AMD is now working hard on its second generation of the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and the first video cards to enter the market will be the mid-range series, not the top-of-the-line. The Texas-based CPU and GPU designer is apparently adopting a different launch strategy than its main competitor, California-based Nvidia. The first cards belonging to the 2nd GCN generation will be models that fit the $300 - $400 price range, while the top performing graphics adapters will have to wait for a later launch date. The first 2nd-gen GCN GPU will reportedly be AMD “Oland” and, as usual, the company will launch at least two cards based on the new chip with frequencies being the differentiating factor. Oland XT will likely be clocked higher than 1 GHz, with the company’s PowerTune feature available right from the start. The Turbo option will possibly take the GPU to more than 1.1 GHz. AMD’s Oland XT implementation will retail as Radeon HD 8870 and will feature the same GDDR5 memory that we’re currently used to. The memory frequency will likely be around 6000 MHz effective, but the most interesting aspect is that AMD’s new GPU will still be built in 28nm manufacturing process. It is clear that TSMC’s 28nm manufacturing has matured and that the cards will probably be cooler than what AMD’s Tahiti is right now. After all, even Tahiti felt the touch of TSMC’s newer technology as the card’s maximum reference frequency is now 1050 MHz, whereas initially it was only 925 MHz. That’s a 13.5% frequency improvement which is mainly TSMC’s doing, and we can definitely expect that a second 28nm generation of GPUs will be considerably cooler. The second Oland implementation will be the Oland Pro with the same die size that will measure roughly 270 square millimeters. This time, the GPU will be clocked considerably lower and the likely frequency is 925 MHz. Power consumption is expected to be lower than AMD’s current Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 and we can only be glad, as the projected values are around 160 watts TDP for the Radeon HD 8870 and 130 watts for Radeon HD 8850.