AMD Navi PCB leak suggests GDDR6 memory and 256-bit interface

Highly anticipated: AMD’s Navi is expected to be something of a watershed moment for AMD and Radeon at large, hopefully restoring competitiveness with market leader Nvidia. So far, it’s been hard to judge what changes AMD plans to make with Navi, aside from being built on 7nm, which will certainly bring new levels of efficiency and IPC improvements. That said, new images of an alleged Navi PCB offer a bit of perspective; GDDR6 memory, a 256-bit memory interface, and an impressive 8-phase VRM could be on tap.

Images of a new AMD PCB have surfaced online — like these things tend to do — and show what appears to be a Navi reference design.

The images show eight DRAM packages flanking the GPU itself, with early examinations suggesting a BGA (ball grid array) package size of 180, indicating the use of GDDR6 memory for the VRAM. That in itself is interesting, as AMD has tended to favor its HBM and HBM2 memory, which has led to both higher prices and limited availability, as the use of HBM memory complicates the construction process of the cards.

AMD Navi PCB leak suggests GDDR6 memory and 256-bit interface 1 

Assuming legitimacy, the implementation of GDDR6 could mean lower prices and wider availability, especially as it relates to AMD’s Vega lineup. The eight memory packages also appear to be single sided, suggesting an 8GB configuration and a 256-bit memory bus, similar to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 and 2070 cards.

Buildzoid offers an excellent PCB analysis, in which he speculates over the 8-phase VRM making use of Smart Power Stage modules, two 8-pin power connectors and a 300W TDP. There’s also conjecture over the potential of a blower style cooler, and whether or not this PCB could be a workstation or gaming variant.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckJIy0L7LHY?rel=0&showinfo=0&modestbranding=1&vq=hd720&autohide=1]

We’re hopeful that AMD will have more to show off with Navi at Computex in June, which is right around the corner at this point. AMD has been very secretive regarding its Navi architecture, but we know Navi will support ray tracing, and there’s talk of variable rate shading. We also know Navi will be based on 7nm, as will AMD’s next round of Ryzen processors.

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