Exclusive: First AMD Navi GPU Will Have 40 CUs And Is Codenamed Navi 12


So I have an update on the AMD Navi GPU front. I have been informed that AMD has finalized the first Navi design and codenamed it Navi 12. We also know that the GPU will have 40 CUs. If the ratio of stream processors in the CU is the same as that of GCN, then you are looking at 64 CUs each for a grand total of 2560 stream processors. This is going to be posited as the upgrade path from Polaris 30 and will probably feature in the Radeon 600 series.

AMD's Navi 12 GPU will have 40 CUs

Now off the bat, I will tell you that the Navi 12 is an odd codename. We expected AMD to launch with the "Navi 10" designation but that does not appear to be the case. AMD's nomenclature is based on the timeline at which the dies were designed and what this essentially means is that AMD is not ready to roll out Navi 10 just yet - which is good news since Navi 12 appears to be a continuation of the mainstream upgrade path that the Polaris series has become famous for.

Now you might remember my old exclusive in which I revealed that we can't expect a flagship GPU from AMD until 2020. I also talked about how Vega was designed specifically for Apple and Navi has been designed specifically for the Sony PS5 and the question that I immediately thought was whether this is the GPU that we can expect to see featured - the answer - nope. The Navi 12 is not going to be the GPU that gets featured in PS5, its a derivative of the actual Navi die and has been created specifically so AMD can get it to market for the PC audience primarily.

I have also been told that Navi will be a new microarchitecture (in other words the first AMD Radeon uArch to not be based on GCN). This is going to be the same IP that powers the succeeding Navi dies (such as the Navi 10 and Navi 20). Now I do know that the Navi 12 GPU will have 40 CUs, what I do not know is if they are going to have the same number of stream processors as GCN does - in which case the core count is going to be 2560 sps. That does seem likely to be the case because from what I have heard the card slots in somewhere around the Vega 56 depending on the clock rate but much cheaper!

I don't have a concrete timeline for the part but early estimates put it in H1 2019. AMD can also choose to accelerate this part while they work on Navi 10/20. As I have previously mentioned the true TITAN-killer from Radeon will not be landing anytime soon - early estimates put the beefy Navi 20 somewhere around 2020 and at this early in the lifecycle, these timelines can vary widely.

AMD Roadmap TLDR as I have heard:

  • Vega 7nm will not be coming to gamers.
  • Navi 12 will be the first Navi part to arrive and will be landing sometime in 1H 2019.  Navi 10 has either been scrapped or will follow later sometime in late 2019 or early 2020, depending on a couple of factors. The performance level of this part will be equivalent to Vega and it will be a small GPU based on 7nm.
  • Navi 20 is going to be the true high-end GPU built on the 7nm node and as things stand right now, you are tentatively looking at it landing sometime around late 2020 – 2021.
  • Navi will also be the first architecture to transition away from GCN (and along with it, the 4096 SP / 64 CU limit that is inherent to the uArch implementation).
  • ‘Next-Gen’ architecture is the uArch formerly codenamed KUMA internally before AMD decided it didn’t like that name too much (oops) and will be based on the same brand new major architecture that AMD rolls out with Navi.