In order to address concerns of a difficult transition to 28nm, AMD demonstrated its next-generation 28nm GPU at IDF last month. The demo system featured a mobile variant of the next-gen GPU running DiRT 3. At the time, AMD told us to expect the GPU's release later this year. 

Since then there have been rumors of a delay until 2012, but no official update from AMD. I suspect we'll get something to that effect soon enough, but today AMD let us know that it ran another public demonstration of 28nm GPU silicon - this time in Taiwan. The demo was apparently pretty similar to last time: a mobile 28nm GPU running a game. In this case the game was Dragon Age 2, but obviously there are no performance or power details to accompany the announcement. 

AMD didn't provide any more info nor an update on the GPU's release timeframe. As with any major process transition, scaling to be able to produce mass quantities of chips on a new process can be extremely challenging. The move to 28nm is particularly rough because unlike 40nm, AMD didn't have a pipecleaner part to begin its process learnings on. How this impacted overall development remains to be seen.

Source: AMD

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  • Ushio01 - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    it's been 2 and a half years since the last GPU die shrink it used to seem about every 10-11 months or so that one happened.
  • fincrisp - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    That was a half node cycle. Remeber everyone canceled the 32nm shrink and went straight for a full node at 28nm. That still puts it behind but not as bad.
  • saneblane - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    32nm is the full node, and 28 is the half. the next full node is 22 and half is 20
  • mpschan - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    Forgive my stupidity, but what differentiates a full node from a half? All I see is numbers getting smaller by varying amounts, and I can't remember ever reading a comparison of the process of shrinking by a half step vs. a full.
  • GiantPandaMan - Thursday, October 6, 2011 - link

    From what I can tell, a full node requires totally new tools, usually done at a different facility than the current node. A half node is more of an upgrade in processes and some upgrades in tools, and usually done at the same facility. Anyone with a better explanation?
  • ChrisC62 - Friday, October 7, 2011 - link

    In principal:
    1) Full Node shrinks reduce layout area by a factor of 2 - so dimensions reduce by sqrt(2).
    2) Half nodes should shrink area by a factor of sqrt(2) so dimensions reduce by 2^1/4.
    Full Nodes 45, 32, 22.5, 16, 11, 8
    Half Nodes: 38, 27, 19, 13.5, 9.5, 7

    In practice this is limited by what the technology allows and what the customers need, so often they are rounded up or down.
  • Sivar - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    Is it just a photographic anomaly or is that cooling fan missing a blade?
  • Lunyone - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    It looks like the fan was running when the picture was taken, at least that is how it looks to me. :)
  • OCedHrt - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    88mph rotation speed.
  • SquattingDog - Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - link

    Yup, pretty sure the fan is running - those are not the blades you're seeing, they're slots cut in the heatsink beneath it if you look closely :)

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