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AMD sets sail for Caribbean Islands, eyes next-gen GPU launch in summer 2015

AMD has chosen to tone down its love of sea scoundrels, tweaking the codename of the next-gen high-end Radeon GPU family from “Pirate Islands” to “Caribbean Islands” at the last minute. Well, not quite at the last minute – rumors say the new cards arrive until summer.

Both the branding and timetable speculation come from Fudzilla. The online publication vouches for the intel’s accuracy, claiming its “sources are never wrong about these things.” Of course, release dates are notoriously hard to predict with so much development time left, so it’s best to view the “June to August” window with the customary skepticism.

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Besides, AMD might be pressured by arch-rival Nvidia to speed up the production of Caribbean Islands GPUs if “Team Green” pulls off an early 2015 GeForce GTX 990 launch. The highly anticipated sequel to the already impressive GTX 980 flagship could widen the performance gap between Nvidia and AMD’s best graphical solutions, forcing its competitors hand.

For instance, the jury is still out on the fabrication process of Radeon R9 290 and 295X2 follow-ups. AMD is likely to shrink the nanometer count from 28 to 20, but a direct jump to 16 FinFET die is not completely out of the question given the late release date. Unless R&D is expedited, which may make such a leap in production a corner that must be cut.

Whenever AMD introduces the next generation of graphics processing units we expect them to put on a grand show in the Caribbeans. Yes, the actual Caribbeans. The company did the same for its “Hawaii” GPU.

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Interestingly, a bunch of relevant Caribbean Islands names have been used before to designate Radeon products, including Cayman XT for the HD 6970 and Antilles XT for the Radeon HD 6990. Good thing there are plenty of options left. Antigua! Bahamas! Belize! Aruba! Who else needs a sunny, tropical, cocktail-packed vacation? I know I’m in.

Image credit: Mike’s Birds/Flickr