A few days ago, we wrote about this AMD roadmap slide, that AMD themselves tweeted to everyone:
Along with the slide, AMD were telling people on Twitter that “The HD 7000 Series will remain our primary focus for quite some time.”
Add this to the fact that they have been releasing new silicon at the same cadence for years, and have been talking about new silicon for the desktop for a while, including showing roadmap slides saying as much as recently as CES last month:
You can see why everyone assumed that by not releasing a new chip for the desktop market this year, plans have changed. However when Legit Reviews asked Robert Hallock at AMD about the change of plans, he told them that “…HD 8000 Series has never been so much as hinted at for a channel release. Anything to the contrary is an unsubstantiated rumor fabricated to drive traffic.”
In order to set thing straight, AMD held a conference call. Except things seem to be even more confusing now…
In an article titled Fate of AMD’s Sea Islands obscured in the fog, Scott Wasson has recounted the call, including some of his own speculation.
The main point AMD seem to be making, is that the Sea Islands codename isn’t necessarily a desktop product, but rather “desktop and notebook, with focus especially on the notebook”, with the desktop side being primarily aimed at OEM customers. Apparently, the roadmaps they have been showing have been only referring to OEM and notebook products.
I think I am starting to understand all of this, and I think AMD’s main issue, and why they are calling it “unsubstantiated rumors” is that people are saying the lack of new retail cards is due to a change of plans.
Aside from that, everything we speculated about that slide appears to be true. In terms of new products, the 7000 series is going to continue as the retail channel focus for AMD, with the HD7970 the top card. So at least that part of the rumor is confirmed. I think
We now know that will see some new products in the 7000 series lineup, based on Sea Islands (which we now know is simply a reconfiguration of GCN 1.0). They haven’t said anything about what type of product it will be, but it may be used to fill in some gaps that currently exist.
The 8000 series will continue to serve the OEM market (because they expect a new lineup every year), but are simply rebadged 7000 series cards. We will start to hear more about next gen GCN silicon probably by the end of this year.