AMD’s Navi 31 GPU was spotted in the latest macOS drivers by HardwareLeaks this morning. Based on the 5nm RDNA 3 microarchitecture, the GPU die was mentioned in the macOS 11 Big Sur driver files.
This means that AMD will continue to be Apple’s GPU partner, at least for the time being as the latter transitions from Intel’s x86 to custom ARM chips. This falls in line with reports that Team Red has placed 5nm GPU orders with TSMC, with as many as 20,000 monthly wafers, essentially closing the Huawei shaped hole in the foundry’s clientele.
The present MacBook Pro is powered by the HBM2 version of Navi 12 die, making it not only faster but also more power-efficient than the standard GDDR6 variant, with a TDP of just 50W.
As per sources, Navi 21 will also have a custom die exclusively for MacBooks, and we expect the same from the newly discovered Navi 31 die. Unlike Navi 12, Navi 21 is set to support hardware-level ray-tracing for lighting effects while Navi 31 is going to expand it for the entire scene.
There are also mentions of Navi 22 and Navi 23 in the driver files. Both of these will also be part of the Navi 2x lineup, with the former succeeding the Navi 12. In terms of performance: Navi 21>Navi 22>Navi 23