Published in Graphics

Nvidia’s 2017 trouble is called RTG

by on15 November 2016

Return of the GPU Jedi

Nvidia, as you have seen, did an amazing job gaining a lot of the GPU high end and mainstream market. Pascal worked out great on the desktop and notebook, but it would be naive to expect that AMD is not going to come back with a vengeance.

No, we are not saying that AMD and its newly formed Radeon Technology Group have come up with a secret GPU sauce. What we are saying that AMD and RTG could not come up with a successor of its Fury HBM solution in 2016 but the GPU is likely to come in 2017. In other words, RTG is supposed to be much more competitive next year.

AMD is working on a refresh of the whole Polaris line and it currently calls the Fury successor, Vega 10. RTG came up with a dual Fury card with two GPUs, 8GB of HBM memory that ended up too expensive to make serious sales numbers.

The Radeon RX 480 dropped to $199 as it had a hard time competing with the Nvidia Geforce 1060, but with a new price, RTG has better chances. We think that a successor of Polaris based RX 480 is on its way too.

With all that in mind, if Vega 10 comes in serious quantities and good price, AMD will take some GPU sales from Nvidia, and Nvidia will have a hard time surprising investors and over performing with earnings another time. The company will grow in some other areas including automotive and data analytics/machine learning, but executing this amount of sales in 2017 sounds like a tough job. 

With Pascal, Nvidia showed that it invested in the right products and lined them up beautifully in 2016 while AMD was mostly hurt as HBM 2 memory is hardly available and too expensive to make it to any GPU in 2016. Nvidia started shipping its DGX 1 systems powered with a few HBM 2 cards but if you have customers willing to pay more than $100,000 for a compute/data analytic system, you can probably amortize the price of HBM memory quite well.

The next year might be the long waited year for the return of the AMD Jedi with both Zen and Vega architecture. All they need to do is make sure that Vega and Zen are competitive.


Last modified on 15 November 2016
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