Buried at the end of today's MacBook Air press release from Apple was a new announcement that they would release a minor MacBook Pro update next month. Although curious in itself – MacBook Pros was just updated in July – more interesting is that they would be updated with: new AMD GPUs. Announced by AMD at the same time, we now have confirmation that AMD's missing mobile GPU is finally shipped. It comes first like Radeon Pro Vega 20 and Radeon Pro Vega 16, upgradeable graphics options for the 15-inch MacBook Pro that will be available next month.
As a part of the background, AMD first announced Vega Mobile GPU – which we believe is the code name Vega 12 – at the beginning of the year on AMD's CES Tech Day. The company stated that the GPU should come later this year, and even showed it. While the details were scarce on time, it was announced that there would be a smaller, lower power GPU especially for mobile devices. And with special attention, it would have a z-height of only 1
But between CES and today, AMD has been completely silent about the GPU. Even when I came to them I could not get a solid response and to be honest I had given up to see the GPU. Sometimes products are affected by many problems or can not find interested customers; it happens. With everyone (sans Apple) who already has its 2018 products on store shelves, it seemed like AMD had everything but missed the launch window, and with that, some real chance of adoption.
Instead, as we now know, it will make it commercial products as an upgrade for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. And while the lack of a shipping date for the new models is not particularly self-inspiring given all else that has taken place, I must admit that I was premature in giving up AMD.
The flip to this is because the first Vega Mobile SKUs go into Apple products, AMD has limited what they say about the products, as it is traditional for Apple vendors. So while the company is proud to announce the part – they even have a short video showing it – specific details are a bit thinner. As a result, following is a mixture of details from AMD and some guesses from my side.