Rumors about next generation AMD Radeon GPUs has been on the Internets for quite a while now but recently, they have started picking up some pace. A latest report from ChipHell forums suggests that engineering samples of AMD Radeon HD 9970 has been shipped to manufacturers so that they can start preparing their custom cards. The manufacturer that is being discussed here is Sapphire.
AMD Radeon HD 9970 is reportedly company’s next generation card which will use a completely new architecture with process enhancements and increased amount of stream processors. However, we do not have any solid information about the new architecture yet. Furthermore, a few days ago it was reported that AMD is ditching the HD 8000 series naming instead they’ll be using HD 9000 series naming for their next generation graphics cards. The Radeon HD 9970 will feature the Hawaii XT core with Volcanic Islands architecture, as revealed in a Catalyst drivers leak few week ago.
The HD 9970 graphics card by Sapphire has 12-layer PCB whereas the reference HD 7970 has 10-layers. It is not sure whether the Sapphire card is a custom one or AMD will be moving to 12-layer PCB design for all of their next generation GPUs. Furthermore, it is revealed that Sapphire has planned atleast 7 different custom cards based on the HD 9970 GPU.
The Radeon HD 9970 along with other next generation AMD GPUs are expected to launch in October 2013.