Vega-Based Renoir APU Has The Same VCN Video Encode/Decode Block As Navi

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 9 September 2019 at 10:00 AM EDT. 23 Comments
The next-generation AMD "Renoir" APU is turning into being an interesting successor over the existing Picasso APUs. While at first it was a letdown finding out that the APU is based on Vega and not their newer Navi architecture, follow-on open-source Linux patches have continued to show that it's more than a facsimile and in some areas like display and multimedia has blocks in common with Navi.

It's been interesting to watch the Renoir APU Linux driver support form since the initial patches last month and more code continues to come out almost weekly for getting this initial support into shape for the Linux 5.4 kernel.

While the graphics engine is another APU based on Vega/GFX9 graphics and not Navi, there are improvements over current APUs. Among the changes are continuing to evolve AMD power management, DCN 2.1 display engine support as their newest step forward for Display Core Next, and now we find out it will offer similar media encode/decode to Navi.

A commit made to Mesa a few days ago reflect that Renoir has "[the] same VCN2.x block as Nav1x" for video encode/decode. Having an upgraded Video Core Next over current Picasso/Raven APUs is certainly practical and nice to see.

VCN is the combined video encode/decode block that succeeded AMD's earlier UVD and VCE hardware. Besides accelerating the various proprietary formats, VCN does support decoding of VP9 content but no encode. It's too early still for seeing any AV1 encode/decode in the hardware.
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