AMD has had an amazing couple of years, and an even better 2017 with the mega success of Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper knocking Intel down from its uber-throne. But what about the GPU division?
AMD launched their next-gen Vega GPU architecture, the first consumer graphics cards to feature HBM2 technology. It was back in May this year where I exclusively revealed there would be less than 16,000 Vega graphics cards available in the months post-launch... and here we are, with shortages and only a single custom RX Vega graphics card in the wild. But what about Navi?
Once again I have an exclusive story that AMD will have Navi ready to go sometime in July-August 2018, with a Navi-based professional card being launched at SIGGRAPH 2018. We're still waiting for AMD to launch Radeon Pro SSG, something they unveiled during SIGGRAPH 2017 that hasn't yet materialized. In the meantime, Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri has taken a sabbatical from the company until early-2018.
AMD needs to launch a refresh of Vega before Navi in order to keep up with NVIDIA's current-gen GTX 10 series cards, let alone any form of Pascal refresh. NVIDIA has their upcoming GeForce GTX 1070 Ti coming out later this month which should put out the fire that AMD started with the Radeon RX Vega 56 in the $400 market, as NVIDIA will have countless AIB partners throwing their custom GTX 1070 Ti cards into the ring over the holidays.
Navi will be made on the 7nm process, but other than that we don't know much. So let's start thinking about what AMD could deliver to change things up and actually fight NVIDIA in the GPU arena. Navi could feature modular Navi GPU dies that would be similar to the way AMD made Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper, where Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is really an EPYC server CPU with dies disabled.
AMD could indeed make Navi a modular GPU, by making smaller not-so-complicated GPU dies instead of a massive GPU die that we've been used to since the introduction of the GPU. This is something NVIDIA is also doing, with multiple GPU modules on future graphics cards instead of a huge "monolithic" GPU. If AMD were to beat NVIDIA to the modular GPU approach with Navi, and on 7nm, 2018-2019 could be two massive years for GPU technology.