During the company's conference call for announcing its Q3 2011 financial results, AMD has revealed that its next-generation 28nm are on track for being shipped until the end of this year, which probably means that AMD will launch its next-gen GPUs before its main competitor, Nvidia.
The chip maker's press release for the Q3 2011 financial results reads: “AMD’s next-generation family of high-performance graphics cards is expected to ship for revenue later this year.”
It's important to note that shipping for revenue doesn't necessarily mean that the GPUs will also be available into the market, but rather that AMD will be shipping Radeon HD 7000 chips to its AIB partners.
If all goes well, the first Southern Islands parts cold still make their appearance by the end of this year, but a more probably launch date is early 2012.
AMD's Radeon HD 7000 graphics cores, known under the code name of Southern Islands, are built using TSMC's advanced 28nm fabrication node and will be split into two different product families.
The first of these will target low- and mid-range graphics solutions and will be based on the same VLIW4 architecture AMD introduced 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, the company detailed at its Fusion summit.
NCG was specially designed in order to break free from the VLIW (very long instruction word) architecture and was designed to 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.
Nvidia's next-generation graphics cores, built using the same 28nm TSMC fabrication node and code named Kepler, will also arrive in 2012 and will be officially announced in December of this year, according to a recent report.