Report: AMD's Close to Open-Sourcing Navi Drivers

(Image credit: AMD)

Nobody outside AMD knows when the first GPUs based on its Navi architecture will debut. But a new report claims the company is close to open-sourcing the code behind its Navi driver for Linux, and that could mean the new graphics architecture will make its debut sooner than later.

Phoronix reported that the AMDGPU LLVM back-end had recently seen commits--code changes pushed to Git repositories used to manage many software projects--referencing Navi by its GFX1010 identifier. The code has yet to be posted for public review, but the outlet said AMD is likely working through its legal review of the code, which is the last step that needs to be completed before the company can publicly release its work.

The driver nearing its release lends credence to the idea that AMD will reveal Navi products in the near future. Rumors have named different events as host to the architecture's debut. There's Computex 2019 at the end of May, and a Navi reveal would make sense for AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su's keynote at the conference. E3 2019 is in June, and with Navi being at the core of the PlayStation 5, it could make sense to announce it there.

Navi's inclusion in the PS5 offered some more details about the platform's capabilities. Sony told Wired its next console would allow people to play games at 8K resolutions and would support the ray tracing tech Nvidia has pushed so hard over the last few months. (And which other companies have now started to hype as well.) That isn't particularly specific, but at least it gives us an idea of what Navi-based GPUs will be capable of.

You can learn more about what we've heard about Navi over the last few months in our "AMD Navi GPUs: Rumors, Release Date, All We Know" post. The information Phoronix gleaned from Git repositories might not offer much more information, but at least it lines up with other Navi rumors.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.