Last May, AMD shared its plans for the development of video accelerators for the coming years. The GPU of the next generation Vega is codenamed Navi, it will be launched this year and will be produced on the 7-nm DUV process technology at GlobalFoundries plants using next-generation multi-layered HBM memory, will offer significantly increased performance and improved scalability. The following for Navi accelerators were only known dates: the beginning of 2020, and the use of the second generation of the 7-nm process technology EUV.
Now the resource TweakTown.com informed about the launch of the first Navi accelerators during the event SIGGRAPH 2018, August 12-16. This will be a professional video card – consumer Radeon RX will appear in the next 2019. In turn, the site WCCFTech.com noted that Navi will be the last, sixth generation of AMD accelerators with GCN architecture, which will be replaced in 2020-2021 by a completely new and as yet unnamed microarchitecture.
It is not known how much the impact on post-GCN design was exerted by Raja Koduri, the former head of the AMD Radeon Technologies Group, who, since November last year, led the Intel team to develop discrete accelerators. Nevertheless, leaving his post in AMD, he said: “I sincerely believe in our projects – Vega, Navi and the subsequent ones, and I’m incredibly proud of how far we have gone and where we are going …”.
Vega video cards created under his leadership are much inferior in performance to NVIDIA accelerators with Pascal architecture and become less attractive for players. And the hopes that the situation will improve Navi products, may well not be justified. At least TweakTown.com sources claim that Vega has become a disaster for AMD, and the Radeon team is allegedly not sure in the future and believes that Navi will repeat the fate of Vega. After all, NVIDIA is enough to switch to a new process technology to give a decent response, not to mention the architectural improvements and the use of GDDR6 or HBM2 memory. According to the results of last year, the share of NVIDIA in the graphics card market exceeded 70%.
At one time GCN, which replaced TeraScale in 2011 in the form of video cards Southern Islands, was very advanced and promising. Suffice it to recall the Radeon R9 290X and the super-power dual-processor Radeon R9 295X2, as well as the popularity of AMD products. Now in the graphic sector, it became difficult for the reds to compete with the “green”: Vega’s sales are largely based on the production of crypto-currency, and the optimized Navi accelerators are unlikely to change anything in this respect.
It is hoped that AMD, as always, will be able to reverse the situation and its new, next to Navi (and wider – GCN), the architecture will return balance to the market of graphics cards.