AMD Clarifies 2013 Radeon Plans

To begin with, there are two new code names in use: "Sea Islands" and "Solar System". The former refers to the Radeon HD 8000 of desktop graphics cards, while the latter refers to the mobile Radeon HD 8000M family, which we previewed in AMD Radeon HD 8790M: Next-Gen Mobile Mainstream Graphics Preview.

The HD 8000 series has been surrounded in rumors that paradoxically claim that they have been released whilst others deny its existence altogether. It turns out that both are true, since all existing Radeon HD 8000s (desktop and mobile) are based on the same GCN architecture already driving the Radeon HD 7000 line-ups. AMD does have new silicon on the mobile side powering its Radeon HD 8500M, 8600M, and 8700M GPUs. That part is code-named Mars, and it's the hardware we previewed late last year. Both Sea Islands- and Solar System-based solutions are OEM-only components, which the company claims will not be available for purchase in the channel.

AMD also noted that the Radeon HD 7900 series will remain on top of its stack until the end of 2013, and that there will be new 7000-series SKUs coming out this year. Representatives were not prepared to discuss where on the performance spectrum those parts might surface, though we'd certainly like to see the company design a 7990 able to combine the power of two Tahiti GPUs in a well-engineered package that addresses some of the acoustic issues we've encountered with its single-GPU boards.

For those worried about the break in design cadence and persistence of the first implementation of GCN, AMD's vice president of channel sales, Roy Taylor, had the following to say: "We have products, we have a road map. We are not announcing them now because we want to reposition the ones we have now. We are not sitting still, we do not lack resources, we do not lack imagination."

He also added that the reason AMD is not releasing any new parts this year is that "7000-series parts are continuing to ramp up, sales are increasing". The suggestion, of course, was that AMD has no intention of releasing new parts while its existing parts are selling well.

AMD believes it offers the best products on the market, Roy reiterated several times on the call. The company plans to spend 2013 working on its drivers, establishing relationships with gaming companies, and it may release a small number of new SKUs.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • Maxx_Power
    Well, the 7000 series are still darn good. However, I suspect AMD may have laid off too many people... Can't wait for GCN2.
  • alvine
    inb4 thousand dollar card
  • the great randini
    I think i speak for gamers all over the globe when i say "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO".
  • FinneousPJ
    I'm glad if they're doing fine at AMD.
  • horaciopz
    i like the idea, better driver support for the actual gpu generation,so we can squish as much as possible our cards. Also we need games that can actually use all the power that todays cards have, i mean a 7850 can run everything at 1080p at high or even ultra so thats enough for most folks out there, including me lol
  • warezme
    spending money on drivers and hopefully interface is not a bad idea considering it has been using the same tired .net dependent catalyst menus and crappy control panel since like 2000.
  • ryan5609
    Good. Just bought a 7970 and I am glad it will not be completely outdated by years end. AMD built a good product with the 7000 series in general. AMD will remain competitive until Nvidia releases their 700 series, so what is the rush?
  • g-unit1111
    Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering.
  • ibjeepr
    Well they must know something about what Nvidia is doing. Because even if sales of the 7xxx are good now they surely can't expect that to continue once Nvidia's 7xx comes out.

    AMD must figure:

    "Nvidia isn't going to do anything with their 7xx this year or the new 7xx isn't anthing we can't match with tweaks to our 7xxx so either way we can push the 8xxx to next year"

    Talk about leaving the door open if they don't have some inside info on Nvidia's plan.
  • bak0n
    g-unit1111Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering.
    That is an issue with crossfire AND sli. Its due to the "communication" between cards. If you don't like it, buy a single card. Either way, its not AMD's fault.