As part of today’s FY2019 earnings call, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su had a few words to say about AMD’s future GPU plans – an unexpected nugget of information since we weren’t expecting AMD to reveal anything further at this time.

In short, for this year AMD is planning on both Navi product refreshes as well as parts based on the forthcoming RDNA 2 GPU architecture. To quote Lisa Su:

In 2019, we launched our new architecture in GPUs, it's the RDNA architecture, and that was the Navi based products. You should expect that those will be refreshed in 2020 - and we'll have a next generation RDNA architecture that will be part of our 2020 lineup. So we're pretty excited about that, and we'll talk more about that at our financial analyst day. On the data centre GPU side, you should also expect that we'll have some new products in the second half of this year.

All told, it looks like AMD is setting themselves up for a Vega-like release process, launching new silicon to replace their oldest existing silicon, and minting new products based on existing and/or modestly revised silicon for other parts of their product stack. This would be very similar to what AMD did in 2017, where the company launched Vega at the high-end, and refreshed the rest of their lineup with the Polaris based Radeon RX 500 series.

AMD's GPU Roadmap As Of July 2019

But as always, the devil is in the details. And for that, we’ll have to stay tuned for AMD’s financial analyst day in March.

Source: AMD FY2019 Earnings Call

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  • M8Hacker - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    I'm also curious about the Vega enhancements. With the new APU's sporting Vega at 59% improvements that are not tied entirely to node enhancements.

    AMD has said before that both Vega and RDNA will continue to exist. Having owned both products, I can tell you that Vega is still superior on compute while Navi just throws frames out at an insane rate given the difference between the two in raw horsepower.

    But I expect we'll see more of RDNA year along with the new ray-tracing RDNA2 in addition to the compute-happy Vega to round out demand.

    The fact that Vega is better at compute may also be part of the reason for it being in APU's. As software development advances to offload more of the processing to the GPU, even for non-graphical workloads, this could prove to be a good move, allowing the Vega APU's to age much better.

    Anyway, every time I wonder why AMD has made a decision lately, a few months later I find myself thinking "oh, that's really clever", so I'm excited about this year.
  • SaberKOG91 - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    I think Vega made a lot of sense considering the pre-existing die shrink to 7nm. They were able to spend all of their time optimizing for power rather than having to do a shrink or add new features. Navi was a whole new architecture on a brand new node, most-likely started long before the 7nm Vega shrink. I think someone over there was smart enough to realize that the cost of optimizing power on a small-die design was worth it and that they needed to focus on catching up to Nvidia in efficiency.
  • sing_electric - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    I think your assessment is the best way of explaining Radeon VII that I've seen, because for a while, their GPU strategy looked VERY scattershot: Release Vega on 14nm, don't scale it down the product stack... keep Polaris (actually which are basically RX 4xx chips from mid-2016) around... then make a 7nm Vega part for data/compute... then a 12nm shrink of Polaris... and then finally a 7nm Vega, all before releasing Navi.

    It just seemed like a lot of work making new masks for not a lot of payoff.
  • del42sa - Thursday, January 30, 2020 - link

    yes, for 8-9 years they were not able fix all GCN shortcomings and now miracoulously they made it so effective :-D I wonder what stuff are you taking guys .-) seriously
  • 335 GT - Thursday, January 30, 2020 - link

    GCN has always been about compute. Once they found it wouldn't scale in games they were kinda stuck. I doubt GCN will be going anywhere soon.
  • uefi - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - link

    Hopefully AMD follow the nvidia super route of refreshing with higher binned dies, instead of mere higher clocks of the same die.
  • Veradun - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    dice will be all better due to one year of producing them
  • Hul8 - Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - link


    Introduce 2 - 4 halo RDNA2 parts in the top as 6800/XT and 6700/XT.

    Refresh or rebrand 5700 series into 6600, 5600 into 6500, etc.
  • nevcairiel - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    Thats been the AMD GPU strategy since forever anyway. Add one or two actual new products at the top, fill the middle and bottom with crappy rebrandings.
  • M8Hacker - Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - link

    Pretty sure this is not what they did with Navi...

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