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AMD Radeon HD 7000M series detailed for a 2012 release

First GPUs to come late this year, more powerful versions to come in 2012. 28nm fabrication process expected for all models.

First information regarding the next generation of Mobility Radeon GPUs is finally coming in through a leaked roadmap slide for 2012.

The Turkish site DonanimHaber has posted a roadmap image showing AMD’s plans for a series of powerful Radeon HD 7000M GPUs. The expected fabrication process will be at an amazingly low 28nm, which would make its production much more advanced than the more common 40nm and 32nm processes currently used today for general processors. The smaller fabrication process will mean generally lower power consumption and temperatures for around the same level of performance.

According to the roadmap, the first 7000M releases will be geared towards mainstream users. The practice of releasing lower-end models first before the enthusiast versions is not typical, as Nvidia and AMD usually release the higher-end models first. These new Radeon chips, codenamed Wimbledon and Heathrow, may draw over 35W of power, which is much higher than most laptops in some cases! Fortunately, two power-conscious mainstream versions codenamed Chelsea and Thames are expected to show up in laptops as well. The amount of VRAM for the series could range from 1GB to as much as 4GB, according to the report.

Expect to see Radeon 7000M GPUs in laptops starting Q4 of this year. Those wanting the high-end mobile GPUs, however, will have to wait until Q2 of 2012. For now, laptop gamer fanatics will have to stick to the latest Nvidia GeForce 500M and Radeon HD 6000M GPUs.

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Allen Ngo, 2011-03-17 (Update: 2012-05-26)