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First references to RDNA3 Navi 31, Van Gogh, and Cezanne spotted in macOS Big Sur; AMD could join Intel and NVIDIA in opting for an MCM design for upcoming GPUs

AMD Navi 31 gets spotted in macOS 11 Big Sur drivers. (Image Source: AMD)
AMD Navi 31 gets spotted in macOS 11 Big Sur drivers. (Image Source: AMD)
The first indications of an RDNA3-based Navi 31 GPU have surfaced in the macOS 11 Big Sur Developer Beta 1 driver code. The driver also contains references to upcoming AMD APUs such as Van Gogh and Cezanne along with HPC accelerators such as the MI100 and M200. With the MI200, AMD could be looking at a multi-chip module (MCM) approach and that could trickle down to Navi 31 as well.

So far, we have seen that AMD Sienna Cichlid would be the much anticipated Navi 21 aka Big Navi GPU, but it now looks like there may be a "Bigger" Navi as well. References to what could possibly be an RDNA3 GPU have started appearing in macOS Big Sur along with other GPUs such as the M100, M200, and upcoming APUs such as Van Gogh and Cezanne.

First unearthed by known leaker @_rogame, the macOS 11 Developer Beta 1 showed references to six new PCI IDs including:

  • 0x73A0 (Navi22)
  • 0x73A2 (Navi22)
  • 0x73A3 (Navi22)
  • 0x73AB (Navi22)
  • 0x73AE (Navi22)
  • 0x73BF (Navi23) - mentioned twice

Previously, we have reported about different PCI IDs for upcoming Navi 21 GPUs across gaming, Pro, and Mac. Now, @_rogame has managed to discover Navi 22 references as well in macOS 11, and this could very well be Apple-exclusive. 

The interesting aspect of this leak is that the Apple AMD driver mentions Navi 31 making it the first indication in the wild that an RDNA3 GPU is in development. This, however, is not really surprising as AMD being the sole supplier of GPUs for Apple means that it will inevitably include support for current and upcoming products in its drivers. 

Apart from indications of a Navi 31 part, the macOS 11 driver also lists AMD's GPU accelerators the Radeon Instinct MI100 and MI200. While we have heard about the Arcturus Radeon Instinct M100 before, this is the first time we are seeing references to an MI200.

Igor's Lab cites sources that the MI200 may, in fact, be available in both single-chip module (SCM) and multi-chip module (MCM) configurations. Apparently, AMD has been mulling a move to an MCM-based GPU design since at least 2015 back when Raja Koduri was leading Radeon graphics. Now that he has moved to Intel, we are seeing even Intel's Xe dGPUs being made on a tiled design. AMD has a fair bit of experience with MCM with their hugely successful Ryzen 3000 design, and it may not be long before we see it on the GPU side as well. 

If this is indeed true, it is very well possible that MCM designs may trickle down to consumer parts as well. A Navi 31 RDNA3 with MCM design would be an interesting and well as an exciting proposition. NVIDIA is also rumored to be building "giant cores" by going the MCM route with Hopper and Aerial.

@_rogame's driver leak also shows references to AMD's upcoming Cezanne and Van Gogh APUs. From what we know so far, Van Gogh is likely to be an ultra-low power APU that would compete with the Intel Y-series and would feature a Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA2 GPU. Cezanne, though, would succeed the current Renoir APUs but would still have a GCN-based Vega GPU while the CPU part would be Zen 3. 

Support for AMD APUs in macOS is interesting. Though it is not uncommon to have a common driver that supports all current and upcoming products, it does beget a question as to whether new MacBooks with AMD APUs are in the offing considering the fact that there is still a two-year window before the entire Apple ecosystem goes completely ARM-based. 

Navi 31 RDNA3 references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
Navi 31 RDNA3 references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
AMD MI100 and MI200 references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
AMD MI100 and MI200 references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
AMD Van Gogh and Cezanne APU references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
AMD Van Gogh and Cezanne APU references in macOS 11 Big Sur. (Image Source: HardwareLeaks)
 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > First references to RDNA3 Navi 31, Van Gogh, and Cezanne spotted in macOS Big Sur; AMD could join Intel and NVIDIA in opting for an MCM design for upcoming GPUs
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-06-29 (Update: 2020-06-29)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.