• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

AMD Gives Itself Massive Cost-cutting Headroom with the Chiplet Design

btarunr

Editor & Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
38,235 (8.39/day)
Location
Hyderabad, India
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix B450-E Gaming
Cooling AMD Wraith Prism
Memory 2x 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) Palit GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GameRock
Storage Western Digital Black NVMe 512GB
Display(s) BenQ 1440p 60 Hz 27-inch
Case Corsair Carbide 100R
Audio Device(s) Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe
Power Supply Cooler Master MWE Gold 650W
Mouse ASUS ROG Strix Impact
Keyboard Microsoft Sidewinder X4
Software Windows 10 Pro
At its 2020 IEEE ISSCC keynote, AMD presented two slides that detail the extent of cost savings yielded by its bold decision to embrace the MCM (multi-chip module) approach to not just its enterprise and HEDT processors, but also its mainstream desktop ones. By confining only those components that tangibly benefit from cutting-edge silicon fabrication processes, namely the CPU cores, while letting other components sit on relatively inexpensive 12 nm, AMD is able to maximize its 7 nm foundry allocation, by making it produce small 8-core CCDs (CPU complex dies), which add up to AMD's target core-counts. With this approach, AMD is able to cram up to 16 cores onto its AM4 desktop socket using two chiplets, and up to 64 cores using eight chiplets on its SP3r3 and sTRX4 sockets.

In the slides below, AMD compares the cost of its current 7 nm + 12 nm MCM approach to a hypothetical monolithic die it would have had to build on 7 nm (including the I/O components). The slides suggest that the cost of a single-chiplet "Matisse" MCM (eg: Ryzen 7 3700X) is about 40% less than that of the double-chiplet "Matisse" (eg: Ryzen 9 3950X). Had AMD opted to build a monolithic 7 nm die that had 8 cores and all the I/O components of the I/O die, such a die would cost roughly 50% more than the current 1x CCD + IOD solution. On the other hand, a monolithic 7 nm die with 16 cores and I/O components would cost 125% more. AMD hence enjoys a massive headroom for cost-cutting. Prices of the flagship 3950X can be close to halved (from its current $749 MSRP), and AMD can turn up the heat on Intel's upcoming Core i9-10900K by significantly lowering price of its 12-core 3900X from its current $499 MSRP. The company will also enjoy more price-cutting headroom for its 6-core Ryzen 5 SKUs than it did with previous-generation Ryzen 5 parts based on monolithic dies.



View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Messages
400 (0.11/day)
Processor Intel Core i5 8400
Motherboard Gigabyte Z370N-Wifi
Cooling Silverstone AR05
Memory Micron Crucial 16GB DDR4-2400
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX1080 G1 Gaming 8G
Storage Micron Crucial MX300 275GB
Display(s) Dell U2415
Case Silverstone RVZ02B
Power Supply Silverstone SSR-SX550
Keyboard Ducky One Red Switch
Software Windows 10 Pro 1903
Are there any info on how graphics component of APU fit into this chiplet design?
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
207 (0.06/day)
Location
North-Rhine-Westphalia
Processor Ryzen 2700
Motherboard B450
Cooling Thermalright ARO
Memory 2x 8GB DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) RX 570 8GB
Storage 256GB SSD
Display(s) UHD 40" HDR TV
Case Sharkoon AM5 Window red
Audio Device(s) USB Headset
Power Supply beQuiet PurePower10 400W
Software Win10
The halved L3$ lets the cost drop because of the area savings and the symbiotic effects putting the GPU onboard the same die makes the decision even more logical for me they went monolithic.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
From the graph, each CCD (75mm^2 at 7nm) costs about 1/3 of the price which means IOD (124mm^2 at 12/14nm) also costs 1/3. Cost is same but CCD is ~65% smaller than IOD.
I wonder how this compares to manufacturing cost of Intel mainstream CPUs? For example 8-core like 9900K with die size of 175mm^2.
Are there any info on how graphics component of APU fit into this chiplet design?
It doesn't. Renoir is monolithic.
The halved L3$ lets the cost drop because of the area savings and the symbiotic effects putting the GPU onboard the same die makes the decision even more logical for me they went monolithic.
Not halved. Renoir has 1/4 L3$ of Matisse. 3700X has 32MB L3$ (and 3900/3950X have 64MB), 4800H has 8MB.
I am willing to bet this is thanks to Integrated Memory Controller.

Edit:
What strikes me as odd is how comparatively small the manufacturing cost saving is for EPYCs. I mean, half the cost is nothing to sneeze at but with everything that is said I expected this to be bigger.
On the other hand, EPYC's massive IOD probably has a large part to play here.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
74 (0.05/day)
So, does this mean 4000 series will be priced cheaper than current 3000 prices already or they will also discount the 3000 series further down? I was thinking about getting 3600 and moving my trusty 6700k to htpc, but if the prices will get even better, I don’t mind to hold on a bit.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
Edit:
What strikes me as odd is how comparatively small the manufacturing cost saving is for EPYCs. I mean, half the cost is nothing to sneeze at but with everything that is said I expected this to be bigger.
On the other hand, EPYC's massive IOD probably has a large part to play here.
Looking at the EPYC graph CCD cost is small. Adding 6 CCDs moves cost from 0.65 to 1 - 35% of 64-core EPYC manufacturing cost is 6 CCDs which means all 8 CCDs are only about 47% of the cost. More than half is IOD (and packaging).

Edit:
By the way, IOD on EPYC is 430mm^2.
For comparison, Intel Skylake-SP HCC (18 cores) is 484mm^2.

Prices of the flagship 3950X can be close to halved (from its current $749 MSRP), and AMD can turn up the heat on Intel's upcoming Core i9-10900K by significantly lowering price of its 12-core 3900X from its current $499 MSRP. The company will also enjoy more price-cutting headroom for its 6-core Ryzen 5 SKUs than it did with previous-generation Ryzen 5 parts based on monolithic dies.
This is based on what? I get that this is an assumption but there is nothing in this story to support it. Sure, AMD can drop pices as they have a very good profit margin. So can Intel. Manufacturing costs do not play as much into pricing equation on desktop.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
3,375 (2.47/day)
Nothing new here. And it's all very cute, but the simple fact is: this doesn't translate into excellent gross margins.

So what AMD is really saying: we decided to base our competitive advantage on a very expensive manufacturing process and going with MCM was the only way we could afford it.

And yeah... it makes you wonder how much AMD asks for (and earns from) these 8-core mobile SoCs.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
Nothing new here. And it's all very cute, but the simple fact is: this doesn't translate into excellent gross margins.
Yes it does. AMD's profit margin in Q4 2019 was up 2% from Q3 2019 and up 7% from Q4 2018.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2016
Messages
3,375 (2.47/day)
Yes it does. AMD's profit margin in Q4 2019 was up 2% from Q3 2019 and up 7% from Q4 2018.
That's net profit.
Gross margin tells you how much it costs to make a product, i.e.:
(revenue - cost of goods sold) / revenue
In case of AMD majority of "cost of goods sold" is what they pay for outsourced manufacturing. It doesn't include things like R&D.
This ratio is growing, but it's still much lower than Intel's (and Nvidia's).

In other words: despite MCM and more dense node, it still costs them more to make chips than it costs Intel and Nvidia.
And combining that and what they say about MCM saving, it suggests that they're losing money on large 7nm monolithic chips (4800U will be as big as two Zen2 chiplets).
 

ARF

Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
315 (5.25/day)
System Name ARF System 1
Processor AMD Athlon 64 4400+ X2
Motherboard ASRock 939A790GMH 790GX
Cooling Arctic Freezer 13
Memory 4 x 1 GB DDR400
Video Card(s) Radeon ASUS EAH4670/DI/512MD3
Storage ADATA XPG SX900 128 GB
Display(s) LG 24UD58-B
Case Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus
Software Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit, all updates installed
That's net profit.
Gross margin tells you how much it costs to make a product, i.e.:
(revenue - cost of goods sold) / revenue
In case of AMD majority of "cost of goods sold" is what they pay for outsourced manufacturing. It doesn't include things like R&D.
This ratio is growing, but it's still much lower than Intel's (and Nvidia's).

In other words: despite MCM and more dense node, it still costs them more to make chips than it costs Intel and Nvidia.
And combining that and what they say about MCM saving, it suggests that they're losing money on large 7nm monolithic chips (4800U will be as big as two Zen2 chiplets).
Not exactly. Intel sells for $20,000, AMD sells for $6,500.
As long as there are stupid consumers who invest in anything Intel, it will be the same story.

From the graph, each CCD (75mm^2 at 7nm) costs about 1/3 of the price which means IOD (124mm^2 at 12/14nm) also costs 1/3. Cost is same but CCD is ~65% smaller than IOD.
I wonder how this compares to manufacturing cost of Intel mainstream CPUs? For example 8-core like 9900K with die size of 175mm^2.
Intel's N14 process is already more than 5-year-old, hence the manufacturing cost should be very low, including the economy of scale.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
1,804 (0.70/day)
Location
KL, Malaysia
System Name The Rainbow Puke Machine (Upgrading to Ryzen 4th gen)
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 4xxx*
Motherboard AMD B550 ATX*
Cooling Corsair Hydro H100i RGB PRO XT AIO CLC* + HD120 RGB (3) + Commander PRO
Memory Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 3200MHz*
Video Card(s) Zotac RTX2060 Twin Fan 6GB GDDR6 (1.9GHz OC stable via MSI Afterburner)
Storage Corsair MP600 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD Gen4 (OS & games) + WD Blue 1TB M.2 SATA SSD (mass storage)*
Display(s) LG 29WK600-W 1080p IPS FreeSync (primary) + Dell U2417H 1080p IPS (secondary, portrait mode)
Case Corsair iCUE 220T RGB Airflow (White) w/Lighting Node CORE & SP120 RGB PRO + RGB LED Strips.
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1220 HD Solution or better* + Corsair VOID Stereo Headphones
Power Supply Corsair RMx 750W 80 Plus Gold Fully Modular
Mouse Corsair M65 RGB FPS Mouse (White)
Keyboard Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX RGB Red Switches)
Software Windows 10 Professional x64 (November Update, v1909)
I ain't even mad at them doing this. If it means cheaper processors to buy, I'm sold.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
1,027 (0.25/day)
Location
I live in Norway
System Name 3 sys spec seperated by "|"
Processor R9 3900x| R7 1700 @3.75 | Xeon 2680v2
Motherboard Asrock X570M | AB350M Pro 4 | HP Z620
Cooling Air | Air | air
Memory 64gb G.skill SniperX @3600 CL16 | 64gb | 128 gb
Video Card(s) EK-FC - RX Vega 64 | server | GTX970
Storage MP510 2TB, 660P 2TB, 2x860 evo 1tb | 960 500gb Intel 660P 1tb PM871 4x256gb ++| various intel ssd's.
Display(s) AOC 28" 4K something + 1440p AOC 144hz something.
Case Phanteks EvolvX M-Atx
Power Supply Corsair RM850
Mouse g502 Lightspeed
Keyboard TT Meka G1
Not exactly. Intel sells for $20,000, AMD sells for $6,500.
As long as there are stupid consumers who invest in anything Intel, it will be the same story.



Intel's N14 process is already more than 5-year-old, hence the manufacturing cost should be very low, including the economy of scale.
Just to point out.

No-one have to pay full price from intel, very far from it.
No-one gets serious rebate on amd cpu's.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
4,816 (4.10/day)
System Name Good enough
Processor AMD Ryzen R7 1700X - 4.0 Ghz / 1.350V
Motherboard ASRock B450M Pro4
Cooling Scythe Katana 4 - 3x 120mm case fans
Memory 16GB - Corsair Vengeance LPX
Video Card(s) OEM Dell GTX 1080
Storage 1x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB , 1x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
Display(s) 4K Samsung TV
Case Zalman R1
Power Supply 500W
The main advantage isn't even the cost saving, it's the fact that they can build processors that would otherwise be physically impossible to make due to hard limits in the manufacturing process. That's "priceless".
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
@Vya Domus none of these processors possibly with the exception of 64-core EPYC are physically impossible to build. Financially not viable... probably :)
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
784 (0.22/day)
(4800U will be as big as two Zen2 chiplets).
There is a reference in the first slide, if this is a reply to that. It says 8-core monolithic costs 90% of 16-core mcm-io discrete dies. Maybe it will take 10% more to build than the two die solution(3900 series). I wouldn't say AMD cannot pay for it.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60

ARF

Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
315 (5.25/day)
System Name ARF System 1
Processor AMD Athlon 64 4400+ X2
Motherboard ASRock 939A790GMH 790GX
Cooling Arctic Freezer 13
Memory 4 x 1 GB DDR400
Video Card(s) Radeon ASUS EAH4670/DI/512MD3
Storage ADATA XPG SX900 128 GB
Display(s) LG 24UD58-B
Case Cooler Master HAF 912 Plus
Software Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit, all updates installed
The main advantage isn't even the cost saving, it's the fact that they can build processors that would otherwise be physically impossible to make due to hard limits in the manufacturing process. That's "priceless".
It depends on the size of the individual core. Navi 21 will have 5120 cores in just 505 mm^2.
 

bug

Joined
May 22, 2015
Messages
7,268 (4.10/day)
Processor Intel i5-6600k (AMD Ryzen5 3600 in a box, waiting for a mobo)
Motherboard ASRock Z170 Extreme7+
Cooling Arctic Cooling Freezer i11
Memory 2x16GB DDR4 3600 G.Skill Ripjaws V (@3200)
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1060 SC
Storage 500GB Samsung 970 EVO, 500GB Samsung 850 EVO, 1TB Crucial MX300 and 3TB Seagate
Display(s) HP ZR24w
Case Raijintek Thetis
Audio Device(s) Audioquest Dragonfly Red :D
Power Supply Seasonic 620W M12
Mouse Logitech G502 Proteus Core
Keyboard G.Skill KM780R
Software Arch Linux + Win10
I sense a change of tune here. Initially AMD claimed IO doesn't scale well with the process and that's why they left it alone. Now it's cost reasons. :wtf:
 

ppn

Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
642 (0.38/day)
Yes they are pocketing the massive cost cutting headroom for themselves. So the only good time to buy 8 core like that is when it drops to $99.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
2,214 (2.15/day)
System Name Best AMD Computer
Processor AMD TR4 1920X
Motherboard MSI X399 SLI Plus
Cooling Alphacool Eisbaer 420 x2 Noctua XPX Pro TR4 block
Memory Gskill RIpjaws 4 3000MHZ 48GB
Video Card(s) Sapphire Vega 64 Nitro, Gigabyte Vega 64 Gaming OC
Storage 6 x NVME 480 GB, 2 x SSD 2TB, 5TB HDD, 2 TB HDD, 2x 2TB SSHD
Display(s) Acer 49BQ0k 4K monitor
Case Thermaltake Core X9
Audio Device(s) Corsair Void Pro, Logitch Z523 5.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1200!
Mouse Logitech g7 gaming mouse
Keyboard Logitech G510
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 Steam. GOG, Uplay, Origin
Benchmark Scores Firestrike: 24955 Time Spy: 13500
Yes they are pocketing the massive cost cutting headroom for themselves. So the only good time to buy 8 core like that is when it drops to $99.
But then how would we help AMD force price corrections for Intel and Nvidia products? That money will go into R&D (They are a tech company afterall). It will be interesting to see where AMD does in both the GPU and CPU space now that they are positive in terms of cash flow and revenue.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
183 (0.10/day)
Location
Perth , West Australia
System Name gamer 14
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3700 X
Motherboard Asus AMD X 570
Cooling Standard Air
Memory Corsair Vengeance 2 x 8 gb DDR 4
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon 5700 XT 8 GB Strix
Storage Intel SSD 240 gb Speed Demon & WD 240 SSD Blue
Display(s) Asus XG 32 V ROG
Case Corsair AIR ATX
Audio Device(s) Realtech standard
Power Supply Corsair 850 Modular
Mouse CM Havoc
Keyboard Corsair Cherry Mechanical
Software Win 10
Benchmark Scores Unigine_Superposition 4K ultra 7582
Im no brainiaK so can some one explain what is wrong with chiplets … or is monolithic a better option if it is more expensive :rolleyes:
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
2,158 (1.88/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
I sense a change of tune here. Initially AMD claimed IO doesn't scale well with the process and that's why they left it alone. Now it's cost reasons. :wtf:
Both are true at the same time. IO not scaling well means it will have to stay larger which wastes die space. Die space is expensive and moreso on 7nm.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
Messages
2,214 (2.15/day)
System Name Best AMD Computer
Processor AMD TR4 1920X
Motherboard MSI X399 SLI Plus
Cooling Alphacool Eisbaer 420 x2 Noctua XPX Pro TR4 block
Memory Gskill RIpjaws 4 3000MHZ 48GB
Video Card(s) Sapphire Vega 64 Nitro, Gigabyte Vega 64 Gaming OC
Storage 6 x NVME 480 GB, 2 x SSD 2TB, 5TB HDD, 2 TB HDD, 2x 2TB SSHD
Display(s) Acer 49BQ0k 4K monitor
Case Thermaltake Core X9
Audio Device(s) Corsair Void Pro, Logitch Z523 5.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1200!
Mouse Logitech g7 gaming mouse
Keyboard Logitech G510
Software Windows 10 Pro 64 Steam. GOG, Uplay, Origin
Benchmark Scores Firestrike: 24955 Time Spy: 13500
Im no brainiaK so can some one explain what is wrong with chiplets … or is monolithic a better option if it is more expensive :rolleyes:
Monolithic is better for gaming at 1080P. You can usually get higher clocks with that and reduced latency.
 
Top