AMD released two patches for its open-source AMDGPU DRM Linux driver yesterday. The latest patches add support for the red chipmaker’s unreleased Picasso and Raven Ridge 2018 APUs (accelerated processing units).
During AMD’s presentation at the Hot Chips 30 Symposium in August, it announced a new wave of Raven Ridge APUs is on the horizon. The Raven Ridge 2018 APUs, as AMD referred to them, are slated for a late 2018 launch. One of the patches that AMD sent out makes a reference to Raven2. According to the description in the patch, Raven2 is a new Raven APU. So, AMD is probably referring to the Raven Ridge 2018 parts.
In case you haven’t been following the APU evolution, Raven Ridge harnesses the power of AMD’s Zen CPU architecture and Vega GPU architecture. In other words, they are practically Ryzen processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. According to AMD, the upcoming Raven Ridge 2018 processors are more power efficient than the current offering. Since the first generation of Raven Ridge processors were built under AMD’s Zen 14nm FinFET process, it wouldn’t come as a complete surprise if the new Raven Ridge 2018 chips come out of the 12nm FinFET oven.
A purported AMD roadmap Uruguayan media outlet Informática Cero published pointed to Picasso as the code name for Raven Ridge’s successor. Another leaked PowerPoint slide seemed to confirm that Picasso employs the same architecture as Raven Ridge, which might be true as AMD confirmed in one of yesterday’s patches that Picasso is a new APU similar to Raven. If that is the case, we wouldn’t expect any groundbreaking performance over the current generation of APUs. However, Informática Cero’s unconfirmed information does point to performance and power improvements, which could possibly mean a die shrink. Our assumption is that Picasso will either be manufactured under Global Foundry’s 12nm node or TSMC’s 7nm node.
Picasso processors will be available in desktop and mobile variants. In the case of desktops, the APUs should slot perfectly into the AM4 socket, which AMD plans to retain until 2020. If there are no setbacks, Picasso should arrive in 2019.