AMD CEO confirms high-end Navi and raytracing capable GPUs will launch throughout 2020


AMD’s CES 2020 keynote came and went without so much as a whisper of the much anticipated high-end Navi Radeon RX graphics cards we’d all been hoping for. Our dreams are not dead, however, as AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su has confirmed that high-end Navi, the RDNA 2 graphics architecture and hardware-based support for raytracing are all in the pipeline.

The AMD CES 2020 keynote brought the announcement of the Radeon RX 5600 series for the mid-tier market but graphics enthusiasts were left disappointed without word of high-end Radeon RX chips to compete with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, nor Nvidia’s expected GeForce RTX 3000 series.

It sounds as if we shouldn’t have too long to wait though, with Su effectively confirming high-end Navi is inbound later this year.

“I know those on Reddit want a high-end Navi!” said Lisa Su during a chat with PC World. “You should expect that we will have a high-end Navi and that it is important to have it. The discrete graphics market, especially at the high end, is very important to us. So you should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, although I don’t usually comment on unannounced products.”

AMD is also providing the graphics and CPU hardware for the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. It won’t have escaped many folks’ attention that both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X are set to support raytracing despite AMD never having actually released a consumer GPU capable of real-time raytracing. 

It’s looking likely that the 7nm+ RDNA 2 architecture will arrive with ray tracing support. This will surely include the upcoming high-end Navi GPUs as well as whatever custom GPUs end up going into the PS5 and XSX. 

“I’ve said in the past that ray tracing is important, and I still believe that, but if you look at where we are today it is still very early. We are investing heavily in ray tracing and investing heavily in the ecosystem around it – both of our console partners have also said that they are using ray tracing,” Su told Anandtech. 

“You should expect that our discrete graphics as we go through 2020 will also have ray tracing. I do believe though it is still very early, and the ecosystem needs to develop. We need more games and more software and more applications to take advantage of it. At AMD, we feel very good about our position on ray tracing.”

So there we have it then, we’re just going to have to be a little more patient to see what AMD is cooking up next. With CES fading into the rear view mirror we have to think Computex or E3 in June would be an apt time for AMD Radeon to showcase its future, with a view to launching later in 2020.