Back at CES a couple of weeks ago there was a Q&A session with AMD, where Gordon Ung from PC World asked: "Do you think that AMD has to have a high-end competitor in the discrete graphics market?" At the time, this was interpreted by many as a confirmation of a Big Navi GPU, but we felt that the phrasing of Lisa Su's answer was still too ambiguous. Now, AMD has published a 'The Bring Up' episode where Lisa Su was interviewed, which sorted out any doubt there may have been.
"I've heard a little bit through Twitter and Reddit that people are wondering about Big Navi. I can say you're going to see Big Navi in 2020" Said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's CEO in the interview.
Additionally, she also expanded saying "There might be a few people wondering about Zen 3 as well, and I can tell you that Zen 3 is doing really well, we're excited about it, and I look forward to talking more about that later in 2020."
"I can say you're going to see Big Navi in 2020" - Lisa Su
Of course, if Big Navi was coming, it was going to be in 2020, so the big news here is that it is at last an unmistakable confirmation that Big Navi is coming. It is a surprising reveal like this though, as AMD usually doesn't comment on unannounced products, as Lisa Su highlighted in her CES interview.
Back at CES, this is what she had to say about the topic: "I know those on Reddit want a high end Navi! You should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, and that it is important to have it. The discrete graphics market, especially at the high end, is very important to us. So you should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, although I don’t usually comment on unannounced products."
We found that this could have simply been a very well-rehearsed answer, as you'll notice that Dr. Su talks about what we should expect, and not what we can expect.
Let's Not Pretend To Know Everything
Of course, now that Big Navi is confirmed, we shouldn't jump to conclusions and say that AMD will be releasing an "Nvidia Killer" in 2020, as we've seen in many rumors around the internet. Just because Big Navi is confirmed doesn't mean it will be a green-team-beating GPU, especially considering that Nvidia's Ampere chips are expected to be revealed somewhere this summer, most likely in August at SIGGRAPH. Nvidia's Ampere GPUs are expected to be produced on the 7nm fabrication process, which purportedly will bring tremendous improvements in performance per watt.
Currently, the RX 5700 XT is AMD's fastest Navi graphics card, the performance of which approaches that of Nvidia's RTX 2070 Super. Given this information, a Big Navi GPU would have to make quite a performance jump over the Navi 10 GPU to beat the RTX 2080 Ti, which is a tall order. It's also possible that Nvidia's Ampere GPUs will steal the spotlight as soon as Big Navi hits.