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AMD Polaris and Vega GPUs outed in macOS Sierra driver code

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Whenever a highly anticipated new gadget or technology is rumored to be on its way, people scour all kinds of sources to uncover every possible nugget of information. Quite often, application and operating system code is pored over and analyzed, serving as a veritable treasure trove of data.

Such is the case with AMD’s upcoming products, including their new Zen CPUs and Vega GPUs. Some intrepid souls took a close look at MacOS Sierra system files, and noticed some new Polaris 12 and Polaris 10 XT2 GPU listings, as well as a Vega 10 listing, according to reports.

AMD has an event scheduled for December 13 dubbed New Horizon, where the company is expected to unveil its new Zen CPU that will compete at the high end with Intel’s latest Core processors such as the eight-core Broadwell-E Core i7. Vega is the follow-up to AMD’s current Polaris graphics technology, and promises to bring significant performance and power improvements in early 2017.

The Vega 10 would be the entry-level product, with Vega 11 being a midrange GPU and Vega 20 being at the high end. The inclusion of Polaris 12 and 10 XT2 references in the macOS Sierra code could indicate upcoming single and dual Polaris offerings will be making their way to future Macs. Outside of Apple, Polaris 12 and 10 XT2 GPUs would likely show up in future Radeon RX 500 cards to replace today’s RX 400 series.

For now, this information should be taken as an unconfirmed rumor, particularly when AMD’s New Horizon event is just around the corner. We’ll likely get all the information we need then to determine whether AMD can reverse its fortunes and compete more strongly with Nvidia and Intel in the GPU and CPU markets.

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