Exclusive: The next generation AMD GPU is NOT called Sea Islands

Rant: The real name, plagiarism, and humor (Updated)

AMD logoEvery once in a while, you see a story so wrong it makes your head hurt, but that is where the fun begins. This one is about the next gen AMD (NYSE:AMD) graphics architecture, and it is not called “Sea Islands”.

In case you missed it, the phrase “Sea Islands” has been tossed around on our forums for a long time now, with the talk getting serious on December 30 or so. Luckily, Google will help a researcher if used properly, but it also has the ability to back up almost any theory because someone out there somewhere has likely written everything. A keen researcher on our forums. Kalelovil found this post from an AMD employee, and sure enough, it lists “Sea Islands”. The forum poster did a great job researching this one, and did nail it.

Except for one problem, the next generation AMD graphics architecture is most definitely not called “Sea Islands”. If someone is working on a non-released code name, they obviously can’t print it in their public resume, but they have to put something down. Fair enough, the last thing you want to say in a job interview is, “My former employers are suing me for leaking trade secrets, but I won’t do that to you, I mean it!”

Instead, you put down something generic, like the overarching family names. In this case, AMD has gone from Northern Islands to Southern Islands, and the next one is an Island too. All are in oceans, not in small bodies of fresh water like Pelican Lake, hence the Sea part. Calling the whole thing “Sea Islands” is like calling Nvidia’s line of GPUs (Tesla, Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, etc) “Physicists” and AMD’s older names, (R470, R570, R670) “Hundreds”. “Sea Islands” are a generic descriptor, not a chip family.

Luckily, the very next day, December 31, VR-Zone “independently discovered” the same LinkedIn post! Gosh, what coincidence, they even credited LinkedIn properly. Talk about coincidence and proper crediting. It would not be anywhere near as funny if it was correct, but what is correctness when you can have a headline first! What a scoop VR-Zone, no wonder you didn’t have the stones to put an author’s name one this one.

The sounding board gets better though, since VR-Zone “Independently discovered” our forum poster’s work, others have too. Google right now lists only WCCF Tech, no link because they don’t deserve it for plagiarism, who also “independently discovered” it! Wow, amazing. I would say that they flat out stole his picture, but filenames say otherwise. Kalelovil posted a picture called, “S2011123109393556.jpeg”, and the dirtballs at WCCF posted a completely different one called, “2011123109393556-635×238.jpg”. Luckily, WCCF does their own research and doesn’t rip others off, what would the web be of there were sites that stole from others to make themselves look better?

Back to the point at hand, the name of the next generation AMD GPUs. In case it isn’t crystal clear by now, it is not Sea Islands. Nor is the one after that, or the one after that, trust us on this. The name of the next generation HD8000 line of GPUs is Canary Islands, aka C.I. We have known this for quite a long time, over a year in fact. If you go back to stories like this and this from last spring, you may note the curious capitalization. It says CI. Really. Not a coincidence.

So that ends today’s one line story turned in to a page long exposure of plagiarism and how to get things wrong in a headline. The next AMD GPU family is called Canary Islands, not Sea Islands, and there is no Sea Islands. Unfortunately, the echo chamber is already resounding, and it is going to be fun to watch who is clued in and correctly crediting vs the plagiarists. I hope it makes you smile. Post any more you catch in the comments, this is turning in to a fun game.S|A

Update 1-2-12: It looks like the original wasn’t from Kalelovil as mentioned, but from forum poster pTmd here. That was then appropriated as a headline from the site MyDrivers, and that is the source of the picture. The full discussion can be found on the forums here. Anyone got anything else to add?

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate