AMD Drivers for macOS Big Sur Named Third Generation RDNA Hardware

In context: Apple’s first macOS Big Sur beta includes references to numerous AMD GPUs that are still in development. Nothing is more reliable than a leaked driver, but don’t forget: This is AMD’s leaked driver, not Apple’s, so not all of these devices will be used in upcoming Apple products.

Kindly Apple provided the first confirmation of the Navi 31 GPU. Given the 3rd generation nickname, it will probably use RDNA3. They’re still two generations away, but this is a good indicator that AMD is on the way for the sheer number of annual releases they promised.

Meanwhile, there are three different RDNA2 devices to ponder: Navi 21, Navi 22, and Navi 23. They have all been named clipped countless times, but have not been explicitly detailed. Navi 21 is likely to replace the 5700 series and Navi 23 is more budget oriented. There is only speculation about Navi 22.

The macOS Big Sur driver refers to six Navi 22 devices that are Apple-specific, according to Rogame (who found the reference). He previously found four Navi 21 devices that were also exclusive to Apple. It’s hard to say which is which, but a series is likely to head toward MacBooks and other devices like the iMac or Mac Pro. AMD provides Apple with some currently exclusive Vega GPUs.

Interestingly, there are mentions of two data center GPU accelerators, the MI100 and MI200. They will be the first devices to use AMD’s new computing architecture called CDNA. Those are poised to battle Nvidia’s recently announced Ampere A100 GPUs. There is evidence to suggest that the MI100 will have a core count similar to that of the A100.

Lastly, there is a reference to the Cezanne APUs that will succeed the current Renoir APUs (Ryzen 4000). These are included in the graphics controller due to the chip’s GPU component, which could be the first integrated RDNA device. They could also use Zen 3 on the CPU side.