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A Look at AMD’s 2018 Product Roadmap

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AMD’s 2018 product roadmap

As per Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) original roadmap, it might upgrade Ryzen and Vega to a slightly advanced 14-nm+ (nanometer) node before transitioning to the next-generation 7-nm node. In 2017, AMD’s foundry partner, Global Foundries, announced the 12-nm node. So AMD might upgrade its Ryzen and Vega series to the 12-nm node in 2018 before transitioning to the 7-nm node.

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CPUs

AMD might showcase these second-generation 12-nm Ryzen CPUs (central processing unit), code-named Pinnacle Ridge, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2018. The first-generation Ryzen 7 had eight cores but there are rumors that the second-generation Ryzen 7 might feature 12 cores. The first CPU in the second generation Ryzen is rumored to launch in March 2018, similar to the first-generation Ryzen.

If AMD follows a similar launch schedule as 2017, the second-generation Ryzen 7 would launch in March, followed by Ryzen 5 in April, and Ryzen 3 in June or July.

GPUs

The most awaited AMD product at CES 2018 is the refreshed version of Vega GPUs (graphics processing units). Vega GPUs could not create much enthusiasm among gamers in 2017 due to supply shortage from manufacturing issues and high demand from crypto miners. The architecture of the 14-nm Vega GPU is difficult to manufacture, and it uses HBM2 (high bandwidth memory), which makes it expensive.

All these issues could be resolved in 2018 and gamers could get their hands on an improved Vega GPU built on the 12-nm node. According to a leak, an AMD engineer stated that the company is creating a GDDR6 (graphics double data rate) memory controller. There is a possibility that the 2018 Vega GPU versions might feature a GDDR6 memory controller to make Vega more affordable.

Other rumors state that AMD might launch a 12-nm refresh of Polaris GPUs under the Radeon 600 series. All these rumors could be clarified at the CES 2018.

Vega only competes against NVIDIA’s (NVDA) year-old Pascal-based GTX 1080. NVIDIA’s Titan versions of the same GPUs are more powerful than AMD’s Vega. This means that AMD is a year behind NVIDIA in terms of technology. Thus, NVIDIA is in no rush to launch its next-generation gaming GPU.

It is very important for AMD to follow its product launch roadmap, as it has a history of delayed product launches. If it is able to follow its launch schedule, investors’ confidence in the company might be restored. Next, we will see what is cooking for AMD’s rival Intel (INTC).

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