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New Linux driver leak suggests AMD Arcturus will be a Vega-based professional GPU

Arcturus could be announced at SIGGRAPH in late July, but it may actually launch in early 2020. (Source: PCGamesN)
Arcturus could be announced at SIGGRAPH in late July, but it may actually launch in early 2020. (Source: PCGamesN)
Everybody was expecting Arcturus to be the high-end version of Navi and a true competitor for Nvidia's RTX 2080 / Ti gaming GPUs, but the latest Linux AMDGPU shader compiler code update suggests that Arcturus is more of a professional GPU in-line with Radeon Instinct. It will most likely be manufactured on the 7 nm EUV node from TSMC and could launch in early 2020.

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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > New Linux driver leak suggests AMD Arcturus will be a Vega-based professional GPU
Bogdan Solca, 2019-07-18 (Update: 2019-07-18)
Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - News Editor
I stepped into the wonderous IT&C world when I was around 7. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, be them from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I like to keep myself up to date with all the new technologies that get released at an ever increasing rate these days. I'm also an avid SciFi reader, an astrophysics aficionado and, as of late, a crypto geek.