An unreleased AMD Vega product has just been spotted in a Linux patch. The product is potentially a Vega 12 GPU which has received support from team red in the latest Linux mainline kernel. Is this an indication that a new Vega graphics chip is on its way?
AMD Vega 12 GPU Spotted in Linux Patch
Spotted by Phoronix, AMD’s engineers recently sent out a set of 42 patches providing initial support for their Vega 12 GPU within the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver. The patches encompass sixty thousand lines of code, but the vast majority of that sizable code chunk is simply header files, with the rest mostly re-using existing Vega 10 and Raven Ridge code paths.
Phoronix also notes that there are five PCI IDs outlined in the code, although that’s not necessarily how many different SKUs will be available to the consumers. Following the release of Linux patches, AMD also added support for Vega 12 within the RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver, which is an open source driver for GCN GPUs officially developed by AMD.
AMD have already revealed their graphics plans for 2018 at their pre-CES talk. The imminent launch of the 12nm Ryzen 2 processors is set to be followed up later in the year by Vega Mobile, and then the first 7nm Vega product in the form of Radeon Instinct family for machine learning applications.
The current range of RX Vega graphics cards, including the Vega 64 and 56, are powered by Vega 10 GPU. Vega 11 was also part of the original plan and was pegged to represent the Vega refresh that would succeed the Polaris 500-series generation – but somehow the plan could not materialize.
Where in the product stack will the Vega 12 GPU land is almost impossible to tell. There are many possibilities, like it could be a lower-powered version of the current Vega GPUs or even a FirePro card. But, given AMD’s plans to launch Vega M discrete graphics products sometime this year, Vega 12 is more likely to end up as a mobile chip.
Anyway, with the required support already added to the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel, we’ll probably learn what Vega 12 is quite soon and the mystery will finally be revealed.