Many of us are waiting for the next AMD Radeon series to counter Nvidia's next-gen cards, and the wait might be over very soon.
There have been rumors that AMD are going to be releasing the 9000 series of graphics cards this winter, including the HD re-release of the Radeon 9550 and the HD 9970...
Since we know the 8000 series won't be being released to retail, it's not too surprising that we're looking at the 9000 cards for this winter.
Some media reports suggest that AMD has plans for releasing some Curacao and Hainan GPUs belonging to the GCN 2.0 family in Q3 2013. Both of these lines will of course feature a large number of improvements, though only a few improvements have been detailed, including the improved front-end that comprises 4 asynchronous computing engines and 3 geometry engines.
We also expect an increase in the number of stream processors, as AMD generally makes a big deal of them. These new architectures will not however provide any improved heterogeneous computing capabilities, as they still belong to Sea Islands GPU family. Not only this, these will be prepared on 28nm fabrication, which is starting to get a bit dated.
According to some speculations, the Curacao XT architecture will sport 2304 stream processors, 48 RPUs, 144 TMUs and a 384-bit memory bandwidth. The Hainan on the other hand is reported to feature 1792 stream processors, 32 RPUs, 112 TMUs and a 256-bit memory bandwidth. So, it is clear that Curacao XT will power some of the leading cards of the 9000 series, while Hainan is expected to be used in the lower 9000 series cards.
Though AMD has not provided any feedback on the rumor, it all seems to be roughly what we're expecting. Many people are expecting the HD 9970 to be slightly more potent than the GTX 780, as well as being a fair amount cheaper, which would put AMD back into the enthusiast market.