What exactly is a “Cyan Skillfish”?
According to driver code discovered in the Linux 5.15 release, AMD appears to be preparing another APU (accelerated processing unit), though it appears to be using an RDNA1-based integrated GPU rather than the second generation used in newer products.
The graphics driver patches as reported by Phoronix on Friday appear to be referring to a processor with graphics codenamed “Cyan Sailfish.” The APU might be targeted for consumer or embedded applications, although the usage of the first-generation RDNA architecture is perhaps the most unexpected aspect of this.The previous generations of these processors with onboard graphics (all the way up to Ryzen 5000 APUs on both mobile and desktop) have used AMD’s Vega architecture since 2017, albeit with various updates and refreshes over the years.
However, according to leaks compiled in the oft-quoted roadmap below, AMD’s next mainstream APUs will use RDNA2 graphics rather than the first-generation Navi graphics. However, the architecture is likely to have been tweaked and improved from previous implementations such as the RX 5700 XT, as AMD’s current Vega integrated offerings are very different beasts from their appearances in Ryzen 2000G.
Other than the current generation of consoles, no CPUs with either of the two RDNA architectures have been formally released or announced, so we can only speculate about the resulting APU. However, it may simply be an entry-level product for embedded applications, similar to the current line-up of Ryzen V-series chips, because RDNA1’s smaller die size should result in lower production costs, and the types of devices that will use them will not require high performance.
Cyan Skillfish could also make its way into laptops or other mobile devices, but that’s unlikely given Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck, which already demonstrates that high performance graphics in a portable form factor is a viable option.