By now, it's certain that Advanced Micro Devices will be skipping the Radeon HD 8000 graphics card series and jumping straight to Radeon HD 9000. That's not exactly correct either though, it turns out.
Yes, AMD will skip the HD 8000 line, but it won't go with the Radeon HD 9000 naming scheme, according to something that VR-Zone published not long ago.
Instead, it will use a different naming scheme for the video controllers: R9-XXXX.
As such, we suppose that the top-tier single-GPU video card will be called R9-9970, with the dual-GPU board as R9-9990, whenever AMD decides to bring it out, months from now.
All in all, it looks as though the Sunnyvale, California-based company wants to start with a sort of clean slate.
The first video card should be revealed in a few months. If we're lucky, we might even find one on display at IFA 2013, in Berlin, Germany, this September.
In a way, the new naming scheme is similar to the one used for accelerated processing units, where the series moniker comes first, and the number after the dash. That's why there are A8-series and A10-series chips up for order.
It's still hard to guess if the names will really follow our assumptions though.
If, say, the high-end card gets the R9 prefix, the name would end up at R9-x970, but probably not R9-9970, since it would mean stating the series level twice.
The folks at VideoCardz point out that the tactic is similar to the one applied to the Radeon X series, where the X in, say, Radeon X1950XTX was eventually replaced with HD. Now, HD is being replaced by Rx. Clearly, AMD is trying to freshen things up.
On a related note, some time ago, SemiAccurate saw that the latest AMD drives supported Radeon APU A6-6200 with R3 Graphics and Radeon R5 M200 series cards, implying that there would be entry-level add-in cards, despite the prevalence of CPU-integrated video.