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Rumor: AMD May Add Ray Tracing Feature in Navi 20 GPU


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:51 p.m. ET

AMD and NVIDIA compete in high-end gaming

NVIDIA (NVDA) is a leader in the discrete gaming GPU (graphics processing unit) market. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is catching up with NVIDIA but is still not able to beat the latter in the high-end gaming space.

AMD made its entry in the high-end gaming GPU market with the launch of its Radeon VII GPU in early 2019. AMD’s 7-nm (nanometer) Radeon VII falls between NVIDIA’s RTX 2070 and 2080 in terms of price-to-performance but without ray tracing support. AMD is set to launch its next-generation 7nm Navi GPU in mid-2019. The Navi GPU will launch in two phases with the Navi 10 budget GPU set to arrive in mid-2019 and the high-end Navi 20 GPU for gaming enthusiasts set to arrive sometime in 2020.

The upcoming Navi 10 GPU is expected to compete with NVIDIA’s mid-range GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060. However, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti still remains unbeatable, and AMD is reportedly working on a competing GPU.

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Rumor: Ray tracing in AMD’s Navi 20 GPU

In a video, RedTechGaming, citing sources who it claims were accurate in the past, reported that AMD’s Navi 20 GPU may feature enhanced GCN architecture and provide support for ray tracing, which is equivalent to or even faster than NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti.

German video game developer Crytek showcased a ray tracing video that ran on AMD’s Radeon Vega 56 GPU. The video removed the notion that ray tracing is exclusive to NVIDIA’s RTX. RedTechGaming stated that AMD could introduce ray tracing using DXR’s fallback, which Crytek used for its demo video. There is a possibility that AMD, like NVIDIA, may introduce ray tracing support to its old RX Vega 56 GPU.

A separate rumor by Tom’s Hardware stated that AMD’s Navi GPU architecture may introduce a variable rate shading feature, which is already available on NVIDIA’s Turing GPU. There have been several reports that AMD is developing Navi GPU for next-generation consoles from Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT).

If AMD’s Navi proves to be a success, it could help AMD gain GPU market share and boost its earnings.

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