The 7 Nanometer Graphics Processor


Image Courtesy of AMD Radeon VII

AMD’S website boasting the new GPU.

Sebastian Gould, Staff Writer

We always hear that computer technology is shrinking. Imagine the look on John F. Kennedy’s face if you had told him that the combined power of his nation’s best computers was millions of times inferior to the little pane of glass and aluminum that fits neatly in your pocket (Oh, and it’s a TV, radio, telephone, and handy apparatus for accessing the entire library of human knowledge, as well). However, for all our advancements in computing technology, and there have been many, never before have we had the power to create electronics only three times as wide as, oh, your average strand of DNA. Yes, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., giant of the processor market, have proudly announced their newest graphics processor (GPU) and the sub-microscopic conductor lines that make it tick—only seven nanometers wide.

Offering great boosts in thermal performance, computing efficiency, and just plain raw brag factor, getting chips into the single-digits of nanometers has long been a goal for microprocessor titans such as Intel, NVidia, and AMD (whose handiwork provided you with the computer you’re reading this on). All three have had the legendary label “7 nm” on their to-do lists for years, and it turns out AMD has broken the ribbon with their shiny new Radeon VII GPU release at CES 2019. The release was somewhat of a blindsiding move for both rivals and consumers, as AMD had only offhandedly referenced their 7 nm aspirations in the past, and many had low expectations of the company after the lackluster and underwhelming Vega release in 2017. The same cynics who would be quick to dismiss Team Red’s graphics processing power at the turn of the new year are now proving wide-eyed and hopeful for the Radeon VII, which may be able to challenge NVidia’s longstanding virtual monopoly on the graphics market. The Radeon VII will drop February 7, 2019, at an MSRP of $699.