AMD Details Roadmap For Polaris GPU, Fury X2 Schedules And Vulkan Support In Reddit AMA

As promised, AMD participated in a lengthy seven-hour Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on reddit in which people were able to ask the Sunnyvale chip designer anything and everything on a variety of topics, which they did. Robert Hallock, part of AMD's Technical Marketing team, never went into great detail about hot topics like Polaris, and he wasn't allowed to talk much at all about Zen, but there were some interesting tidbits all the same.

Right off the bat, Hallock addressed a question about when we can expect to see Vulkan support in a Linux driver. According to Hallock, it's something AMD will release "quite soon" (as in weeks, not months), though its Linux Vulkan drivers will only run on the AMD GPU kernel driver. "We have no plans, on Linux, to support Vulkan on any other driver stack," Hallock added.

Hollack also indicated that Polaris parts will arrive in the middle of the year. He made the comment in response to a question about the challenges of moving from 28nm to a 14nm FinFET manufacturing process.

Polaris Slide

"Every node has its little foibles, but I am not quite in a position where I can disclose the level of information you're probably looking for. I like keeping my job," Hollack stated, followed by a winky face emoticon. "However, we know that people are very interested in the process tech and we intend to publish a lot more information on the architecture and process before Polaris parts arrive in mid-2016."

Naturally, Hollack wasn't willing to discuss yields, which historically has been a problem for AMD, though he did offer up that the recent earthquake in Taiwan did not affect the company's production or schedule in any major way.

What about Fury X2? It's something AMD is aligning with the virtual reality movement. Back when it was expected that VR headsets would arrive at the end of 2015, AMD planned to have Fury X2 ready.

"Due to some delays in overall VR ecosystem readiness, HMDs are now expected to be available to consumers by early 2016. To ensure the optimal VR experience, we're adjusting the Fiji Gemini launch schedule to better align with the market," Hollack said. "Working samples of Fiji Gemini have shipped to a variety of B2B customers in Q415, and the initial customer reaction has been very positive."

That's about the extent of what Hollack was able to talk about, at least on AMD's behalf. As for himself, in case you're wondering, Hollack's own personal system is powered by an AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, which he's paired with and Intel Core i7-6700K processor, 16GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, Samsung 950 256GB SSD, and Acer XR341CK monitor. His games of choice at the moment include Overwatch and Fractured.