AMD Already Working on Big Navi ‘Navi 21’ GPU’s Successors, Navi 31 (RDNA 3) & Navi 41 (RDNA 4) – Next-Gen Gaming GPUs For Enthusiast-Class Radeon RX Graphics Cards
We have yet to see some conclusive information on AMD's Big Navi (RDNA 2) GPU for upcoming Radeon RX enthusiast graphics cards, however, well-known leaker, Komachi, has reported that AMD has already started initial development of its next-gen, enthusiast-class GPUs, the RDNA 3 based Navi 31 and the RDNA 4 based Navi 41.
AMD Navi 21 'RDNA 2' Big Navi GPU Successors Allegedly Already In The Works, Include RDNA 3 Based Navi 31 and The RDNA 4 Based Navi 41 For enthusiast-class Radeon RX Graphics Cards
AMD has stated that its Big Navi (RDNA 2) GPU codenamed Navi 21 is going to bring the same level of disruption in the 4K gaming segment as its Zen architecture brought to the CPU segment. AMD's plans are to unveil the Big Navi GPU before any other RDNA 2 product, this includes both next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. The Big Navi GPU will be the flagship carrier of the RDNA 2 line and will set the bar for all next-generation GPUs.
Now in a series of tweets by Komachi, it seems like AMD is already well-underway in designing its next-generation successors to the Big Navi (Navi 21) GPU. Komachi tweets that there are two chips that are being planned. First is the Navi 31 GPU which was reported in another leak very recently while the second chip is a GPU which is years away from now but is first referenced by Komachi in his new tweet.
4. NV3X GCD/MCD means probably Graphics Complex Die/Memory Complex Die of Navi 3X (Navi 31).
5. Mero is custom, confirmed.
6. Navi 2X Family has Navi 24 (like the MI200, it hasn't been taped out yet).
7. There is Navi 41.
— 遠坂小町@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) August 7, 2020
The tweet refers to both the Navi 31 and Navi 41 GPU and also points out a design choice that has recently been ignited in the rumor mill. So let's talk about the two next-generation RDNA Navi GPU variants and try to find out what does the future hold for AMD's next-generation Radeon graphics cards.
AMD Navi 31 (RDNA 3) GPU
The first next-generation GPU mentioned in the tweet is AMD Navi 31. This GPU is allegedly part of the RDNA 3 lineup of Navi 3X GPUs. The AMD RDNA 3 Navi 3X GPU lineup is expected to launch in 2022 and recent rumors have highlighted that this GPU generation would be the first from AMD to utilize a chiplet based architecture, similar to Zen 2 CPUs. The AMD RDNA 3 Navi 31 GPU would also succeed the RDNA 2 based Navi 21 GPU.
Komachi's tweet strengthens this rumor as he tweets out the Navi 3X GPUs are mentioned along-side GCD/MDC identifiers. The GDC identifier seems to indicate the Graphics Complex Die while the MCD refers to the Memory Complex Die. This means that RDNA 3 chips will bring the same design methodology as Zen 2 but for GPUs, allowing AMD to mix and match several GPU IPs together. As per the previous rumor, AMD will utilize several different nodes for the various chiplets embedded on the same interposer. There's a likelihood that AMD will be separating the main graphics dies from the I/O dies like Zen 2.
This would mean that AMD can stack up several smaller GPU nodes together to form a much larger GPU. Several GPU dies can be featured in their own GDC's (similar to Zen 2's CCD or Core Complex Die) to form a bigger GPU with higher efficiency and more throughput. This could start GPU cores to scale by an insane proportion, starting a core count wars in the GPU segment too. NVIDIA is also actively working on its own chiplet design which is expected to launch with the Hopper Generation of chips around a 2022 timeframe.
AMD Navi 41 (RDNA 4) GPU
The AMD Navi 41 GPU is also mentioned and this seems to be a far-future GPU considering that the Navi 4X series which would allegedly be based on the RDNA 4 architecture isn't even mentioned in the official roadmaps yet. One thing to point out, the Navi 31 GPU is already being referred to as an enthusiast-class GPU but we can't say for sure if Navi 41 will also be positioned in a similar way.
As per AMD's Polaris classification and numbering of GPUs, the number that follows the generation tier 'Navi 1*' refers to the time at which the GPU was made/developed. In the case of Navi 10, it was the first Navi 10 GPU developed followed by the Navi 12 GPU and then the Navi 14 GPU. This seems to have changed since Navi as the numbers now are relative to the performance tier of the GPU itself with a lower number representing a higher performance tier (e.g. Navi 10 vs Navi 12).
But still, knowing that AMD could be forming early plans for its RDNA 4 GPU series definitely gets us excited to see what's next to come from AMD and its next-generation Radeon RX graphics card families.
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