Rumor mill: AMD appears to be readying another APU (accelerated processing unit) according to driver code spotted in the Linux 5.15 release, although it appears to be using an RDNA1-based integrated GPU rather than the second generation going into newer products.
The graphics driver patches as reported by Phoronix on Friday appear to be referring to a processor with graphics codenamed “Cyan Sailfish.” The APU might be targeted for consumer or embedded applications, although the usage of the first-generation RDNA architecture is perhaps the most unexpected aspect of this. The past few generations of these processors with onboard graphics (all the way up to Ryzen 5000 APUs on both mobile and desktop) have continued to use AMD’s Vega architecture from 2017, albeit with various updates and refreshes over the years.
However, according to leaks — compiled in the oft-cited roadmap below — have next mainstream APUs from AMD making the jump to RDNA2, rather than the first-generation Navi graphics. Then again, it’s also likely that the architecture will have been tweaked and improved from earlier implementations like the RX 5700 XT, as AMD’s current Vega integrated offerings are very different beasts from their appearances in Ryzen 2000G.
No CPUs with either of the two RDNA architectures have been formally released or announced yet, other than the current generation of consoles, and so we can only speculate as to the resulting APU. However, it may well simply be an entry-level product for embedded applications, like the current line-up of Ryzen V-series chips, since RDNA1’s smaller die size should bring with it lower production costs, and the kinds of devices using them wouldn’t need high performance.
Cyan Skillfish could also find its way into laptops or other mobile products, but that’s rather unlikely, as Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck is already proving that high performance graphics in a portable form factor is a very attractive proposition for many.