AMD Re-brands HD 6000M Solutions; Launches HD 7000 Mobility Family

AMD launched a new suite of HD 7000 SKUs today aimed at the midrange and value mobile markets, but these aren't the 28nm, Southern Islands GPUs that consumers have been watching for. These new HD 7400M, 7500M, and 7600M parts are rebranded 40nm hardware.

The "new" chips are all based on AMD's HD 6000 "Northern Islands" GPU, which means they incorporate the improved tessellation performance of that chip (possibly combined with UDVD 3.0). These products retain the VLIW5 design that drove earlier iterations of AMD's Radeon products, rather than the more efficient VLIW4 architecture that debuted with the HD 6900 family (Cayman).

We understand why AMD is choosing to launch new SKUs now rather than waiting for the slower ramp of 28nm hardware in a few months, but this is going to create an odd three-way disparity between the company's product lines. The GPU built into AMD's upcoming Trinity APU is a VLIW4 design based on Cayman (aka, Northern Islands). The midrange HD 7000 parts are VLIW5, while the future HD 7000 parts will be VLIW4, but based on Southern Islands.

In short, the whole thing is a bit of a muddle. The good news is, all of these chips are modern (the HD 6000 family is only one year old), and the new mobile parts should slot in as "replacements" without issue. If you're waiting for the real HD 7000 family, however, you'll need to wait a little longer.