EU to put the screws on graphics cards

EU attempts to save polar bears could result in disaster for discrete and integrated graphics cards as we know them.

According to NordicHardware, which has seen information about a new energy law that will apply within the EU, discrete and integrated graphics cards do not live up to certain energy standards. 

Graphics card energy consumption has been rising steadily over the last couple of years and when graphics cards sporting two GPUs used more than 300 watts, the EU’s eyebrow was raised.

But the standards it has come up with are so tough that AMD executives are worried that its next generation graphics cards could be blocked from the EU.

The standards require the computer to enter sleep mode after a certain period of time to reduce the overall consumption of energy. That is less of a problem, but 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 possible for the next generation graphics cards. Currently the 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 225 GB/s.

Performance delivered in games or general calculations is considered irrelevant.

GPUs like Cape Verde and Tahiti, which is being used in the HD 7700 and HD 7900 series, 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.

Oland, which is a future performance circuit from AMD, which will be under the bonnet of the future HD 8800 series, could also be in trouble.