AMD confirms CrossFire is no longer a focus, next gen Threadripper to be revealed soon
At the Hot Chips conference earlier this week, AMD chief Dr. Lisa Su spoke about High Performance Computing and powering the exascale era with EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs. In a Q&A session after the keynote, Dr. Su clarified about the upcoming Threadripper CPUs and the future of CrossFire as reported in a live blog by Anandtech.
This is what Dr. Su had to say about CrossFire —
Q: GPU-to-GPU comms? Is Crossfire coming back?
A: We love gamers and we always talk about gamers. I would say that GPU performance will continue to go forward at a fast pace. To be honest, the software is going faster than the hardware, I would say that Crossfire isn't a significant focus. GPUs can do a lot in the consumer space."
Multi-GPUs have always been a niche use-case and modern GPUs do not place much of an emphasis on running such setups. AMD stopped using the CrossFire branding back in 2017 citing DirectX 12's requirement to support the mGPU API and the latest Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT do not even support a multi-GPU setup. NVIDIA has moved away from SLi although it still offers the NVLink connector on the RTX cards.
Similar to current gen Ryzen 3000 CPUs, the future for multi-GPUs could be a chiplet design. The Radeon Pro Vega II Duo that is currently a Mac Pro-exclusive already slaps two Vega 20 GPUs onto a single PCB. As AMD opined earlier, developer acceptance of such a setup would depend on how effectively both the GPUs are presented as one entity.
With respect to the next generation Threadripper series, Dr. Su confirmed that we will be hearing more later this year —
Q: How is AMD approaching the workstation market? How does that pertain to Threadripper?
A: We love the workstation market, and yes there will be a next generation of Threadripper.
Q: Can you say when?
A: If I said soon, is that enough?
A: How about within a year?
Q: Can you say if 2019?
A: How about this - you will hear more about Threadripper in 2019."
At the moment we are not sure when the Threadripper HEDT CPUs will arrive although we did see a leaked benchmark recently. Motherboard OEMs have also started gearing up for a new X599 chipset. TSMC is expected to fully ramp up 7nm production by Q3 2019 so that could likely be the time when more lines are dedicated to Threadripper aside from the current Ryzen 3000 and Navi production. Hopefully, the first Threadripper 3000 CPUs should land sometime in Q1 2020.