Monday, December 18th 2017

AMD Navi Found Secretly Hiding in Linux Drivers

We know AMD has been doing a great job keeping the lid on their Navi architecture with information being scarce at the moment. Aside from knowing that Navi is being fabricated on the 7 nm process, it is possible that the microarchitecture will quite possibly support next-generation memory like GDDR6 or HBM3. In a Navi discussion on the Beyond3D forums, a user found an entry in a Linux driver dated back to July that apparently mentions AMD's upcoming architecture - not by its real name, of course. The code is to add support for importing new asic definitions from a text file as opposed to adding support in code. Tom St Denis, a software engineer at AMD, listed the output that would be generated by using this functionality. However, the entry that caught our attention reads: new_chip.gfx10.mmSUPER_SECRET.enable [0: 0]. If our memory serves us right, the codename for Vega was GFX9. So by logic, Navi should carry the GFX10 codename. Obviously, the SUPER_SECRET part further backs up our theory or maybe AMD's just trolling us. The red team has been hiring personnel for their GFX10 projects, so we can assume they're working diligently to release Navi some time next year.
Source: Beyond3D
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19 Comments on AMD Navi Found Secretly Hiding in Linux Drivers

#1
Totally
Just ignore, It's a troll by AMD. Wasn't the SUPER_SECRET obvious enough? The left it there precisely because people went digging into the Linux drivers and found the gfx9 entry and made a big deal about it.
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#2
evernessince
Pretty much everyone assumes Navi is going to be an MCM at this point. Thankfully, the team that made polaris has been making it and not Raja (who did Vega). I couldn't be happier that AMD assigned a different team to Navi than it did Vega.
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#3
notb
evernessince said:
Pretty much everyone assumes Navi is going to be an MCM at this point. Thankfully, the team that made polaris has been making it and not Raja (who did Vega). I couldn't be happier that AMD assigned a different team to Navi than it did Vega.
Where do you get all these information from? :-D

Some more virtual reality for you: lets simply assume that AMD has been planning to sell Radeon (ATI) to Intel for years. So Raja would make Vega for Intel's MCM as a part of the deal. And AMD would already start working on next architecture that they'd keep later.
Makes sense?

Just few months ago Internet was full of hopes that Navi will be the first true born child of Raja. His style, his oversight from start to finish.
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#4
RejZoR
Selling Radeon division to Intel would be giving up the only Ace they have. ATi part gave AMD the edge they needed with integrated chipsets aka APU's.
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#5
Totally
RejZoR said:
Selling Radeon division to Intel would be giving up the only Ace they have. ATi part gave AMD the edge they needed with integrated chipsets aka APU's.
And I'm sure they'd like to avoid another Adreno.
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#6
Fluffmeister
The hype begins! They still seem to be releasing Vega in what appears to be the longest launch ever... but if they are experts in one thing... it's hype.

In short, bravo.
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#7
BeepBeep2
Totally said:
Just ignore, It's a troll by AMD. Wasn't the SUPER_SECRET obvious enough? The left it there precisely because people went digging into the Linux drivers and found the gfx9 entry and made a big deal about it.
It isn't quite a troll but it isn't substantial either. The next gen is probably going to be called GFX10, simple as that. AMD has been trying to keep everything "super secret" right now, the new 28CU GFX9 APU being one thing.
Not sure what digging you're referring to. I did some of that digging, but it was only to see what AMD had written yet around the time of the Vega FE launch. Info on "Vega 11" and "Vega 12" (which is still listed in parts of the Windows and Linux drivers) came elsewhere. Not sure if Vega 12 is a 12nm refresh part or not, but it's been in the drivers (in small pieces) for so long I assumed it was cancelled.

Latest windows drivers had 15 / 45w Raven Ridge FP5 test parts in them btw, + AM4 parts (2200G/2400G). Of course, the 15w parts already released. ;)
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#8
Basard
RejZoR said:
Selling Radeon division to Intel would be giving up the only Ace they have. ATi part gave AMD the edge they needed with integrated chipsets aka APU's.
I think they were both better off as ATI and AMD...
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#9
sergionography
evernessince said:
Pretty much everyone assumes Navi is going to be an MCM at this point. Thankfully, the team that made polaris has been making it and not Raja (who did Vega). I couldn't be happier that AMD assigned a different team to Navi than it did Vega.
Fyi it takes years to design a new architecture, and from what i remember; when raja became head of radeon group, vega was already near completion and laid out from a blueprint perspective, With navi being the first true design made from scratch by raja.
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#10
Totally
BeepBeep2 said:
It isn't quite a troll but it isn't substantial either. The next gen is probably going to be called GFX10, simple as that. AMD has been trying to keep everything "super secret" right now, the new 28CU GFX9 APU being one thing.
Not sure what digging you're referring to. I did some of that digging, but it was only to see what AMD had written yet around the time of the Vega FE launch. Info on "Vega 11" and "Vega 12" (which is still listed in parts of the Windows and Linux drivers) came elsewhere. Not sure if Vega 12 is a 12nm refresh part or not, but it's been in the drivers (in small pieces) for so long I assumed it was cancelled.

Latest windows drivers had 15 / 45w Raven Ridge FP5 test parts in them btw, + AM4 parts (2200G/2400G). Of course, the 15w parts already released. ;)
Something just feels too off about this to be anything other than a troll, timing for one sticks out as driver entries come about when they're just starting to test the silicon and honestly I don't think that they're that far along yet with Navi. If this was 4-6 months from now I'd be inclined to believe this was more than some random bit AMD left laying around knowing someone was going to find.
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#11
kruk
It's just a demo placeholder/example, developers do this all the time. Nothing to see here, move along ...
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#12
notb
Basard said:
I think they were both better off as ATI and AMD...
Same here. It was all way more serious, honest, proper designing. Less marketing sh*t, colorful presentations and quality problems.
In a way... it was very Canadian.
Also AMD was very much like Intel, just a bit cheaper.
AMD concentrated on CPUs, ATI concentrated on GPUs. And both succeeded.
What happened after the fusion was this whole new approach of creating new kinds of products that have hardly any reason to exist and usually don't work.
RejZoR said:
Selling Radeon division to Intel would be giving up the only Ace they have. ATi part gave AMD the edge they needed with integrated chipsets aka APU's.
Do you own an APU? Where was the list time you had one? Do you plan to buy one? Seriously.
When they took over ATI, I though they just want to make great simple integrated GPUs - an idea so obvious that I expected it to become ubiquitous in following years (and it has in the blue camp).
But what they've actually made are vastly overpowered APUs (yet still not fast enough for serious gaming) and continue to make IGP-less systems. And they did it again with Zen.
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#13
RejZoR
I have an APU. One of their first ones and it's still holding relativel fine considering it's around 6 years old now... And yes, I am planning on getting new APU. I'm just waiting for them to release low power Ryzen based ones...
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#14
notb
RejZoR said:
I have an APU. One of their first ones and it's still holding relativel fine considering it's around 6 years old now... And yes, I am planning on getting new APU. I'm just waiting for them to release low power Ryzen based ones...
Oh really. So you, the great advocate of many-many cores, will get a 4C/8T Zen? :-)
Of course 6 year old APUs hold fine. My 11 year old Intel GMA is also perfect!
This is the whole point about IGPs. Essentially, they'll work for as long as the CPU does.
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#15
RejZoR
notb said:
Oh really. So you, the great advocate of many-many cores, will get a 4C/8T Zen? :)
Of course 6 year old APUs hold fine. My 11 year old Intel GMA is also perfect!
This is the whole point about IGPs. Essentially, they'll work for as long as the CPU does.
Dude, laptop APU... 8 thread CPU's only come in the most top end laptops...
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#16
notb
RejZoR said:
Dude, laptop APU... 8 thread CPU's only come in the most top end laptops...
Please, don't call me "dude". Especially since you're European. Oh, come on...
And of course the world is full of notebooks with AMD APUs. Good job AMD.

The Intel GMA in my 2006's notebook works just as well as it did back then. So why would I need a more powerful APU? Do you think you could sell me this product if I went to your computer store?
More importantly, when AMD decided that the world needs an APU for gaming laptops, mobile GPUs were awful, power-hungry, brutally shrunk desktop GPUs' cousins. So the actual idea wasn't as bad as the execution.
The problem is: modern mobile GPUs are rather brilliant - including the ultrabook-friendly MX150.

AMD didn't need to take over ATI to offer an IGP. And as far as business ideas go, we can't really say if this one was good or bad. What we can say, is that it didn't help.
We've all seen this graph, but let's look once again: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/market_share.html
I assume you know when this acquisition happened...
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#17
RejZoR
The point of ATI acquisition was a full range offering of accelerators. It's why APU's were born, merger of CPU and GPU core that could work on same workload at once (Hegemonous Compute). Lets just say things aren't going as fast as AMD was probably initially planning. The Xbox One X is probably the closest they got it so far. CPU+GPU running on a single pool of very fast GDDR5 memory. Only thing getting things closer would be with CPU+GPU+Optane (which would serve as compute memory and as storage medium, one day...). And workloads that drop to CPU more seamlessly than they do currently. But that won't happen anytime soon either...

Also, why shouldn't Europeans be allowed to say "dude"? Would be "chap" better? Lad maybe?
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#18
plåtburken
So not only did AMD punk their fanbase they made them even more frantic about the upcoming cards, truly amazing how they're playing their cards right.
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#19
Basard
notb said:
What happened after the fusion was this whole new approach of creating new kinds of products that have hardly any reason to exist and usually don't work.
Agreed. Too many sacrifices had to be made to make Fusion work for anybody other than grandmas. It's barely coming to fruition now, and guess who's doing it... Intel, with Radeon of all things.
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