Monday, June 1st 2020

AMD "Ryzen C7" Smartphone SoC Specifications Listed

Last year Samsung and AMD announced their collaboration which promises to deliver smartphone chips with AMD RDNA 2 graphics at its heart. This collaboration is set to deliver first products sometime at the beginning of 2021 when Samsung will likely utilize new SoCs in their smartphones. In previous leaks, we have found that the GPU inside this processor is reportedly beating the competition form Qualcomm, where the AMD GPU was compared to Adreno 650. However, today we have obtained more information about the new SoC which is reportedly called "Ryzen C7" smartphone SoC. A new submission to a mobile phone leaks website called Slash Leaks has revealed a lot of new details to us.

The SoC looks like a beast. Manufactured on TSMC 5 nm process, it features two Gaugin Pro cores based on recently announced Arm Cortex-X1, two Gaugin cores based on Arm Cortex-A78, and four cores based on Arm Cortex-A55. This configuration represents a standard big.LITTLE CPU typical for smartphones. Two of the Cortex-X1 cores run at 3 GHz, two of Cortex-A78 run at 2.6 GHz, while four little cores are clocked at 2 GHz frequency. The GPU inside this piece of silicon is what is amazing. It features four cores of custom RDNA 2 based designs that are clocked at 700 MHz. These are reported to beat the Adreno 650 by 45% in performance measurements.
Source: @HansDeVriesNL (Twitter)
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47 Comments on AMD "Ryzen C7" Smartphone SoC Specifications Listed

#1
theoneandonlymrk
What a strange name to give it, Ryzen c7?!.

Still wouldn't mind one ,those X1 core's look formidable too.
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#2
davideneco
Gaugin ? its gauguin
Amd arm cpu ? lol no

Samsung soc make by tsmc ? lol no
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#3
Flanker
davideneco
Samsung soc make by tsmc ? lol no
Guess Samsung's fabs are that far behind right now...
Still surprised by this :kookoo:
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#4
dyonoctis
mmmh, I wonder how those x1 cores would stand up to the Iphone A chips. Getting in bed with samsung for the mobile market is nice, they might succeed where Nvidia failed.
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#5
Valantar
dyonoctis
mmmh, I wonder how those x1 cores would stand up to the Iphone A chips. Getting in bed with samsung for the mobile market is nice, they might succeed where Nvidia failed.
Anandtech did a piece covering this with some performance estimates based on their SPEC data (previous estimates made in the same way have been accurate or a bit conservative, so there's reason to believe them). Tl;dr: very competitive overall, slightly slower in INT, a bit faster in FP, both at much lower power (Apple does let their chips consume a lot of power under load).

As for this "leak": it seems dubious to me. It purports to be an internal ARM slide, yet as noted by Ian Cuttress on Twitter, ARM hasn't officially called their cores "ARM Cortex" with ARM in all caps for quite a while. It also misspells Gauguin. Still, it would be a very, very attractive SoC, and would give Samsung a serious edge. The Ryzen branding and making it on TSMC also fits with recent rumors of AMD being an early adopter of TSMC 5nm (which is purportedly for Ryzen 4000, but if so that would postpone that launch by 4-6 months at the minimum, so that is extremely unlikely) though it doesn't align very well with Samsung's involvement here - unless they are happy to be an entirely silent partner in this, which sounds unlikely. If this is real, it'll be pretty cool, but I doubt it.
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#6
TheLostSwede
Assuming this is real, I can see this being a custom part for Microsoft and their attempt to bring Windows on ARM.
I mean, AMD has already made some custom parts for Microsoft, so why not for a different kind of product as well?
I doubt this will be for phones.
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#8
renz496
dyonoctis
mmmh, I wonder how those x1 cores would stand up to the Iphone A chips. Getting in bed with samsung for the mobile market is nice, they might succeed where Nvidia failed.
even so it might be limited to samsung device only. for mobile market having qualcomm modem/baseband is almost mandatory for other smartphone maker due to legal cost. this is what kills nvidia tegra beyond tegra 3 and also intel despite having their own modem. and in intel case they also do contra revenue which cost them billions and yet they still fail to make even slight dent on qualcomm dominance. in smartphone world CPU/GPU performance comes as seconds. you need hardware based modem/baseband first and foremost.
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#9
Valantar
It's also worth noting that previous AMD APUs with "C" in their name have been for Chromebooks. AFAIK none have been Ryzen based though.
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#10
theoneandonlymrk
Valantar
It's also worth noting that previous AMD APUs with "C" in their name have been for Chromebooks. AFAIK none have been Ryzen based though.
This isn't Ryzen based either, it's odd isn't it, that name.
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#11
Valantar
theoneandonlymrk
This isn't Ryzen based either, it's odd isn't it, that name.
That's true, though I would guess it's easier to use the name as a denomination of a modern high-performance chip even if it's not Zen-based than to come up with entirely new branding. It would still be a major break, of course.
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#12
watzupken
This will be really interesting. Its going to be AMD vs AMD since the Adreno is also based off an AMD design previously. Anyway, it is good to see a good graphic leader in the SOC GPU space again.

This may also put the Nvidia Tegra SOC to shame with the old ARM processor and Nvidia graphics.
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#13
Valantar
watzupken
This will be really interesting. Its going to be AMD vs AMD since the Adreno is also based off an AMD design previously. Anyway, it is good to see a good graphic leader in the SOC GPU space again.

This may also put the Nvidia Tegra SOC to shame with the old ARM processor and Nvidia graphics.
You're assuming that this is real, please grab a pinch or two of salt. For now we have no evidence to suggest so beyond this dubious "leak". It might be really interesting, or it might be entirely fake.
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#14
ncrs
watzupken
This may also put the Nvidia Tegra SOC to shame with the old ARM processor and Nvidia graphics.
Oh come on now, Xavier is not that old with ARM8.2 Carmel cores with Volta GPU and even PCIe 4.0 on some models. Granted it's not really a mobile SoC, but still ;)
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#15
TheLostSwede
ncrs
Yeah, about that:AMD (as well as Intel even though they sold their ARM division to Marvell) still hold the ARM architectural licenses.
Let's also not forget that ATI made the graphics, for what is now called Adreno...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imageon
And ATI's MIPS based SoCs.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xilleon
renz496
even so it might be limited to samsung device only. for mobile market having qualcomm modem/baseband is almost mandatory for other smartphone maker due to legal cost. this is what kills nvidia tegra beyond tegra 3 and also intel despite having their own modem. and in intel case they also do contra revenue which cost them billions and yet they still fail to make even slight dent on qualcomm dominance. in smartphone world CPU/GPU performance comes as seconds. you need hardware based modem/baseband first and foremost.
That's not what ARM said. The X1 is "off roadmap" and seemingly any ARM licensee can make their own X1 implementation, so expect a lot of different implementations to show up.
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#16
1d10t
Really hope this will fill the gap between Qualcomm's highly capable graphics and high performing CPU from Huawei :D
As for Exynos, well they should stick it in midrange and below along with Mediatek.
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#17
Valantar
TheLostSwede
That's not what ARM said. The X1 is "off roadmap" and seemingly any ARM licensee can make their own X1 implementation, so expect a lot of different implementations to show up.
Not quite.
AnandTech
One thing to note, is that while Arm names the program the “Cortex-X Custom Program”, it’s not to be confused with actual custom microarchitectures by vendors with an architectural license. The custom refers to Arm’s customization of their roadmap CPU cores – the design is still very much built by Arm themselves and they deliver the IP. For now, the X1 IP will also be identical between all licensees, but the company doesn’t rule out vendor-specific changes the future iterations – if there’s interest.
Source. (Emphasis mine.)

So a potential X2 might see differing implementations, but it seems that for X1, the most "custom" parts we'll see will be different cache sizes or numbers of cores.
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#18
TheLostSwede
Valantar
Not quite.
Source.

So a potential X2 might see differing implementations, but it seems that for X1, the most "custom" parts we'll see will be different cache sizes or numbers of cores.
That wasn't what I said though and you clearly didn't look at the pictures in the article, like the one below. It very clearly says that the licensees can customise it. I never said they were going to be changing the underlying microarchitecture, but they obviously have the means of doing their own implementation in a final SoC, just as with most other ARM cores they could license.

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#19
Vya Domus
Samsung's chips are going to absolutely murder Qualcomm and Apple in the GPU department I have no doubt. They are going to be no match in terms of performance, only concerning thing is power efficiency.
Flanker
Still surprised by this :kookoo:
I wouldn't, they don't really have a choice, their chips have been notably inferior for a couple of years now and people are getting pissed about the whole Exynos vs Qualcomm versions of the same phones. They need to move to TSMC if they want to remain competitive, at least when it comes to the flagship chips.
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#20
Valantar
TheLostSwede
That wasn't what I said though and you clearly didn't look at the pictures in the article, like the one below. It very clearly says that the licensees can customise it. I never said they were going to be changing the underlying microarchitecture, but they obviously have the means of doing their own implementation in a final SoC, just as with most other ARM cores they could license.


That's not what I said, I simply pointed out that (while the licence allows for broad customization) there are no plans with any vendor for anything but straightforward implementations according to Anandtech (which IMO is about as trustworthy a source as you get on subjects like this). And, given development times for mobile SoCs and the fact that this has been known internally at all vendors for months already, it is then unlikely that any custom X1 implementation will ever happen - there'll likely be an X2 by that point given ARM's yearly cadence. And at least in my book, varying cache sizes and other small changes do not constitute a custom implementation as long as it is within the spec provided by ARM (which also has less leeway for the X1 than A7x specs tend to have) - if that was the case all chips would by default be custom, making the distinction meaningless. But regardless of that, a licence allowing for customization doesn't mean that will necessarily happen.
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#21
TheLostSwede
Valantar
That's not what I said, I simply pointed out that (while the licence allows for broad customization) there are no plans with any vendor for anything but straightforward implementations according to Anandtech (which IMO is about as trustworthy a source as you get on subjects like this). And, given development times for mobile SoCs and the fact that this has been known internally at all vendors for months already, it is then unlikely that any custom X1 implementation will ever happen - there'll likely be an X2 by that point given ARM's yearly cadence. And at least in my book, varying cache sizes and other small changes do not constitute a custom implementation as long as it is within the spec provided by ARM (which also has less leeway for the X1 than A7x specs tend to have) - if that was the case all chips would by default be custom, making the distinction meaningless. But regardless of that, a licence allowing for customization doesn't mean that will necessarily happen.
Most companies don't have a license that allow them to make any major changes to ARM's architecture to start with and if you want one of those, you pay through the nose. Right now, it seems like Apple is one of the few companies to hold such a license. Qualcomm seemingly dropped theirs, hence no more Krait cores. I guess the changes they did ended up being diminishing returns when compared toward the cost of the full license.
If you consider their Flexible Access license starts at $75k and runs up to $200k for their standard package, I only imagine how much a standard license costs that allows you to get access to everything that allows you to makes changes to the underlying architecture in a meaningful way. I would guess it's a few million and that doesn't include the cost of having the right engineers that can then take advantage of the information you're given, the tape out fee to ARM and all the other costs involved in making a chip.
www.arm.com/why-arm/how-licensing-works
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#22
Dante Uchiha
AMD to the moon.

AMD beat intel in 99% of the scenarios, and is competing decently with Nvidia where it matters. Honestly, I don't know why AMD's stock is falling. :P
Posted on Reply
#23
Valantar
TheLostSwede
Most companies don't have a license that allow them to make any major changes to ARM's architecture to start with and if you want one of those, you pay through the nose. Right now, it seems like Apple is one of the few companies to hold such a license. Qualcomm seemingly dropped theirs, hence no more Krait cores. I guess the changes they did ended up being diminishing returns when compared toward the cost of the full license.
If you consider their Flexible Access license starts at $75k and runs up to $200k for their standard package, I only imagine how much a standard license costs that allows you to get access to everything that allows you to makes changes to the underlying architecture in a meaningful way. I would guess it's a few million and that doesn't include the cost of having the right engineers that can then take advantage of the information you're given, the tape out fee to ARM and all the other costs involved in making a chip.
www.arm.com/why-arm/how-licensing-works
I would think that given the cost of an engineering team capable of putting together a chip design - even from licenced designs - and getting it made would be high enough to significantly diminish the effect of licencing prices, though that of course depends on the intended market and volume of the chip. If you for example are Samsung, a couple million dollars in licencing cost for a flagship SoC would likely be negligible - it's going to sell in tens if not hundreds of millions of units after all, and at very high prices. The same would obviously be true for Qualcomm - even if they are reliant on selling SoCs for profit rather than phones, they sell hundreds of millions of flagship SoCs a year for $50-100 apiece, so a couple million dollars in extra cost for one of those designs will also be negligible as long as the performance is there. They dropped the expensive custom licencing as you said due to it no longer gaining them anything - the last time a custom Qualcomm core clearly beat the matching ARM core (and wasn't just a lightly modified ARM core with more cache) was IIRC before the Snapdragon 800-series launched. The wording around this licence makes it sound like it's a necessity to get access to the X1 core, which makes sense when it represents a new branch of SoC development for ARM and thus let's then recoup the cost of what might otherwise be a risky endeavor, while laying the groundwork for more competitive high end solutions down the line that will do better in fast tablets and laptops that will expand the ARM device market. Any chip with an X1 core should also be scalable enough to be useful in a broad range of devices, meaning chip vendors will get a lot of bang for their buck even if the cost of entry is higher than normal.
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#24
Valantar
Dante Uchiha
AMD to the moon.

AMD beat intel in 99% of the scenarios, and is competing decently with Nvidia where it matters. Honestly, I don't know why AMD's stock is falling. :p
Because stock trading is a semi-exclusive form of gambling with a very tenuous link to reality. Stock prices don't depend on the performance of a company (even if that's what a lot of people would like you to believe), but on the impression this performance gives a bunch of random people who are supposedly prescient (and how easily scared/excitable the people listening to these people are), plus whatever way the wind might be blowing that day.
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#25
yeeeeman
Wtf is this? Samsung launches a new SoC and calls it Ryzen? The ryzen exynos? LOL
Anyways, besides the fact that it has nothing to do with...Ryzen, the GPU is nothing spectacular. By the time this launches Qualcomm will also have a new SoC, the SD875 which will bring considerable improvements given the transition to 5nm...
Also, I don't think there was something wrong with the Mali GPUs and I wouldn't be too surprised if Samsung would go from its SoC having a shitty custom CPU to a shitty custom GPU. By shitty I mean either having crap efficiency or crap drivers. Anyways, while this exotic combination of desktop gpu tech and mobile soc is nice, I don't think they can beat the efficiency of a pure mobile GPU.
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