Linux Driver Points to Unannounced AMD Navi Graphics Cards

(Image credit: AMD)

The most recent Linux display driver contains multiple lines of code that makes reference to AMD's Navi 10, Navi 12, Navi 14 and Navi 21 GPU variants. The Navi 10 silicon allegedly powers the Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700, but the other Navi variants remain a mystery.

It would appear that AMD has big plans for the company's pristine Radeon DNA (RDNA) architecture. The deployment of the Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 is just the first step in the AMD's plan to take the fight to rival chipmaker Nvidia. While the Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 rival the GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060, respectively, AMD is already preparing more Navi variants to attack the other market segments.

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GPUArchitectureTransistor CountDie SizeFoundryLithographyGraphics CardRelease Date
Navi 21RDNA 1.0??TSMC7nm*Radeon RX 5800?
Navi 10RDNA 1.010.3 billion251 mm²TSMC7nmRadeon RX 5700July 7, 2019
Navi 12RDNA 1.0??TSMC7nm*Radeon RX 5600?
Navi 14RDNA 1.0??TSMC7nm*Radeon RX 5500?

* = Information in the table is unconfirmed.

It's unclear at this point where the Navi 12, Navi 14 and Navi 21 will find their places in AMD's graphics cards. However, it's speculated that AMD could use the Navi 21 silicon in the Radeon RX 5800 graphics cards while saving the Navi 12 and Navi 14 dies for the Radeon RX 5600 and RX 5500 lineups, respectively. The Linux driver code specifically mentions the "P" and "M" suffixes for each Navi variant. The "P" suffix could stand for performance or power while the "M" suffix most likely refers to mainstream.

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The Navi 10, Navi 12 and Navi 21 silicons seemingly come in normal and Lite presentations. Although we're not completely sure, it's possible that the Lite variants could come with disabled Compute Units (CUs) and optimized for laptops. With a combination of the "P", "M" and Lite designations, we have as much as eight different Navi variants now. The code also reveals that only the Navi 10 Lite P silicon is on the B0 stepping while the remaining seven silicons are still on the A0 stepping.

AMD will launch the Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 on July 7 to give us a taste of what Navi can do and how it fares against Nvidia's equivalent Turing-powered graphics cards. Hopefully, we get custom versions this time around unlike with the AMD Radeon VII, which is still stuck on AMD's reference design.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • MasterMadBones
    Navi 20 was supposed to be Navi 2.0, so why isn't Navi 21 also 2.0? Historically, "name 2x" have always been an update to an existing architecture.