AMD outs Polaris-based Radeon RX 480, new APUs

June 1, 2016 // 11:48 a.m.

Tags: #14nm #amd #apu #finfet #geforce-gtx-970 #gpu #polaris #radeon #radeon-rx #radeon-rx-480 #raja-koduri #virtual-reality #vr

AMD has officially announced the Radeon RX 480 graphics card, its first Polaris-based device, alongside its seventh-generation accelerated processing unit (APU) products for mobile devices.

Aimed, entirely unsurprisingly, at those looking to build a new rig or upgrade an existing system for use with virtual reality headsets, the Polaris-based Radeon RX 480 is claimed to offer 'premium VR capability' - which, using the yardstick normally associated with such performance, means it should be roughly equal to Nvidia's last-generation GeForce GTX 970 graphics card - at a price of just $199 (around £138 excluding taxes) for the 4GB model.

'VR is the most eagerly anticipated development in immersive computing ever, and is the realisation of AMD's Cinema 2.0 vision that predicted the convergence of immersive experiences and interactivity back in 2008,' crowed Raja Koduri, AMD's senior vice president and chief architect for the Radeon Technologies Group. 'As we look to fully connect and immerse humanity through VR, cost remains the daylight between VR being only for the select few, and universal access for everyone. The Radeon RX Series is a disruptive technology that adds rocket fuel to the VR inflection point, turning it into a technology with transformational relevance to consumers.'

The Polaris GPU driving the Radeon RX 480 and other yet-to-be announced devices in the RX family is based on a 14nm FinFET three-dimensional production process, the first time the node has been used to produce a discrete GPU. Combined with architectural improvements, the result is claimed to be a low-power, high-performance card at a price point AMD hopes will help it win back some of the market share it has lost to Nvidia in recent years.

At the same time, AMD announced the commercial release of the Bristol Ridge and Stoney Ridge APUs for mobile devices, claiming improved compute performance and lower power draw in devices ranging from 35W FX processors to its 15W A9, A6, and E2 ultra-mobile and embedded parts.

More information on the Polaris GPUs is available from AMD's dedicated microsite, while another microsite details the seventh-generation mobile APUs. The Radeon RX 480 is due to launch on the 29th of June, with full specifications yet to be disclosed.
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