Google Stadia Game Streaming Service to use First Gen AMD Radeon Vega GPU Architecture

    Google Stadia - Game Streaming
    Google Stadia - Game Streaming

    Back when Google announced the Stadia streaming service in March, only the bare-minimum details were revealed when it comes to the hardware. It was uncovered by certain tech journalists that the CPU is going to be a hyper-threaded quad-core Intel chip, while on the GPU side all we knew is that it’ll be an AMD Radeon Vega GPU with 56 compute units (3,584 streaming processors) coupled with HBM2 memory, just like the Radeon RX Vega 56.

    Google Stadia performance
    Google Stadia performance

    Just like the PS5, the specifics of the CPU and GPU architecture are unknown. When it comes to the former, the most likely case is a 14nm Intel part based on the Coffee Lake or Cascade Lake architecture, whereas on the GPU side we already know that it’ll be AMD’s Vega GPU. It was, however, being speculated whether it’d be a 7nm Vega chip or the older 14nm architecture. It seems like there weren’t many 7nm GPUs available for the Stadia platform and Google’s game streaming service will be leveraging the older GCN 1.5 architecture.


    This info comes from Khronos, the developer of the Open-Source Vulkan API (the successor to OpenGL). Google Stadia has been mentioned as one of the “conformant products” (devices to leverage Vulkan). The description of its GPU says the platform will leverage the AMD GCN 1.5 which refers to the 14nm architecture that includes the Vega 56 and 64, instead of the recently released Radeon VII (GCN 1.5.1).

    AMD Radeon Vega

    As already mentioned, this will be a Radeon RX Vega 56 on steroids with a wider bandwidth than the vanilla card, on par with the Vega 64 to be exact (484GB/s). The initial systems powering the Stadia service will have an Intel 14nm Coffee Lake CPU and an AMD Radeon Vega GPU based on the same process. It’s highly likely that the shortage of 7nm parts forced Google to go with the more mature 1st Gen Vega architecture. Depending upon the performance, we might see an upgraded configuration in the coming years, but that’ll only happen if the service pulls in enough revenue.

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