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AMD’s Vega 11: “it’s not a discrete graphics product, it’s baked into the CPU”

AMD Raven Ridge die shot

Have you been waiting for AMD’s potential budget Vega card? According to a senior AMD employee, the suspected cut-down Vega 11 GPU may be close to launch – we just weren’t looking in the right place.

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James Prior, AMD business development manager and product manager for Ryzen Threadripper, has attempted to shed some light on the long-rumoured Vega 11 GPU. In an interview with Overclockers, Prior explains that he has not heard of Vega 11 as a discrete product, but that it may be a simple case of miscommunication.

“I don’t know what Vega 11 is…. Because we haven’t announced anything that is Vega 11 by itself. What we do have is a product that is an APU called Raven Ridge… that’s Ryzen Mobile… so we’ve got a number of different product configurations there.” Prior says.

“And the way we’re marketing that graphics configuration capability is Ryzen Mobile with Vega, and then, superscript – ‘10, 11, 8, 2 graphics’. I know there has been some discussion of ‘hey look there’s a Ryzen with Vega 10, 11 whatever, wonder what kind of GPU it is’. It’s built into the CPU. It’s our brand new APU with Zen inside of it and we’re launching that in mobile right now. There are products available today with Vega 11 but it’s not a discrete graphics product, it’s baked into the CPU.”

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 specs

Currently the total compute cores for AMD’s Ryzen Mobile 2500U and 2700U sits at eight and ten, respectively, so it’s not clear which product Prior is referencing as Vega 11 at this point. An 11 CU APU was rumoured to be the 2700U a few months before the vanguard launch of Raven Ridge, so it’s possible we will see these in further two and 11 CU configurations in the new year.

Prior also touches on Vega shortage issues, implying that AMD are stepping up production to meet demand and hopefully drop the price inflation that is still occurring with Vega 56 and 64 graphics cards.

“Definitely increasing supply, that is going to be coming your way soon…” he says.

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X specs

For the most part, the Q&A session revolves around AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group’s Vega graphics products, and not Prior’s area of expertise – AMD Ryzen. Prior did reiterate AMD’s pledge to continue support for the AM4 platform until 2020. Good news for customers hoping to upgrade to the 12nm Ryzen refresh product that Prior briefly confirms during the Q&A.

As Prior notes, the long-suspected Pinnacle Ridge rumours are that the next CPU generation will be a refresh of Ryzen and the Zen cores, and not an entirely new architecture. This will be built upon Global Foundries 12nm process and will likely encompass moderate performance increases over Ryzen. This is suspected to launch early in 2018, and Prior confirms that AMD are ‘getting ready for that right now’.

The new year is packed with launches for the red team, and Prior’s comments have confirmed some pretty stalwart rumours surrounding the Pinnacle Ridge 12nm Ryzen refresh. Inferring all we can from Prior’s Q&A, and assuming it all comes to pass, we can also expect Ryzen Mobile with 11 Vega compute units very soon, knocking the 2700U off the Raven Ridge APU top spot.