AMD's Next-Gen RDNA 3 Radeon RX 7000 Graphics Cards Allegedly Hit A Major Milestone
Who knows when you'll actually be able to buy a graphics card again with little effort (and at sane prices by first-party sellers). It certainly won't happen this week, this month, or even this year. Regardless, GPU makers are not standing pat, and instead are busy tooling next-gen products for a 2022 launch. One of those of AMD's upcoming RDNA 3 stack, and rumor has it the design has been finalized.
The last official update from AMD is that its RDNA 3 architecture, based on an "advanced node" (presumably from TSMC) was in-design. RDNA 3 is what will end up powering AMD's next-generation graphics card, the Radeon RX 7000 series, or at least some thing—a previous rumored suggested the Radeon RX 7000 family will use a mix of RDNA 3 and RDNA 2 GPUs.
We'll see if that's how it plays out. In any event, the same leaker who put that rumor out there now says AMD's next-gen GPUs have hit a major milestone. Here's the tweet...
"Next-generation flagship graphics card has been taped out," @greymon55 stated on Twitter.
To be clear, even if this is true, it doesn't mean a Radeon RX 7000 series is right around the corner. A tape out means the final design is finished, but there are still several more steps to go before cards will be manufactured and shipped to vendors. Still, it's a big deal, because it suggests AMD didn't run into any hiccups, and that its next-gen lineup is on track for whenever AMD is planning a launch.
Regarding the flagship SKU (possible called Radeon RX 7900 XT, if AMD sticks with its current naming scheme), it's rumored to be powered by a Navi 31 GPU with a whole lot of cores—15,360 of them, to be more precise. If true, that would be a massive upgrade over the Radeon RX 6900 XT.
Let's put aside for the moment any gains derived from a new architecture and look just at the specs. The Radeon RX 6900 XT is powered by a Navi XTX (RDNA 2) graphics chip with 80 compute units, 5,120 stream processors (or cores), and 16GB of GDDR6 memory linked to a 256-bit bus.
If past leaks are true, the Radeon RX 7900 XT would flex three times as many stream processors. That alone would give it a huge performance uplift, and that's before factoring in any other upgrades from RDNA 3. Exciting stuff, potentially.
AMD is not just competing its own hardware, of course. NVIDIA is cooking up next-gen cards based on Ada Lovelace, and Intel will enter the discrete GPU battlefield with its Arc Alchemist graphics card next year. Things are going to be very interesting in 2022 (and fingers crossed we'll actually be able to buy a next-gen card).