AMD RDNA 3 architecture GPU does support AV1 encoding

Recently, AMD released a series of Linux patches for the RDNA 3 architecture GPU, including a lot of new code, including details involving the VCN 4.0 engine. It shows that the VCN 4.0 engine supports H.264/MPEG 4 AVC, H.265, VP9, ​​AV1, and JPEG decoding, but only supports H.264 and H.265 encoding, and does not support AV1 encoding and H.266/VVC encoding and decoding.

However, this statement has been questioned by many people. After all, AV1, as the next-generation video encoding format, is used more and more frequently. AMD’s approach is a bit “bucking the trend”. Some people speculate that the VCN 4.0 engine itself is supported, and the relevant code may not be added in time, or it involves legal and technical restrictions, so it is not provided in a series of Linux. Recently, Twitter user @Kepler_L2 shared more details of AMD-related patches, showing that the code actually includes support for AV1 encoding, but there is no related display in the previous code.


In AMD’s patch, GFX11 represents the RDNA 3 architecture or Navi 3x series GPU, and VCN 4.0 is the new generation of VCN engines it uses. However, it is different from the past. This time VCN is no longer Video Core Next, but Video Codec Next. The change from “Core” to “Codec” is also closer to the current trend.

Rival Intel has been very aggressive on codecs, as early as 2020, the GPU with the Xe-LP architecture released the AV1 decoding function, while the Intel Arc brand Alchemist (DG2) discrete graphics card with the Xe-HPG architecture released this year provides a complete AV1 Codec hardware acceleration. In addition to Intel, it is rumored that NVIDIA’s new generation of GPUs based on the Ada Lovelace architecture will also add AV1 encoding.