Well, this is a pretty unusual way for AMD to publicize its graphics roadmap. Just before the weekend, the following tweet showed up on the official AMD Radeon Graphics Twitter account:
RT @amd_roy Our 2013 GPU roadmap revealed in Japan: http://bit.ly/Y01lC4
The link points to Japanese site 4Gamer, which apparently got some one-on-one time with AMD Desktop Graphics Product Manager Devon Nekechuk. The site also snagged a few PowerPoint roadmap slides. One of those slides shows the Radeon HD 7900, 7800, and 7770 series with arrows extending through this year's third quarter. Hovering over the arrows in red block capitals are the words, "Stable throughout 2013."
The Google translation of the article text isn't much help, but if I'm reading this right, next-gen desktop Radeons may not be due out until October at the earliest. 4Gamer says we might see desktop "Radeon HD 8000" cards inside pre-built PCs before then, but those will apparently be existing GPUs re-badged as 8000-series parts—not true next-gen offerings.
If this is all true (and the article showing up on AMD's Twitter feed suggests so) then it appears to be a change from what AMD announced at CES. The chipmaker's CES roadmap showed Sea Islands, the next-gen desktop Radeon family, and Solar System, the equivalent mobile lineup, covering the whole of 2013—not just the last quarter of the year, or even 2014.
It's also unclear whether AMD's mobile plans have changed. In December, the company introduced several Radeon HD 8000M-series mobile GPUs based on the existing 7000-series architecture. AMD's December roadmap called for higher-end, presumably next-gen offerings in the first half of this year. But if Sea Islands GPUs have been delayed until Q4, then perhaps their Solar System doppelgangers were postponed, too.
Curious. We'll get in touch with AMD and try to shed some more light on all of this.
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