIe 3.0 and promise better performance with some PCIe 2.0 components today already, among others powerful SSD products. The first graphics cards that can really use the higher bandwidth and more efficient interface will be Radeon HD 7000.
ASrock is one of the first to launch motherboards with PCIe 3.0
We know very little about the Radeon HD 7000 series, but most seem to point to another generation with VLIW4, which was introduced with Cayman (HD 6900). There will be a serious upgrade though with broader functionality that is made possible thanks to a new and more efficient 28nm manufacturing technology.
The manufacturing technology is said to the thing holding back AMD’s launch schedule where TSMC is doing everything in its power to come up with a stable yield. The latest information we had was that the new family will arrive this fall. The code name of the most powerful circuit may be Tahiti and we keep our fingers crossed we will see the Next Graphics Core architecture soon, even if it will most likely not be until next generation.
Motherboards with PCIe 3.0 are on the way, but the first processors are not expected until Q2 2012 with Intel Ivy Bridge.
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