AMD Navi graphics card references in macOS suggest July launch

AMD 7nm Navi Graphics Cards

AMD’s 7nm Navi graphics cards have been spotted in the source code of macOS, with four variants listed, indicating that we could see the range of next-gen GPUs sooner rather than later – underlining previous speculation of a July launch.

These details were unearthed by Gigamaxx, a forum denizen over at Tonymacx86.com (as seen by Videocardz). They were found in the Mojave 14.2 beta version, by scrutinizing the innards of the ‘AMDRadeon6000HWServiceskext’ file.

The Navi 16, Navi 12, Navi 10 and Navi 9 models are mentioned in the file, and it’s not fully clear exactly what these refer to at this point, although as Videocardz theorizes, the numbers could well refer to the quantity of Compute Units carried by each particular model.

Gigamaxx observes that before the launch of Vega, similar code strings were turned up in macOS Sierra, and that all this underlines that maybe we’re only six months away from the launch of Navi. This ties in with previous buzz on the GPU grapevine, as well.

We have previously seen a leaked roadmap which suggested that Navi will pitch up in the second half of 2019, so July would be in line with that. We also heard the cards were being lab-tested last October, with apparently impressive results

Budget-minded boards

Note that the initial Navi GPUs are going to be mid-range 7nm products with a wallet-friendly leaning. AMD’s first 7nm offering, which is still based on the Vega architecture rather than Navi, will be the high-end Radeon VII graphics card which launches next month and was unveiled at CES.

We might be waiting until next year before full-fat high-powered Navi graphics cards make an appearance.

Indeed, we’ve even heard concerns that Radeon VII stock will be thin on the ground initially, but AMD has come out to deny this – and also speculation that there might not be any third-party variants of the GPU at launch. And that’s probably just as well, given the situation with Navi.