New Linux driver leak suggests AMD Arcturus will be a Vega-based professional GPU
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Back in 2018, AMD revealed that one of its 7 nm GPUs is internally known as Arcturus, and rumors about high-end gaming GPUs that would finally make the red team a worthy competitor for Nvidia started spreading like wildfire. Previously thought to be a successor to Navi, Arcturus was supposed to be an equivalent for Nvidia’s RTX 2080 or even Titan GPUs, but, according to new pieces of code spotted in the AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler suggest that Arcturus may actually be a professional GPU.
The “GFX908” ID found in the new code reveals that Arcturus is most likely based on the Vega 20 architecture, since GFX9 IDs are usually used for Vega SKUs and GFX10 ones represent Navi chips. So, rather than being a successor to Navi, Arcturus may end up being a successor to the Vega 20 Radeon Instinct professional GPU launched in late 2018. Additionally, the new GPU is likely to be manufactured on the improved EUV 7 nm node from TSMC.
More evidence about the professional purposes of the upcoming Arcturus GPU are provided by Twitter user 0x22h who dug deeper into the Linux code to uncover that the chip does not integrate display IP blocks, meaning that it is meant for pure compute graphics cards like the Radeon Instinct. It also appears to include Error-Correcting Code memory, possibly HBM2.
There is a fair chance that the new Arcturus chips may be announced at this year’s SIGGRAPH convention in late July or the Hot Chips symposium in August, but the actual launch date might end up some time in early 2020, as suggested by leaked AMD slides.