ATI Southern Islands codenames spotted in Catalyst 10.8

ATI’s latest driver release, Catalyst 10.8, offers plenty of performance boosts and new features (notably OpenGL ES 2.0, which enables WebGL acceleration in modern browsers). However, Catalyst 10.8 also lists several new and familiar codenames, which most likely refer to Southern Islands products. Interestingly, all codenames are prefixed by “NI”, which might stand for Northern Islands. Some of the codenames divulged are Cayman, Antilles, and Blackcomb.

Read on for more…


ATI’s latest driver release, Catalyst 10.8,
offers plenty of performance boosts and new features (notably OpenGL ES
2.0, which enables WebGL acceleration in modern browsers). However,
Catalyst 10.8 also lists several new and familiar codenames, which most
likely refer to Southern Islands products. Interestingly, all codenames
are prefixed by “NI”, which might stand for Northern Islands. Some of
the codenames divulged are Cayman, Antilles, and Blackcomb.

The following is the entire list:

223,CAYMAN GL XT (6700),NI CAYMAN
224,CAYMAN GL XT (6701),NI CAYMAN
225,CAYMAN GL XT (6702),NI CAYMAN
226,CAYMAN GL XT (6703),NI CAYMAN
227,CAYMAN GL PRO (6704),NI CAYMAN
228,CAYMAN GL PRO (6705),NI CAYMAN
229,CAYMAN GL (6706),NI CAYMAN
230,CAYMAN GL LE (6707),NI CAYMAN
231,CAYMAN GL (6708),NI CAYMAN
232,CAYMAN GL (6709),NI CAYMAN
233,CAYMAN XT (6718),NI CAYMAN
234,CAYMAN PRO (6719),NI CAYMAN
235,ANTILLES PRO (671C),NI CAYMAN
236,ANTILLES XT (671D),NI CAYMAN
237,BLACKCOMB XT/PRO (6720),NI BLACKCOMB
238,BLACKCOMB LP (6721),NI BLACKCOMB
239,BLACKCOMB XT/PRO Gemini (6724),NI BLACKCOMB
240,BLACKCOMB LP Gemini (6725),NI BLACKCOMB
241,BARTS GL XT (6728),NI BARTS
242,BARTS GL PRO (6729),NI BARTS
243,BARTS XT (6738),NI BARTS
244,BARTS PRO (6739),NI BARTS
245,WHISTLER XT (6740),NI WHISTLER
246,WHISTLER PRO/LP (6741),NI WHISTLER
247,WHISTLER XT/PRO Gemini (6744),NI WHISTLER
248,WHISTLER LP Gemini (6745),NI WHISTLER
249,ONEGA (6750),NI TURKS
250,TURKS XT (6758),NI TURKS
251,TURKS PRO (6759),NI TURKS
252,SEYMOUR XT/PRO (6760),NI SEYMOUR
253,SEYMOUR LP (6761),NI SEYMOUR
254,SEYMOUR XT/PRO Gemini (6764),NI SEYMOUR
255,SEYMOUR LP Gemini (6765),NI SEYMOUR
256,CAICOS GL PRO (6768),NI CAICOS
257,CASPIAN PRO (6770),NI CAICOS
258,CAICOS PRO (6779),NI CAICOS

The most dominant codename happens to be Cayman. Most of the Cayman based cards, however, have a “GL” suffix, which might imply FirePro products. Cayman XT and Cayman Pro are included, however, which suggest desktop products. Next is Antilles Pro and Antilles XT, under the Cayman sub-family. This might suggest notebook versions of Cayman.

Next is Blackcomb, available in four-six variants. Blackcomb XT/PRO and Blackcomb LP. Normally, the codenames are XT, PRO and LE. (e.g. HD 5870, HD 5850, HD 5830 are Cypress XT, Cypress Pro and Cypress LE respectively) It is possible LE has now been replaced by LP, though LP could also stand for “Low Power”. Most interestingly, there are “Gemini” versions of the same Blackcomb products, which surely stands for Dual-GPU.

Barts is another codename we have heard about. It is available in GL/FirePro form, as well as Barts XT and Barts Pro for the desktop/notebook.

Next up is Whistler. Similar to Blackcomb, it is available in XT/PRO and LP, and Gemini versions of the same.

The next sub-family is Turks, as Onega, Turks XT and Turks PRO. Seymour follows the same pattern as Blackcomb and Whistler, with XT/PRO, LP and Gemini versions.

Finally, Caicos covers Caicos GL PRO, Caspian PRO and Caicos PRO. Like Turks, Caicos has a second codename in the family.

The first thing that comes to mind is that this are plenty of codenames. In total, we have 7 sub-families and 10 codenames. Also,
three codenames have dual-GPUs, one more than expected (one for desktop;
one for notebook). In addition to desktop, workstation and notebook, certain codenames may even refer to embedded and FireStream lines. Still, 10 codenames is a lot, and may indicate covering one generation and a refresh, or maybe even two generations.
It is possible that all of these codenames not just cover Southern Islands, but also some of Northern Islands.

Interestingly, most of the codenames refer to islands in the the West Indies. Geographically, these codenames are West Indies: Cayman (and by extension Antilles), Barts, Turks and Caicos. Seymour is a true southern island, further deep in the south. As for northern islands, we only have Whistler and Blackcomb, named after Whistler/Blackcomb. Incidentally, codenames also used previously by Microsoft. Of the above, Whistler, Blackcomb and Turks, Caicos are named together, suggesting they may be a variant of the same chip (perhaps desktop/notebook). While these geographical classifications may be anecdotal, they might offer some food for thought.

We are moving closer and closer to the release of Southern Islands, with precious little known about them. The codenames don’t give away much, but they do reveal AMD have a large number of different GPUs in development. As to which codename refers to which product is anyone’s guess at this stage.

Update: ATI Radeon HD 6000 Series Release Schedule Rumours

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