While Nvidia is killing off VirtualLink (opens in new tab), AMD is seemingly implementing the USB-C port on some Big Navi (opens in new tab) models, which will probably compete with the best gaming graphics cards (opens in new tab) that are on the market.
One eagle-eyed Redditor spotted (opens in new tab) a new patch (opens in new tab) for AMD's open-source AMDGPU driver for Linux that adds support for the USB-C interface. The patch mentions Sienna Cichlid (opens in new tab), which is the rumored codename for AMD's Navi 21-based graphics card. It's not like it's the first time that AMD is incorporating USB-C on a graphics card either. The Radeon Pro W5700, which is powered by Navi 10, comes equipped with a USB-C port. However, this might be the first time that the chipmaker is putting one on a gaming graphics card.
Despite popular belief, the USB-C port on Nvidia's previous GeForce RTX 20-series (opens in new tab) (codename Turing) graphics cards wasn't some specialized interface for VirtualLink. It was just your everyday USB-C interface that Nvidia conveniently adopted to support VR headsets, a feature that never took off. In fact, you could use it like any other USB-C port to connect your headphones, external SSD enclosures or USB 3.0 hubs, charge your Android smartphone, etc.
AMD's reasons for embracing USB-C on Big Navi are unknown for the moment. With the proliferation of USB-C monitors in the last couple of years, the most obvious explanation would be to accommodate the new wave of monitors. Nevertheless, AMD will likely give us the low-down real soon on October 28 (opens in new tab), which is when chipmaker has scheduled its Radeon RX 6000 announcement.