A few days ago, Apple introduced the next-generation macOS, code-named Big Sur. Enthusiasts found mention of the AMD Navi 31 graphics chip in early driver code for Big Sur.
At the moment, the core of Radeon 5000 series graphics cards is Navi 1X. In the near future, presumably this fall, their successors Navi 2X or at least the flagship graphics processor Navi 21, known in the computer community under the name Big Navi, should be released. Following the AMD naming logic, the Navi 31 looks like a direct descendant of Navi 21 and is likely to be based on the RDNA3 graphics architecture.
A little alarming is the fact that mention in AMD drivers often indicates the imminent release of real devices. In the light of the not yet announced Navi 21 announcement, such agility with the Navi 31 looks strange. However, as we know, the cooperation between AMD and Apple is often expressed in unique products presented exclusively in the “apple” technology.
For example, you can recall such cards as Radeon Pro Vega 20 or Radeon Pro Vega 48 for all-in-ones iMac Retina 5K, Radeon Pro 5500M on the full Navi 14 chip, or Radeon Pro 5600M on the Navi 12 chip with HBM2 memory for MacBook Pro laptops. In this context, the mysterious Navi 31 may be a semi-custom chip for Apple’s flagship devices.
In addition, drivers for Big Sur contain links to GPUs Navi22, Navi23, hybrid processors Cezanne and VanGogh, as well as professional accelerators Radeon Instinct MI100 and Instinct MI200.