True of False? I think False …
A report via Tom’s Hardware.de says that AMD’s plans for the upcoming Radeon VII are somewhat one-dimensional, in that only reference designs will be available for this particular rendition of the Vega architecture. And this doesn’t mean”initial availability” only on reference cards, like NVIDIA has been doing with their Founder’s editions; the report claims that at no point in time will there actually be a custom-designed Radeon VII. The quantity of Radeon VII GPUs will apparently be “strictly limited” come launch – a likely result of the decision to make use of TSMC’s 7 nm process, which will have to serve not only AMD’s Ryzen 3000 and Epyc CPUs when those are actually launched, but all of TSMC’s other clients.
This is in contrast with AMD CEO Lisa Su’s words during her CES keynote, who said that Radeon VII would be available from “several leading add-in board partners plan to offer the cards”. According to a Tom’s Hardware.de Taiwanese source, “You cannot leak anything that does not exist” in regards to third-party designs. And another Chinese source said “the quantity of Radeon VII is strictly limited… not sure if AMD wants to open AIB to have an own design later”.
The saltiness is in the title for a purpose: we’d be very surprised with a decision such as this from AMD’s part. Low availability to partners is better than no availability at all for a number of reasons. Let’s not forget the damage it would do to AMD’s ecosystem to only release a high-performance product – the one that AMD buyers have been waiting for since the original Vega) under their own branding, closing partners out of the profits they’d make on custom designs. It just doesn’t strike us as a sensible business decision.