AMD released their updated GPU roadmap not too long ago, and for the last month or so I've been thinking long and hard about it, as well as talking to sources of mine within the industry to find out WTF is going on over at AMD in regards to their Radeon products.
Back in October I exclusively reported that AMD would be launching Navi during SIGGRAPH 2018, in July/August this year. At the time everyone else called me crazy and that it wasn't going to launch that early, but now I've got other sources that are backing up my claims and saying that I was right. The first Navi reveal will be a professional card and not a consumer-focused Radeon RX Navi at all, that card will launch in 2019.
Then a story on WCCFTech popped up which said that "Navi will be the last GCN-based architecture" and that it will be "succeeded by brand new micro-architecture in 2020/2021 timeframe, execution of GCN successor being led by new RTG leadership". This is interesting, so I reached out to some sources to clarify a few things.
First, we have no idea how much the next-gen GPU architecture (post-Navi) was influenced by now ex-RTG boss Raja Koduri (love you, Raja!), who has defected and left for CPU competitor Intel. My sources said that Vega was such a "disaster" (their words, and mine) and that the RTG team "don't know where they're going forward" and that (gulp) Navi is going to be "just as bad" as Vega.
AMD will launch a Vega refresh sometime this year or early 2019, throwing the hot-and-heavy Vega GPU architecture onto the let's-hope-it-helps 7nm process. From what I'm hearing, this won't save AMD - and knowing how far ahead NVIDIA is without even trying on Pascal (2100MHz GPU lock and voltage controls to keep it from being UNLEASHED) imagine the pain NVIDIA could inflict with 2500-2800MHz and voltage unlocks... all without HBM2 or GDDR6, too.
After the Vega refresh on 7nm we'll see Navi launch on the same 7nm process, but it'll be a heavily refined Vega GPU and that's not a good thing. Navi needs to be quick and dirty, get it out of the way and into the 'next-gen' GPU architecture that will succeed Navi.
This is where GCN (Graphics Core Next) that succeeded the TeraScale series of micro-architectures and at the time, was utterly disruptive (think Bitcoin mining days, Radeon R9 290X and even the super-powerful and power hungry Radeon R9 295X2 dual-GPU).
Since then, AMD has struggled to compete with NVIDIA and now everyone is waiting for Navi that won't save the company and their troubles in the GPU industry. If the Vega refresh and Navi are as good as AMD's marketing team will push them, miners will just eat them up anyway, right?
I will be keeping my ear close to the ground and in constant contact with my industry sources and continue providing stories like this, so keep your eyes peeled.