AMD APUs May Stick With RDNA 3+ iGPUs Longer Than You Think

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We were pleasantly surprised when AMD revealed that its current-generation Phoenix and Hawk Point processors would use its latest-generation RDNA 3 graphics architecture for their integrated graphics processors (IGPs.) That's because, historically, APUs have lagged behind discrete GPUs in terms of architecture. We may hit a sticking point for some time soon, though, as a reliable leaker has just revealed that AMD apparently plans to stick with its RDNA 3.5 architecture until at least 2027.

Let's back up a second. If you haven't heard, RDNA 3.5 is a revision of the RDNA 3 architecture that will only be found in integrated solutions. It's not clear what architectural changes it brings, but it's definitely real, as AMD has confirmed it. In fact, the news that it will only appear in integrated graphics comes straight from AMD.

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However, according to a post on Weibo by well-known leaker 金猪升级包 ("Golden Pig Upgrade Pack"), AMD is planning to utilize the revised RDNA 3.5 graphics architecture in its APUs until at least 2027. The statement, which you can see above, translates to: "Due to well-known reasons, the APU's graphics core will remain on RDNA 3+ for a long time, at least until 2027 by my estimation. It's not clear if the size will be increased."

RDNA 3.5 is expected to launch this year with two or three chip designs from AMD: the monolithic Kraken Point with up to 8 Zen 5 cores, the more potent Strix Point supposedly sporting 12 Zen 5 cores, and then possibly the monstrous Strix Halo with up to 16 Zen 5 cores and some 20 RDNA 3.5 workgroup processors—similar graphics horsepower to a Radeon RX 6700 XT (albeit with a newer architecture.) However, we have to point out that there are still brand-new current-generation APUs being sold with the venerable Vega architecture that dates back all the way to 2017.

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Image: Moore's Law is Dead

Rumors are rumors, and ultimately this is just that. However, it does make some sense. Given that RDNA 3.5 is specifically being optimized as an architecture for use in integrated graphics designs, it may have considerable efficiency improvements over RDNA 3, which already has excellent performance. It may be the case that putting new IGP development on hold gives AMD's graphics team some breathing room to try and make a killer chip to compete with longtime rival NVIDIA. Only time will tell, of course.
Tags:  AMD, rumors, (nasdaq:amd)