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Friday, August 14, 2020

AMD drivers for macOS Big Sur namedrop third generation RDNA hardware

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In context: Apple’s first macOS Big Sur beta refers to many AMD GPUs still in development. Nothing is more reliable than a leaked driver, but remember: this is the leaked driver from AMD, not Apple, so all of these devices will not be used in future Apple products.

Please, Apple provided the first confirmation of the Navi 31 GPU. Given the third generation nickname, it will likely use RDNA3. There are still two generations left, but it’s a good indicator that AMD is on track for the regular number of promised annual releases.

Meanwhile, there are three different RDNA2 devices to consider: Navi 21, Navi 22 and Navi 23. They have all been named countless times but have not been explicitly detailed. It is likely that Navi 21 will replace the 5700 series and Navi 23 will be more budget oriented. There is only speculation on Navi 22.

The macOS Big Sur driver refers to six Navi 22 devices that are specific to Apple, according to Rogame (who found the reference). he previously found four Navi 21 devices that were also exclusive to Apple. It’s hard to say which one, but a series will likely go to MacBooks and other devices like the iMac or Mac Pro. AMD currently provides Apple with some Vega exclusive GPUs.

Curiously, two GPU data center accelerators are mentioned, the MI100 and the MI200. They will be the first devices to use the new AMD computing architecture called CDNA. These should fight recently announced NVIDIA Ampere A100 GPU. There is evidence to suggest that the MI100 will have a similar number of cores to the A100.

Finally, there is a reference to the Cézanne APUs which will succeed the APU Renoir (Ryzen 4000). These are included in the graphics driver due to the GPU component of the chip, which could be the first integrated RDNA device. They could also use Zen 3 on the CPU side.

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