Monday, January 28th 2019

ASMedia to Continue as Chipset Supplier to AMD, But X570 an In-house Chipset

AMD's socket AM4 and socket TR4 chipsets are originally designed by ASMedia. With its "Zen" family of processors being full-fledged SoCs, the motherboard "chipset" only serves to increase connectivity, and ASMedia already holds certifications for key groups such as the PCI-SIG, USB-IF, SATA-IO, NVM-Express group, etc. It's being reported now that ASMedia will develop some, if not all 500-series chipsets, with the exception of X570. The X570 will be an in-house design by AMD, which will use its own foundry partners (likely GloFo 14 nm) to manufacture it. This presents AMD with an opportunity to harden it against vulnerabilities, and have greater control over pricing, not to mention overcoming key design shortfalls of "Promontory," such as downstream PCIe connectivity.

This flies in the face of speculation that AMD would discontinue ASMedia's supply of chipset, especially in the wake of the "Chimera" vulnerability affecting "Promontory" 300-series and 400-series chipsets. The supposedly security-hardened 500-series chipset will feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 certification. What this means is that the chipset bus between the AM4/TR4 SoC and the chipset will be PCI-Express 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), translating to double the bandwidth. It remains to be seen if the downstream PCIe lanes put out by the chipset are gen 4.0, too. Current 400-series chipsets continue to put out stale gen 2.0 lanes, compensated for by additional gen 3.0 lanes put out by the SoC. Sources also mention that ASMedia-supplied chipsets will only hit the market toward the end of 2019, which means AMD X570 could be the only 500-series chipset option between the mid-2019 launch of 3rd generation Ryzen, and late-2019. You should be able to run these processors on older socket AM4 motherboards via BIOS updates, though.
Source: DigiTimes
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14 Comments on ASMedia to Continue as Chipset Supplier to AMD, But X570 an In-house Chipset

#1
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
Posted on Reply
#2
Xzibit
eidairaman1 said:
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
It was a cost saving measure. They were not well off then and since ASMedia held all the licenses they could save cost. They might just in-house the top line and let ASMedia handle the lower tiers like B540 / A520.
Posted on Reply
#3
Chloe Price
eidairaman1 said:
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
In fact I liked Nvidia's NForce chipsets the most.

I still remember ASMedia only as an USB 3.0 chip maker.
Posted on Reply
#4
hat
Enthusiast
Hopefully ASMedia tweaked a few things since that CTS Labs mess. Sure, it was ridiculous, and as far as I know, actually affected no one (much like spectre/meltdown)... but it was still a glaring flaw (series of glaring flaws?) that should be fixed.
Posted on Reply
#5
jchambers2586
Seems like all these chipsets are a step backwards when 990fx had
42 Lanes of bandwidth
Posted on Reply
#6
cucker tarlson
great to see them jump to pci-e 4.0 on the chipest, running pci-e 2.0 was a bad joke.hoping ryzen 2 will bring lots of improvements all around and won't be just a mainstream threadripper.
Posted on Reply
#7
R0H1T
jchambers2586 said:
Seems like all these chipsets are a step backwards when 990fx had
42 Lanes of bandwidth
42x pcie 2.0 lanes I guess? This is PCIe 4.0 so it'll definitely have more bandwidth to spare, the number of lanes now depends on the CPU & that's something which is a huge selling point for TR or xx9 from Intel.
So don't expect too many from MSDT, even if it is AMD.
Posted on Reply
#8
TheLostSwede
jchambers2586 said:
Seems like all these chipsets are a step backwards when 990fx had
42 Lanes of bandwidth
And the X570 will have how many according to your insider knowledge?

You also forget that at least 16 lanes (well, 20 or 24+ in the case of AMD) are now coming from the CPU rather than the chipset.

Also, back then, a lot more lanes were used for peripheral chips, whereas most of those features are now integrated into the chipset itself, so not as many lanes are needed.

That said, from what I know, I don't see anyone being unhappy with what the X570 will deliver in terms of connectivity and I'm sure quite a few of you will be surprised.

eidairaman1 said:
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
It's called having limited resources. AMD was putting all their resources into the new CPUs to make them the best product they could and as such decided to work with a third party on the chipset. In theory, Ryzen doesn't need a chipset in a traditional sense. The A300 is more of an I/O controller than a chipset.

It would actually be cool if AMD allowed for third party chipsets like back in the old days, but I think this is highly unlikely.

And also made the slowest USB 3.0 implementation on the planet, which shows they don't/didn't have the engineering expertise needed for certain things.
Posted on Reply
#9
ShurikN
TheLostSwede said:

You also forget that at least 16 lanes (well, 20 or 24+ in the case of AMD) are now coming from the CPU rather than the chipset.
And to top it all off is PCIe 4.0 with double the bandwidth. So I really fail to see why would anyone need more than that on a mainstream platform.
Posted on Reply
#10
TheLostSwede
ShurikN said:
And to top it all off is PCIe 4.0 with double the bandwidth. So I really fail to see why would anyone need more than that on a mainstream platform.
Well, higher bandwidth doesn't equal additional lanes/slots. That said, we've got enough bandwidth with 4.0 for 10Gbps+ speeds, which should simplify hardware design, as you can use a x1 rather than a x4 interface for a lot of things.
Posted on Reply
#11
hat
Enthusiast
TheLostSwede said:
Well, higher bandwidth doesn't equal additional lanes/slots. That said, we've got enough bandwidth with 4.0 for 10Gbps+ speeds, which should simplify hardware design, as you can use a x1 rather than a x4 interface for a lot of things.
Guess you kinda answered your own question there...
Posted on Reply
#12
silentbogo
eidairaman1 said:
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
Saving development/manufacturing costs. Partnering with VIA or Marvell would've been a better but more expensive option.

Chloe Price said:
I still remember ASMedia only as an USB 3.0 chip maker.
It still stands as such, since current AMD chipsets are essentially a lego of AsMedia's USB && SATA bridges, with some glued-in control logic to talk to SuperI/O.

TheLostSwede said:
Also, back then, a lot more lanes were used for peripheral chips, whereas most of those features are now integrated into the chipset itself, so not as many lanes are needed.
In case of AsMedia it's still the same: you have а bunch of peripheral controllers hanging on PCIe 3.0 x4, and in spirit of AsMedia's normal approach of things, some of those are daisy-chained(if not all). Just like on AM3, only now the NB is fully integrated into SoC.

eidairaman1 said:
I liked the 990FX chipset, why they outsourced is beyond me.
Because there is no need for cause it's in the SoC. Think of current platform controllers as an equivalent of "ye-olde" SB950.
Posted on Reply
#13
simlariver
Wait for AM5 ?

Seriously tho, props to AMD for getting back into the game. PCI-E 4 will make it easier to implement stuff like 10gb ethernet on desktop platforms concurrently with multi-gpu.
Posted on Reply
#14
prtskg
simlariver said:
Wait for AM5 ?
No, AM4.
Posted on Reply
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