As part of AMD's Computex press conference, new Radeon Technologies Group senior vice president of engineering David Wang took the stage to demonstrate the company's first seven-nanometer Radeon Instinct graphics card. The Vega-architecture GPU on this product is meant for server and workstation computing. It'll have 32 GB of HBM2 RAM layered across four stacks of memory—increasingly a prerequisite for the kinds of large data sets businesses want to chew through for machine learning applications and more.
Wang showed the chip performing a job in the Cinema 4D application using AMD's Radeon ProRender software to perform near-real-time ray tracing. Wang's demo partner was able to zoom in and out of the motorcycle model seen above and watch as the render progressed from a noisy smear to a refined model with detailed reflections. The oohs and ahs of a ray-traced image won't be news to anybody, but the fact that the chip was powered on and functioning in a live demo is an important confirmation that seven-nanometer products are on track for the company.
On top of the demo, Wang noted that AMD wants to introduce a new graphics product every year through 2020, whether with a new process—as in the case of seven-nanometer Vega—or with new architectures like Navi and the as-yet-unnamed seven-nanometer-plus product set to arrive a couple years out.
AMD CEO Lisa Su noted that seven-nanometer Vega is sampling to customers now, and the company plans to launch the professional- and server-grade card in the second half of this year. Gamers shouldn't feel entirely left out, though. Su said the company plans to bring seven-nanometer graphics chips to gamers at some point in the future, but didn't offer any more details beyond that tantalizing prospect. Given AMD's quiet on the consumer graphics front for 2018, however, a seven-nanometer gaming card is likely a prospect for next year.