AMD updates Linux driver support for upcoming RDNA 4 GPUs with 24,000 lines of code

AMD's RDNA 4 is expected later this year, but with a recent massive update to Linux drivers that added over 20,000 lines of code - it could be sooner.

2 minutes & 3 seconds read time

It sounds like AMD's next-gen Radeon graphics cards powered by the new RDNA 4 architecture are right around the corner. Although rumors and months of speculation have pointed to AMD skipping high-end GPUs that will compete with the GeForce RTX 5080 and RTX 5090 (or the current RTX 4090, for that matter), RDNA 4 could still present an exciting option for the mid-range market.

AMD updates Linux driver support for upcoming RDNA 4 GPUs with 24,000 lines of code 01

With a massive improvement in ray-tracing coming and a more efficient GPU, a potential Radeon RX 8800 XT with the right price could be a real competitor to the popular GeForce RTX 4070 SUPER. With AMD's Linux developers adding nearly 20,000 lines of code for 'AMD GFX12 Mesa support' for its drivers, an RDNA 4 reveal and release could be right around the corner.

Linux kernel driver support for RDNA 4 (or GFX12) is a definite sign that things are progressing well for a next-gen Radeon release this year. Depending on the timeline, we could be getting a big reveal at Computex 2024 in the coming weeks.

As reported by Phoronix, "The nearly two dozen patches add GFX12 support to the common AMD AC code, the AC/LLVM integration, the ADDRLIB library code for GFX12, VCN5.0 Video Core Next video playback support, and other RadeonSI GFX12 changes. These AMD GFX12 changes for the Mesa code were authored by Marek Olšák and the other AMD Mesa developers. Separately but while talking of VCN, there was also a recent AMDGPU patch confirming the Video Core Next 5 video encode/decode capabilities."

The mention of video encoding and decoding is interesting and hints at RDNA 4 bringing improved AV1 support or more features to the creator-friendly and video side of Radeon GPUs.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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