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AMD demos upcoming 14nm Polaris GPU, confirms mid-2016 release date

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AMD Polaris Architecture
AMD Polaris Architecture

AMD has demonstrated its latest Polaris GPU architecture that will be powering its next generation of graphics cards.

The Polaris GPUs are purported to reduce power consumption by up to 61 percent compared to current generation products.

This is thanks in large part to the design being based a new 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, where the last three generations of both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards have been built using older, more power hungry 28nm technology.

“Our new Polaris architecture showcases significant advances in performance, power efficiency and features... 2016 will be a very exciting year for Radeon fans” said Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD.

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To highlight the efficiency improvements AMD ran a Star Wars: Battlefront demo at 1080p with medium detail settings and running at 60fps. The Polaris card used 86W compared to 140W for the Nvidia GTX 950.

Star Wars: Battlefront is a game that already slightly favours AMD's architecture and AMD didn't choose to compare against its own current-gen cards, so it's difficult to say how representative that comparison is but given the huge leap in manufacturing technology it's likely the improvements will be significant.

As well as the reduction in power consumption the architecture will also include AMD’s 4th generation Graphics Core Next architecture, support for HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3 outputs, and "next-generation" multimedia features enabling 4K h.265 encoding and decoding.

AMD has for now pinned a broad mid-2016 release date on the new Polaris-based cards.

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