AMD’s rumor mill, it definitely be a turning. According to Red Gaming Tech and OC3D AMD’s delayed Navi architecture could be launching as early as July this year. Indeed with Lisa Su announcing that: “you will hear more about Navi in 2019,” multiple sites are now reporting on a new source who’s suggesting that the company is very happy with the outcome of Navi so far, and expecting an announcement at E3 this year, followed by a hard launch one month later.
Based off of the TSMC’s 7nm architecture debuted at CES with the Radeon VII, Navi is supposedly aimed at the low-mid range GPU portion for now, designed to tackle the likes of the GTX 1070 Ti/RTX 2060 respectively. What is surprising about this rumor is there’s no mention of a high-end Navi variant until early 2020, suggesting that Navi as a whole is a replacement for the now aging, and much refreshed Polaris graphics architecture.
Looking back at the original notes we have from AMD on Navi’s architecture, the big key word that keeps popping up is its “scalability”, although there’s no actual confirmation on what that exactly means, whether it’s a multi-die chip similar to Ryzen, or just a better scaling architecture than GCN’s max 4,096 stream processor limitation, it’s an exciting prospect to see AMD break down that artificially imposed barrier, and opens up a lot of options for the company.
If this is true, it should give the Radeon VII a healthy-ish shelf life, and at least give the company a chance to stymie the oncoming tide of Nvidia’s high-end flagship GPUs, at least for the time being.
The big mystery now is going to be how exactly Navi will fit into the lineup. We know Arcturus, Navi’s successor should be launching some time in 2020 as well, as a true high-end successor. Yet Navi itself is being labelled as AMD’s prodigal son. Is it purely because of it circumventing GCN’s limitations? Who knows. If I were a betting man, and I’m afraid to say I am, I’d put my money on Navi being a true new architecture 7nm test, with the following Arcturus cards being enterprise oriented, followed by a big Navi, high-end flagship in 2020 with a 7nm+ refresh.