We could still see some Southern Islands cards arrive in late 2011
While AMD has recently said that it will begin shipping its first 28nm Radeon HD 7000-series GPUs by the end of this year, it seems like the company won't be able to deliver such chips in mass quantities until 2012.The Fudzilla report claims that the most important hurdle AMD's next-generation graphics cores have to overcome is TSMC's inability to build enough of these GPUs by the end of 2011.
Despite this setback, VR-Zone claims that AMD will however ship some 28nm parts by the end of this year, so we could still some limited supply of low- or mid-range Radeon HD 7000 graphics cards make their appearance this year.
Availability should be very limited at least until 2012 starts as this is when TSMC is expected to improve the yields of its 28nm fabrication process.
AMD's Radeon HD 7000 graphics cores, also known to enthusiasts under the code name of Southern Islands, will be released into two different product families, depending on the architecture they use.
The first of these will target low- and mid-range graphics solutions and will be based on the VLIW4 architecture AMD introduced at the end of last year with the Radeon HD 6900 GPU series.
These will be the first to arrive, while later in 2012 AMD will introduce Radeon HD 7900 GPUs based on the Next Generation Core (NGC) architecture.
NCG was specially designed in order to break free from the VLIW (very long instruction word) architecture and should improve performance and functionality of GPGPU computing in AMD's graphics cores.
The entry-level and mid-range Radeon HD 7000 GPUs will be known by the code name of Thames and Lombok, while the NCG HD 7900 series will use the Tahiti designation. All the GPUs will be manufacture using the 28nm fabrication process.