Have you heard that AMD is launching its next-generation Navi GPU architecture sometime this year? Of course you have, assuming you follow technology trends even just a little bit, because it has been the subject of numerous leaks and rumors. That will continue to be the case until AMD finally lifts the lid on Navi, and if the latest rumor is right, that will happen around a month after the company unveils its Ryzen 3000 series of desktop processors.
As you might already know, both Ryzen 3000 and Navi are being built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process. AMD has gone all-in with 7nm nodes, and is retroactively applying the technology to already launched architectures, namely Vega—the Radeon VII is built on a 7nm Vega GPU, as is the company's Radeon Instinct MI60 accelerator.
We are not entirely sure what to expect from Navi. Leaks, rumors, and speculation have sort of been all over the map, and only when it actually launches will we know for sure what kind of performance uptick it will introduce. Some have suggested it will be a mid-range solution, albeit at the upper end (with performance similar to a GeForce GTX 1080), while AMD boss Dr. Lisa Sui hinted it will drive high-end graphics cards, giving NVIDIA's Turing GPUs a run for their money.
"We believe, we will be very competitive overall and that includes the high-end of the GPU market. Obviously there are new products out there from our competition. We will have our set of new products as well and we will be right there in the mix," Dr. Su said at the 22nd Annual Credit Suisse Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference.
As to the timing of the upcoming launch, Usman Pirzada at WCCFTech says he received word that Navi will debut at least a whole month after Ryzen 3000 lands. If AMD launches its next-gen Ryzen processors at Computex, then Navi would show up no earlier than August. Gamescom and Siggraph are both viable options, with Gamescom seemingly the more appropriate venue for a GPU launch.
Hopefully it will not be a paper launch or otherwise marred by low inventory levels. As we have seen with Radeon VII availability, such things are not a given.