If you have been keeping up to date with the GPU world then you surely know these last few weeks have been pretty hectic, AMD launching its second generation DirectX 11 graphics card family while Nvidia seems to be set to do the same in just a couple of days, but things are going to become a lot more bizzare if we are going to believe some rumors that state AMD's HD 7000 graphics card series (code named Southern Islands) is set to launch in Q2 2011.This latest development in the graphics card saga comes from a pretty shady website named, adequately enough, RumorPedia.net, that claims one source “close to AMD” told them Souther Islands GPU family will be released sometime in early 2011.
According to the same website, this actually means late Q2 or early Q3 2011, all depending on the 28nm manufacturing process employed for building this chips, AMD being set to release GPUs based on this new fabrication node before Nvidia manages to do so.
The rumors is also confirmed by one comment appearing on the same website, a user saying he can even disclose the names of AMD's future Southern Islands, if he wasn't under NDA that is (pretty convenient if you ask me).
All these infos, seems to point out that AMD is advancing pretty well with its future graphics card architecture, although I would suggest you to take this news with a huge grain of salt considering the sources cited.
However, there may be some truth to these rumors, since one can pretty much assume that if Nvidia has 28nm chip samples, AMD most definitely has access to the same manufacturing technology, making the 28nm HD 7000 graphics card family possible.
Furthermore, rumors that appear quite a while back, during this spring, called these Northern Islands graphics cards that we see today taking the shape of Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 a hybrid between the Southern Islands and the Evergreen architecture, suggesting that AMD was already pretty advanced in developing Southern Islands design.
End of it all, its pretty hard to tell if this timetable is actually accurate, but one thing is certain, AMD is not going to let Nvidia get past them and if one company has 28nm samples available then you can pretty much bet the competition has them too.