AMD is slated for a new GPU release in August, Chinese leak-monger VR-Zone reported. Somewhat similar to nVidia's GTX 750 / 750 Ti launch, it appears that AMD plans to plant its impending 28nm " Tonga" GPU in a rebuild of the R9 280 and R9 280X video cards.
If the leak is reliable, it appears that Tonga would be on-track to supersede the R9 280 derivative Tahiti Pro semiconductor. After reading through the Chinese site's allegedly leaked information, my understanding is that such a Tonga-powered R9 280/280X would be effectively a rebuild using lower-TDP architecture while retaining similar performance. If this is the case, it'd make the Tonga-powered R9 280 equivalent a more serious competitor to nVidia's lower-TDP, similar-performance GTX 760 video card. The GTX 760 and R9 280/280X own a market positioning that both companies recognize as -- quoting nVidia -- "the sweet spot for gaming," due to the relatively accessible mid-range price and solid performance.
The Tonga chip rumored to rebrand / rebuild / re-something the R9 280 and 280X has some details already out: It'll host a 256-bit memory interface, 32 ROPs, 128 TMUs, and 2048 cores on GCN2 architecture. The memory interface isn't as wide as the current R9 280's 384-bit interface, though this should be made up for in overall speed of the silicon. We'll see.
If this truly is a rebrand and not an architectural half-step (like the GTX 750/750 Ti), then it'd actually be a rebrand of a rebrand of a 7970.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.