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Author Topic: EU cripples future graphics cards  (Read 5248 times)
herzmeister
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October 16, 2012, 03:25:51 PM
 #1

http://www.nordichardware.com/news/71-graphics/46718-eu-cripples-future-graphics-cards-exclusive-.html

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EU cripples future graphics cards



NordicHardware has seen exclusive information about a new energy law that will apply within the EU. The law requires that both discrete and integrated graphics cards live up to certain energy standards. AMD is worried that this will affect next generation graphics cards and have them barred from sales in the EU.

There are standardizations that make sure pre-built computers, but also discrete components, achieve a certain level of energy efficiency. Exactly how much depends on a row of criteria. These standards also include simple things, such as that after a certain amount of time the computer will enter sleep mode. The idea behind this is to have as energy efficient computers as possible to reduce the overall consumption of energy. The specification for the so called Eco design Lot 3 with the EC can be found here, where there are hundreds of pages to read for those with lots of time to spare.

[...]

There are currently seven specifications for graphics cards - G1, G2, G3, G4, G5, G6 and G7. Graphics cards of the G7 classification have a bandwidth of 128 GB/s (GigaByte per Second) and more, without an upper limit today. The category depends on the performance - in this case measured in memory bandwidth. These GPU categories are also paired with a certain level of energy efficiency. If a graphics card doesn't live up to the standard set by the EC it can be removed from all markets within the EU. The rules will now be constricted, which threatens next generation graphics cards.

The commission wants to stop dedicated graphics cards of group G7 from going above 320 GB/s - that is in theory a memory bus at 384-bit connected to memory operating at 6667 MHz or 512-bit with 5001 MHz. This is definitely within reach for the next generation graphics cards. Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition currently has a bandwidth of 288 GB/s with a 384-bit memory bus and 6000 MHz memory. For notebooks the limit will be only 225 GB/s.

Besides that the energy efficiency requirements will be tighter - in this case the energy consumption of the card in relation to its memory bandwidth. Performance delivered in games or general calculations are irrelevant. according to Lot 3. Exactly what the "performance" and energy consumption quote looks like we don't know at the time of writing, but it will also affect cards in the entry level segment and not just performance and enthusiast cards. The quote is strict enough to worry AMD.

Future generations are in danger

According to data NordicHardware has seen from a high level employee at AMD, current graphics cards are unable to meet with these requirements. This includes "GPUs like Cape Verde and Tahiti", that is used in the HD 7700 and HD 7900 series, and can't meet with the new guidelines, the same goes for the older "Caicos" that is used in the HD 6500/6600 and HD 7500/7600 series. Also "Oland" is mentioned, which is a future performance circuit from AMD, that according to rumors will be used in the future HD 8800 series. What worries AMD the most is how this will affect future graphics cards since the changes in Lot 3 will go into effect soon. The changes will of course affect Nvidia as much as it will AMD.


The commission guidelines could be too strict for next generation graphics cards

Earlier today there were talk about the new restrictions going into effect in early 2013, but now it looks like it will be 2014. This will put nearly unrealistic demands on both AMD and Nvidia. Besides the fact the standardization is not very logical since memory bandwidth does not translate into performance that easily we see it as a great obstacle for future graphics cards, but the revision of "Lot 3" is done and the wheels are set in motion.

According to a report published in August this year the current roadmaps [from AMD and Nvidia] does not support the new requirements up until 30 months into the future. The changes in Lot 3 will therefore be introduced in steps. The first will be in 2013 or 2014 as mentioned above, and thereafter new restrictions will apply in 2015. OEM companies like Dell and HP are well aware of this and worried about how this will affect their operations. The changes should also affect retail graphics cards and home builders.

Graphics card energy consumption has been rising steadily over the last couple of years. Last generation the limit for the PCI Express standard was broken when graphics cards sporting two GPUs consumed well over 300 watt, both from AMD and Nvidia. Both us and our well informed readers think that the way the EC is applying its restrictions is wrong, especially how it has decided to estimate performance. AMD is planning on making an official statement and hopefully the EC will listen. We have not been able to reach Nvidia for a comment on this issue, but hopefully they share AMD's concern.

We definitely feel that restrictions that lead to more efficient hardware is a good thing, but it needs to be done properly with the affected companies being involved in the discussion. We will of course follow up on this and return with more information when possible.

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Yuhfhrh
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October 16, 2012, 03:36:03 PM
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Lol Nvidia and AMD should just stop selling graphics cards in Europe. Everyone will then just import them from elsewhere.
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October 16, 2012, 03:38:10 PM
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lots of opportunity in smuggling bootleg video cards

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October 16, 2012, 03:40:47 PM
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Lol Nvidia and AMD should just stop selling graphics cards in Europe. Everyone will then just import them from elsewhere.

And most of them would probably get held at Customs offices.

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October 16, 2012, 03:54:35 PM
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Why on earth would you do this?

Just let the free market work, the rise in electricity prices, will drive the demand for more efficient computers.

Typical EU bureaucracy taking a sledge hammer to a thumb tac.
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October 16, 2012, 03:58:04 PM
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I can maybe see some legislation that mandates a certain level of power efficiency, but WTF?! Why would they limit the memory bandwidth?! That's just so stupid.

Here's what I hope happens: AMD and Nvidia just stop selling GPUs in Europe. I give it 2 months of Europeans crying about not getting their GPUs, and the law will be reversed. Sadly, I doubt this'll happen.

Classic example of too much government.

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SgtSpike
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October 16, 2012, 03:59:46 PM
 #7

Oh my...

I can't understand why some people defend living in the EU when they come up with restrictive crap like this.  And all the restrictions on cars, and everything else... they pretty much tell you how to live life it seems!
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October 16, 2012, 04:01:22 PM
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The likelihood of the euro zone even still being around in 2014 isn't all that high at this point, I wouldn't worry too much.

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October 16, 2012, 04:16:44 PM
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Sounds like a typical over-inflated BS story made up by crappy 'journalists'.
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October 16, 2012, 04:41:21 PM
 #10

I'm european and i say this is disgusting

I hope it's one of the tons of idiocies that never happens but the fact that they are even thinking about that it's ridicolous. Ehi europe, in case you didn't notice we are all happily going toward a black hole, stop wasting time with bullshit like that and start do something USEFUL  Roll Eyes
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October 16, 2012, 04:52:00 PM
 #11

opens a new market for firmware tuning

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October 16, 2012, 05:06:16 PM
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lots of opportunity in smuggling bootleg video cards

My first thought, lol.

Silk Road is going to need a new section...
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October 16, 2012, 05:16:31 PM
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We're talking about the people who think they can regulate how bent a banana should be..

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bent_banana_regulation

..but have not been able to audit their own accounts for 13 years and counting!

  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7092102.stm

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MysteryMiner
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October 16, 2012, 05:41:55 PM
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European Union is run by homosexuals. They are installing electric heating in new government buildings here that consume about 2KW per hour per apartment. In comparison HD6990 consumes only 1/6 of that under load. And they also banned 100W light bulbs.
GernMiester
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October 16, 2012, 05:45:29 PM
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So a bunch or pencil pushers with no clue are going to enact laws crippling high end computer graphics.
WAY TO GO EU ASSHATS
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October 16, 2012, 05:52:03 PM
 #16

Typical EUSSR bureaucratic thinking.

In the EUSSR, if it isn't banned, it's mandatory. Oh, and you can't elect a new government: the "elected" governments in EU member states consist largely of apparatchiks. People who remember eastern Europe, Russia etc. before 1990 will be very familiar with this.

Not that the rest of the world is a whole lot better! We can't all be Icelanders and Manxmen, sadly. (And even the latter, while enjoying reasonable freedoms and lowish taxes, shadow the whopping 20% UK VAT in order to maintain a Customs union with the EUSSR. But they still have a semblance of democracy on the Isle of Man.)

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October 16, 2012, 05:53:49 PM
 #17

I like that - EUSSR.  Sounds accurate when applied here.

Obviously the current generation of video cards is fast enough - we'll never need anything faster.  This was true of CPUs in the 80's - no one's needed to calculate more than 33 million instructions per second since then!  Obviously this doesn't hurt innovation or anything at all.

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October 16, 2012, 06:00:25 PM
 #18

I like that - EUSSR.  Sounds accurate when applied here.

Time for another "1989", Europe-wide this time. It can happen; I just hope it's not a violent revolution.

Quote
Obviously the current generation of video cards is fast enough - we'll never need anything faster.  This was true of CPUs in the 80's - no one's needed to calculate more than 33 million instructions per second since then!  Obviously this doesn't hurt innovation or anything at all.

1 MB video RAM and a 16-bit ISA bus is more than we'll ever need... said no software company CEO ever. Smiley

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October 16, 2012, 06:11:22 PM
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European Union is run by homosexuals.
Ad hominem.
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They are installing electric heating in new government buildings here that consume about 2KW per hour per apartment. In comparison HD6990 consumes only 1/6 of that under load.
If true that electric heating can be displaced by GPUs. Maybe sell GPUs as electric heaters? Or more likely, ASICs?

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And they also banned 100W light bulbs.

The problem with this is that the replacement bulbs (compact fluorescent) fail in enclosed fixtures; especially in high-temperature locations. They also use mercury, which is more hazardous than tunsgten.

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October 16, 2012, 07:46:49 PM
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That's just the beginning, as this is part of a bigger agenda in the EU of pushing for greener everything from flights to bulbs.
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