AMD’s next-gen GPUs are using Zen CPU know-how for “a bigger leap forward”

AMD Vega die shot

AMD have confirmed they’ve pulled some of the Zen microprocessor team into the Radeon Technology Group to give their next generation of graphics silicon a boost in frequency, power, and performance.

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AMD execs too to the YouTubes yesterday to discuss how the last twelve months of Zen has been ahead of the imminent launch of the AMD Ryzen 2 processors. In the video Suzanne Plummer, CVP of the Radeon Technologies Group, explains how they were using some of the processes that went into making Ryzen a success to help give new Radeon hardware a little helping hand.

But not only are they taking some of the methodology, it sounds like they’ve also brought in some of the actual people from the Zen team to help Team Radeon make the next AMD graphics cards genuinely competitive.

“A lot of what we did in Zen was trying to push well beyond what we thought we could do,” says Plummer, “and I think that is something we’re trying to do in the graphics space as well to make a bigger leap forward.

“We’ve pulled in some of the expertise from the microprocessor cores team into the graphics team, kinda helping with our methodology, and improving our frequency and our performance and power. And just taking the best that we have already developed in-house and trying to make sure that we’re using the same improvements across the company.”

AMD Radeon RX Vega

There have been a few rumours going around that the AMD Navi architecture will be the final GCN graphics core, and could fare just as poorly as the AMD Vega cards have in competitive terms.

It’s not clear whether Plummer is referring to the Navi architecture when she’s talking about “a bigger leap forward” but she could well be talking about the next, wholly new AMD architecture. Given their leapfrogging design teams we know that they’re already working on the post-GCN generation of graphics silicon, and as Zen itself was a fresh CPU design it makes sense to be using learnings from those efforts to make whatever follows Navi a success on the graphics front.

Given that by then there may be a third, Intel-shaped player in the graphics card market AMD will want to make sure they don’t slip into third place behind Nvidia and Intel, so bringing in all the expertise they can to make the next-gen architecture a genuinely competitive one isn’t a bad shout.