As we saw recently, Linux website Phoronix discovered that AMD might be releasing drivers for its upcoming Navi GPUs soon, while scouring through Git repositories. There are new entries in the open source code with the AMDGPU LLVM back-end seeing references to ‘GFX1010’. Considering that GFX900 was Vega, logic dictates that GFX1010 will be Navi.
Similar references in the source code also reveal that instead of moving to a new architecture, Navi will be based on the existing GCN architecture that AMD has been using for a while. The references are as follows:
|// First/last AMDGCN-based processors.|
|EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_FIRST = EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_GFX600,|
|EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_LAST = EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_GFX909,|
|EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_LAST = EF_AMDGPU_MACH_AMDGCN_GFX1010,|
This goes in stark contrast with previous reports that claimed that Navi will be based on a newer, improved architecture which may have been able to overcome the shortcomings of GCN, like the 4096 SP count and the memory bandwidth. Considering that GCN was designed when 28nm was the norm, it’s hard to say right now how it will be able to utilise the 7nm process. Additionally, instead of HBM that we’ve seen in the Vega and Radeon VII cards, Navi will make use of GDDR6 memory.
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