Valve‘s Steam Deck, a console more difficult to get your hands on than the PS5, has seen generally positive reviews with most claiming that the device’s potential is unprecedented. Valve also seems to know this and is working hard to regularly update and improve the user experience. While the hardware is powerful enough, it’s really up to the software to get the most out of it.
Speaking of which, the Steam Deck is powered by AMD internals. It features a custom SoC called “Van Gogh” which houses a 4-core Zen2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU, lending it fairly impressive levels of performance for its size. At the core (no pun intended) of it all, Van Gogh is still essentially a Zen2 APU packaged into a handheld console.
Well, now, rumors of a successor to Van Gogh, aptly titled “Van Gogh Successor” have started to emerge. According to Moore’s Law Is Dead, AMD is currently working on a new next-gen SoC which is supposedly going to be put to use inside a next-gen Steam Deck.
AMD Little Phoenix for Steam Deck 2?
This new SoC is apparently a smaller version of “Phoenix Point“, AMD’s Ryzen 7000 APU family. Therefore, MILD also refers to this SoC as “Little Phoenix“. Moreover, he claims that Little Phoenix began development late in the cycle of Phoenix Point’s development, which means there’s little details to go by since the project is still relatively new.
As for the SoC itself, it allegedly features a Zen4-based CPU that has 4-cores and 8-threads, alongside 4 WorkGroup Processors based on the RDNA 3 GPU architecture. That configuration is similar to what the Steam Deck has now, but the architectural upgrades here present a massive overall uplift in performance and efficiency.
RDNA 3 alone is around 50% more efficient than RDNA 2 and now that this Van Gogh Successor has four times the compute units of its predecessor, you can kind of start to see just how much more powerful the next-gen Steam Deck could be.
Of course, one important thing to keep in mind is that the Steam Deck just launched and, as mentioned, is a rare sight to get your hands on. So, while consoles already don’t receive generational updates this quickly after launch, it seems even more pointless for Valve to release a next-gen Steam Deck when the current one is still in such high demand.
Also, this is still a rumor after all and MILD hasn’t been the most reliable source in the past either. So this everything you’ve read with a grain of salt. We may never see “Van Gogh Successor” actually come to market, or it could just terraform into another project entirely by the time it launches. Whatever the case may be, a potential Steam Deck 2 is at least a couple of years away at this point.
We also covered a report regarding the Xclipse 920 GPU inside Samsung’s Exynos 2200 SoC a while back which highlighted the similarities between Van Gogh and the also-AMD-built GPU in the Exynos chip. Apparently, Xclipse 920 is essentially a dialed-down version of Van Gogh itself and is even called “Van Gogh Lite” in leaked kernel data. You can check out our coverage to learn more.