AMD Confirms 7nm Navi Refresh And 7nm+ Next-Gen Navi GPU Based Radeon RX Graphics Cards In 2020

Hassan Mujtaba

During its FY 2019 earnings call, AMD confirmed that they will debut both, 7nm Navi Refresh and 7nm+ Next-Gen Navi GPU based Radeon RX graphics cards in 2020. The graphics cards will aim the gaming market and would disrupt the graphics market similar to how AMD's Ryzen CPUs disrupted the processor segment.

AMD Confirms That Navi Refresh 7nm and Navi Next-Gen 7nm+ GPUs Based Radeon RX Graphics Cards To Debut in 2020

There have been several confirmations of a high-end, enthusiast-grade Radeon RX graphics card which would be based upon the next-generation Navi architecture but it looks like we now know that AMD would not only introduce their next-generation 7nm+ RDNA graphics cards in 2020 but would also refresh their existing lineup based on the current Navi architecture.

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Q: Lisa, can you give us some idea of what new GPUs you're expected to launch to the rest of 2020, for PCs and for data center?

LS: Yes. 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 center GPU side, you should also expect that we'll have some new products in the second half of this year.

During the earnings call, AMD's CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, once again confirmed new Radeon RX graphics cards in 2020 but she didn't just mention next-generation RDNA based products but also unveiled that existing Navi (RDNA1) graphics cards would be refreshed. This raises up some interesting points as we could see both RDNA 1 and RDNA 2 co-exist in 2020 but it would be interesting to see if Big Navi is a variation of the first-generation RNDA graphics architecture or the 2nd generation which is to feature 7nm+ (EUV) process technology.

More recently, there have been several listings of new Radeon RX 5000 series graphics cards in EEC with products such as the Radeon RX 5950XT, RX 5950, RX 5900 and RX 5800 XT. What's interesting is that if AMD refreshes the existing Navi lineup, would it just be a similar bump to what NVIDIA did with their Turing SUPER lineup or something less significant. The Turing SUPER series brought huge updates to the GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX lineup, boosting clock speeds, core specs, memory specs and more at similar or slightly higher price points.

We have already got significant details of the 'Big Navi' GPU which would be featured on AMD's flagship and enthusiast-grade graphics cards this year. According to AMD themselves, they are planning to disrupt the 4K gaming segment with their high-end Navi GPUs, similar to how Ryzen disrupted the CPU segment.

“That doesn’t mean a 4K-capable GPU isn’t coming, it is coming, but for here and now we want to focus on the vast majority of gamers.”

“Similar to Ryzen,” he says, “all of us need a thriving Radeon GPU ecosystem. So, are we going after 4K, and going to similarly disrupt 4K? Absolutely, you can count on that. But that’s all I can say right now.”

- PCGamesN

The main Radeon / GPU segment key points from the earnings call were:

  • The AMD Radeon / GPU specific key points from the earnings call were:
  • Current inventory is at $1 billion, which is down 6% from last year
  • Trailing 12-month EBITDA is $1.1 billion
  • 80% of semi-custom revenue for 2020 is expected in the second half of the year due to console launches
  • In 2020, Navi will be refreshed In 2020, we will see GPUs built on next-generation RDNA
  • Half of AMD's revenue is built on its 7nm product portfolio
  • Semi-custom revenue was down 30-50%
  • In 2H19 due to end-of-cycle consoles

There have been a series of rumors that have emerged in relation to the 'Big Navi' GPU over the last couple of weeks. In the previous article, we reported that AMD was definitely working on their high-end Radeon RX graphics card which would feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing, something which AMD has been heavily investing in.

Ray-tracing is a primary feature of the RDNA2 architecture and confirms that high-end Navi is going to end up utilizing the next-generation RDNA architecture rather than the existing one featured on Radeon RX 5000 series chips. In addition to that, both next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft are expected to feature ray-tracing support and RDNA2 GPUs too. We already got a teaser of the next-generation Scarlett 8K SOC from the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer so expect more details on it soon.

AMD RDNA Roadmap

With that said, we are already aware of a recent rumor which pointed out that AMD's high-end Radeon RX Navi GPUs could be up to twice as fast as Navi 10, featuring a massive die size and GDDR6 memory. Some of the features to expect from 2nd Generation RDNA Navi GPUs would be:

  • Optimized 7nm+ process node
  • Enthusiast-grade desktop graphics card options
  • Hardware-Level Ray Tracing Support
  • A mix of GDDR6 and HBM2 graphics cards
  • More power-efficient than First-Gen Navi GPUs

An unreleased AMD GPU also showed up last week with up to 17% higher performance than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in VR benchmarks and we even saw references to an 80CU Navi part. This could be a very early look at the high-end Navi based graphics card with unoptimized drivers but if AMD is able to outperform the RTX 2080 Ti by up to 30-40%, that would be a serious graphics contender in the high-end 4K graphics segment, something that AMD seriously needs right now to get their Radeon brand moving along nicely as their Ryzen brand.

AMD states that we can also expect a new datacenter GPU lineup in the second half of this year. There have been leaks that have pointed towards the next datacenter GPU being known as AMD Arcturus (Mi100) which would be a highly optimized variant of the Vega GPU. AMD's Arcturus has been rumored to feature 128 CUs that are twice as many CUs as Vega 10 which would give us 8192 stream processors if AMD is using 64 stream processors per CU like their current and modern-day GPU designs.

More information on the said Navi products is expected to be revealed at AMD's FAD or Financial Analyst Day which is on the 5th of March so expect more details then.

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