AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, has confirmed that the upcoming Navi graphics cards are going to be released in the third quarter of this year, which means we’ll have new Radeon GPUs on the shelves between July and September. Exciting times.
That also means the 7/7 potential release date could still stand, but it does rule out an E3 2019 launch for now. Though if it were to slip past the 7nm referential July 7 date, then a Gamescom release in August wouldn’t be out of the question. It’s not unprecedented, after all, Nvidia took the wraps off the RTX 2080 and the RTX 2080 Ti at the Cologne show last year, and everyone likes a bit of marketing one-upmanship, right?
AMD’s Navi architecture is going to be the next-generation GPU design built into both the new Radeon graphics cards as well as the upcoming Sony PS5 console, sitting alongside a Zen 2 CPU core too. Sony worked with AMD to mould the Navi design for its console, but we’re hopeful that the spiritual successor to the Polaris architecture will deliver on PC too.
The confirmation came from AMD’s Q1 earnings call where Dr. Lisa Su explained that the company’s GPU revenue was set for a boost in the second half of the year partly because of the launch of its next-gen Navi graphics cards.
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“We are well-positioned to grow GPU revenue in the second quarter,” says Su, “and through the second half of the year, as we expect to introduce our first 7nm Navi gaming GPUs in the third quarter.
“We are excited about Navi. Navi is a new architecture for us in gaming. It has a lot of new features, across the Navi architecture. Things are progressing well.”
As well as having a launch window closed down to just a three month period we’ve also now got some clearer idea of the positioning of the new range of graphics cards – under the Radeon VII.
“From a positioning standpoint,” says Su, “I probably won’t go through it in great detail right now other than to say that it is 7nm, Navi, but it will be positioned below where, for example, our Radeon VII is positioned today from a price point standpoint.”
That means the Radeon VII will remain as AMD’s flagship, high-end graphics card even once the Navi vanguard has launched. We had expected this to be the case, with the Navi GPU designs being the successor to Polaris rather than a follow up to the higher spec Vega graphics cards.
Aside from those two nuggets, Dr. Su wouldn’t be drawn on what the new features might be, and wouldn’t confirm that real-time ray tracing would be part of the PC launch, despite Sony promising its Navi-powered console would be offering the graphics feature when the PS5 launches. When asked about ray tracing Su simply states that it “will talk more about our overall Navi roadmap as we get closer to the launch.”
At least now we have a clearer idea just when that launch might be.