CES 2020 | AMD CEO confirms launch for high-end Navi-based GPUs with hardware-level ray tracing this year plus Navi APUs in 2021
The keynote presented by AMD CEO Lisa Su at CES this year outright omitted information on some key products like the true competitors for Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti high-end gaming GPUs or new APUs that integrate the 7 nm Navi GPU tech found in the acclaimed RX 5700 discrete cards launched last year. However, Lisa Su was kind enough to provide new details in a separate round table Q&A session with the press shortly after the keynote.
When asked about the launch of a high-end Navi-based GPU this year by PCWorld editor Gordon Ung, Lisa Su commented that she knows “those on Reddit want a high-end Navi! You should expect that we will have a high-end Navi and that it is important to have it. The discrete graphics market, especially at the high end, is very important to us. So you should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, although I don’t usually comment on unannounced products.”
So there we have it, a clear confirmation for AMD’s high-end gaming GPU, but we might have to wait for it until this summer and the new chip could be integrating the second gen RDNA architecture with 7 nm+ refinements. Other rumored specs for the upcoming high-end Navi 21 include hardware-level ray tracing support, GDDR6 plus HBM2 memory options and improved energy efficiency.
Lisa Su herself essentially confirms that hardware-level ray tracing will soon be supported by Navi GPUs when asked about the importance of ray tracing in upcoming years: “I’ve said in the past that ray tracing is important, and I still believe that, but if you look at where we are today it is still very early. We are investing heavily in ray tracing and investing heavily in the ecosystem around it – both of our console partners have also said that they are using ray tracing. You should expect that our discrete graphics as we go through 2020 will also have ray tracing. I do believe though it is still very early, and the ecosystem needs to develop. We need more games and more software and more applications to take advantage of it. At AMD, we feel very good about our position on ray tracing.”
As for the freshly announced Renoir APUs that do not come with Navi iGPUs, Su specified that “it's always how we integrate the components at the right time. Certainly, the Vega architecture is well known, very well optimized. It was always planned that this would be Zen2 + Vega. But just to be clear, you will see Navi in our APUs, and those will be coming.”