Quick Notes: Navi Refresh and RDNA2 Both In 2020, According to AMDby Ryan Smith on January 28, 2020 9:00 PM EST
As part of today’s FY2019 earnings call, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su had a few words to say about AMD’s future GPU plans – an unexpected nugget of information since we weren’t expecting AMD to reveal anything further at this time.
In short, for this year AMD is planning on both Navi product refreshes as well as parts based on the forthcoming RDNA 2 GPU architecture. To quote Lisa Su:
In 2019, we launched our new architecture in GPUs, it's the RDNA architecture, and that was the Navi based products. You should expect that those will be refreshed in 2020 - and we'll have a next generation RDNA architecture that will be part of our 2020 lineup. So we're pretty excited about that, and we'll talk more about that at our financial analyst day. On the data centre GPU side, you should also expect that we'll have some new products in the second half of this year.
All told, it looks like AMD is setting themselves up for a Vega-like release process, launching new silicon to replace their oldest existing silicon, and minting new products based on existing and/or modestly revised silicon for other parts of their product stack. This would be very similar to what AMD did in 2017, where the company launched Vega at the high-end, and refreshed the rest of their lineup with the Polaris based Radeon RX 500 series.
AMD's GPU Roadmap As Of July 2019
But as always, the devil is in the details. And for that, we’ll have to stay tuned for AMD’s financial analyst day in March.
Source: AMD FY2019 Earnings Call
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eragonhyd - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - linkWonder if their next-gen APUs can skip RDNA1.0 and jump straight to v2.0. Given that both Zen3 and RDNA2 are late 2020 launches, this seems within the realm of possibility.
Hul8 - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - linkI'd think that with the additional tuning required to keep power consumption down, APUs will continue to be around a year behind the dGPUs.
There's also the fact that since APUs are lower cost parts, whenever a new architecture involves use of a new - or even leading edge - process node, use of that node for these kinds of cost-sensitive products might not make financial sense for a long time. (See: All Ryzen generation APUs until now.)
Spunjji - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - linkAgreed re: GPUs arriving late in APUs. Seems to be a cadence they're happy with, and the majority of their target customers just won't know or care/
Kangal - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - linkYeah, AMD is doing things wisely.
They're innovating and cashing in on their success, funnelling that back to pay their debts, making good deals with Chip Fabs, improving brand perception, increasing their R&D gradually.
They're focused on: firstly Servers (big money), then Desktop CPU (scale), then Dedicated GPU (reputation), then Budget APUs (efficiency), and lastly Mobile (optimisation).
So, their Mobile Division was ~1.5 years behind their Server progress, and is slightly less than that now, and hopefully in a few years it will only be ~0.5 year (same year) release. But yeah, 2020 Mobile will reuse old Vega GPU and old Zen2 cores on the mature 7nm node. It would be probably late-2021 that we could expect further optimisation, use of newer +7nm node and Zen2-refresh (aka Zen3) cores, probably using Navi-refresh gpu. Or in other words, they optimise for things that will turn a profit, and then try to retrofit those technologies into more Budget and Low-Power products. They are sticking with the "monolithic design" for the Mobile Chipsets (and perhaps a few APUs), which demands further time for optimisations.
I believe AMD is actually working on bringing the Infinity Fabric and "chiplet design" to the Mobile Space. Overall, it is the less efficient design, but since they have the edge in lithography they will leverage that to equal the field. What it will mean is that their "Mobile Chiplets" will be marginally slower than Intels and marginally thirstier, but they will have double the core count, and access a much more capable iGPU, and it will be faster to produce, and it will be cheaper to produce, and overall it will be more successful.
Intel's only way to bounce back, is if they can utilise their next-gen architecture that's supposedly faster and more efficient than Zen3, and produce it on their "+10nm node" (which is similar to TSMC's +7nm), and to include a more capable iGPU, and to be able to do it profitably, and ... ... etc etc. There's too many "and ifs" in there. The more likely scenario seems to be that Intel becomes the company that sells higher priced products that are slower and less efficient, and they burn through too much money on basically marketing.
TouchdownTom - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - linkI was with you until you suggested that 2020 Ryzen Mobile (5000) would be released again in 2020 on Zen 2 and 7nm. I would be absolutely shocked if they did this and it would smash most of the progress they have made thus far on laptop chips. The next gen of mobile is going to be on 7nm+ and Zen 3. If they cant manage to make that work by this time next year, then they will and should delay the chip's release until they can make it work. The real question is if AMD can get 2nd gen RDNA into the chips, or if they only use 1st gen RNDA instead. The idea of them using Vega again is simply nonsense--AMD would be uncharacteristically lazy if that occurred. I think Zen 3 gets announced alongside 7nm+ desktop Ryzen 4000 by mid 2020.
Kangal - Friday, January 31, 2020 - linkRyzen Mobile 4000 should have been a 2019 product, but its been pushed to 2020.
Obviously, AMD doesn't have as much resources as Nvidia or Intel, so it is understandable: they're busy. I expect AMD either does a refresh of the Ryzen Mobile 4000 in the next 12 months, or they push forward to its successor.
So I'm stretching the definitions a little here, but be prepared to be slightly-disappointed with the AMD's Mobile chipsets in the next 11 months. Zen3, as things are looking like its going to be a "evolution" instead of "revolution" (a la Zen+ to Zen1). Also +7nm node won't offer much improvement in technology, I expect most of the benefits will be that its cheaper for AMD to purchase, lower rate of defect, and better stability. So even combined, we might not see too much of an improvement. What I'm anxious for is the iGPU and Drivers. Hopefully that gets improved drastically in the next 9-12 months, otherwise, we will be waiting almost 18-24 months. Obviously, things are cyclical in development and release.
I was hoping for a GPD Win 3 in late-2019, one that's powered by a 7nm Quadcore Zen2 (5W-15W) and has a capable Navi-8 iGPU. Obviously that hasn't happened. So to get that meaningful upgrade over the Intel Core M/Y-i3, or Core U-i7, or AMD Ryzen V1605B... we're going to have to wait for the things to align: +7nm Zen3 and +7nm RDNA2. And that is going to happen by the end of this year. So it will take another 12 months (hopefully earlier) for that to trickle down into a Mobile APU. Which means the PS5 and XBV aren't going to look very impressive in 2021, tech moves on!
Remember, the mobile sector is NOT a priority for AMD. They're also limited in resources. So not to trivialise their efforts or their Mobile Products, but they will get better as the company starts expanding again.
29a - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - linkI think so too since the next gen consoles with probably use RDNA 2.
Frenetic Pony - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - linkKind of... weird. Is it bad wording? Why would you have a "refresh" of Navi AND "next generation RDNA architecture" in the same year?
Ian Cutress - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - linkDifferent market segments probably
SaberKOG91 - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - linkIt'll be interesting to see what AMD have learned from optimizing Vega for the 4000 series APUs. I've been wondering if AMD did a few more rounds of design on Navi 20 after the failed tape-out in 2018. It seems like once they knew Navi 20 wouldn't be ready mid-2019 that they were better off using the time to release a better product in 2020, using Radeon VII as their fall-back in their higher-end slot for 2019. I'd have to imagine that extra year of optimization will yield some interesting results.
I won't be surprised if Navi 20 is double the performance of Navi 10 at a similar TDP, drawing from the Vega optimizations on 7nm and the enhancements of 7nm+. Navi 10 will get a similar treatment for the refresh. Though, the next AMD GPU on 5nm in 2021 is what I'm most looking forward to.