AMD RDNA3 GPU codenames continue the fishy theme with sardines, bonito and bony fish

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At companies like AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA, hardware and software engineers often work away from the marketing teams that determine the names of end products. However, you must have a name for what you are working on while you are working on it. This is where all those wacky codenames we frequently talk about come from.

For some time now, AMD’s Radeon division has been using some pretty dodgy names for its pre-release GPUs. No, we mean literally – the names combine a color and a type of fish. For RDNA 2 GPUs including the Navi 2x series, we had Sienna Cichlid, Navy Flounder, Dimgrey Cavefish, and Beige Goby.

The latest leaks suggest the company is continuing this trend with its upcoming GPUs, both the RDNA 3-based Navi 3x family as well as its integrated graphics based on the same architecture. More than Angstronomyleaker SkyJuice has released a detailed breakdown of the Navi 3x family which includes some new details.

The most interesting part of the new information from Angstronomics is that apparently RDNA 3 actually has less Infinity Cache than RDNA 2. This is surprising, as this goes against what we previously thought to be the case. . According to SkyJuice, RDNA 3 will only have 16MB of cache on each MCD, instead of 32MB as previously assumed. 32MB per MCD would have given RDNA 3 parts the same cache allocation as RDNA 2, and obviously 16MB per MCD is half of that.

The leak goes on to say that there are indeed versions that include an additional 16MB of Infinity Cache via a stacked cache chip (ala 3D V-Cache), but that “the performance benefit is limited given the ‘cost increase’. This strikes us as odd, as the tendency for high-end Radeon 6000 series components to lose more performance than expected at high resolutions is well documented, and has long been assumed to be due to Infinity Cache overflow. If this is indeed the case, then next-gen Radeons will still struggle with this issue.

Diagram illustrating the architectural reorganization in RDNA 3. Source: @Kepler_L2

Fascinatingly, the post on Angstronomics explains that an RDNA3 Workgroup Processor (WGP) is actually slightly smaller than an RDNA2 WGP due to the removal of the legacy cruft and some architectural changes. . This is particularly impressive because RDNA3 WGPs are twice as wide as RDNA 2 WGPs. This means they have twice the FP32 computing power due to doubling the number of ALUs in the WGP. This detail helps explain why the Navi 31 and Navi 32 Graphics Compute Dice (GCD) appeared surprisingly small in the renders we’ve seen before.

It is mainly of academic interest, but Angstronomy gives the codenames “Plum Bonito” for Navi 31, “Wheat Nas” for Navi 32 and “Hotpink Bonefish” for Navi 33. Apparently, this last chip will be mainly used in AMD Advantage laptops. SkyJuice says the processor was originally envisioned as a chiplet design, but was changed to monolithic after AMD decided the chip design “couldn’t meet the volume and structure of cost of this class of GPU”. In other words, it is too small to benefit from chiplets.
Navi 3x Family Fan Images by @_wildc.

On the Japanese Hardware Blog The dream of the coelacanth, the Coelacanth reports a patch to the Linux ALSA project that adds support for AMD’s “Pink Sardine” platform. What is that ? Well, that’s the name of the upcoming red team Phoenix APUs. Knowledgeable AMD fans could probably infer that, as the company’s Cezanne APUs were codenamed “Green Sardine”, while AMD Ryzen 6000 mobile processors codenamed Rembrandt are also known as “Yellow carp”.

The Coelacanth also points out that another APU codename was revealed recently, and that was “Sabrina”. Sabrina seems to be the code name for AMD’s low-power Mendocino APUs. It is not a color and fish code name as it is the nickname of the APU product itself, not strictly for its graphics part.

The Navi 3x family of RDNA 3-based GPUs is expected to launch later this year, possibly in October or November. While Ryzen 7000 desktop processors will likely be released relatively soon (mid-September), Phoenix-based APUs aren’t expected until early next year.

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