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AMD Announces Computex 2018 Conference

AMD today started the formal invitation procedure for the company's Computex 2018 presence, which should result in an updated state of affairs for the company as it aims to deliver its 2018 roadmap. You'd be forgiven to think AMD had exhausted its product portfolio for the year with its 12 nm Ryzen 2000 series, but the 2018 release schedule for AMD still counts some notable products.

Chief among these (for enthusiasts, at least) is the company's second generation Threadripper lineup, which will update the company's premium, many-core HEDT products to the current 12 nm process. However, the impact of AMD's Pro products shouldn't be underestimated - as tamer (in consumers' eyes - as they are compared to the screaming wildcat that is a 16-core CPU, these products usually carry higher margins for AMD - the company just also has to count on proper volume being there, which, if AMD's Zen architecture strength is anything to go by, really should keep gaining momentum. Of course, the real question on anyone's minds now regards AMD's RTG, and more precisely, what graphics technology advancements - and especially products - can be expected from the company. The 500 series (well, 400 series on steroids) is old in the tooth by now, and Vega is what it is. Here's hoping the Computex conference will bring some light to these matters. The Press Release follows.

AMD Leaks Model Numbers of Upcoming Ryzen SKUs

AMD inadvertently put out model numbers of several Ryzen processor model numbers, before redacting the page with them. They reveal pretty much AMD's entire second wave of Ryzen 2000 series processors. To begin with, AMD will finally introduce Ryzen 3 series desktop processor SKUs based on the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon, with the new Ryzen 3 2100 (YD210BC6M2OFB) and the Ryzen 3 2300X (YD230XBBM4KAF). The Ryzen 3 2000 series includes quad-core parts without SMT. Since the Ryzen 3 2100 lacks integrated graphics, it end-user model numbering below the Ryzen 3 2200G. The Ryzen 3 2300X succeeds the Ryzen 3 1300X covering AMD's entry-level lineup.

The Ryzen 5 2000 series is augmented by the Ryzen 5 2500X (YD250XBBM4KAF). This likely 4-core/8-thread chip could feature higher clock speeds and L3 cache amount than the Ryzen 5 2400G, justifying its model number, despite the lack of integrated graphics. AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2000 series are multi-chip modules of the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" die, and AMD has three models in store, the Ryzen Threadripper 2900X (YD290XA8U8QAF), Ryzen Threadripper 2920X (YD292XA8UC9AF), and the top-dog Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (YD295XA8UGAAF), succeeding the TR-1900X, TR-1920X, and TR-1950X. Like the rest of the Ryzen 2000-series, the three new Threadripper chips could feature increased clocks and new features from "Zen+" to hold onto the existing price-points, and turn up the heat on Intel SKUs priced above $999, such as the 12-core i9-7920X, or even the 16-core i9-7960X.

AMD "Vega 20" Optical-Shrunk GPU Surfaces in Linux Patches

AMD "Vega 20" is rumored to be an optical shrink of the current "Vega 10" GPU die to a newer process, either 12 nm, or 10 nm, or perhaps even 7 nm. Six new device IDs that point to "Vega 20" based products, surfaced on AMD's GPU drivers source code, with its latest commit made as recently as on 28th March. AMD "Vega 10" is a multi-chip module of a 14 nm GPU die, and two "10 nm-class" HBM2 memory stacks, sitting on a silicon interposer that facilitates high-density wiring between the three. In an effort to increase clock speeds, efficiency, or both, AMD could optically shrink the GPU die to a smaller silicon fabrication process, and carve out a new product line based on the resulting chip.

AMD Trims Prices of Current-gen Ryzen Processors

AMD on Monday, announced price-cuts across a bulk of its Ryzen 3-series, Ryzen 5-series, Ryzen 7-series, and Ryzen Threadripper processor models, based on first-generation "Zen" architecture, probably in preparation of its possible-April 19 launch of its 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors. The decision to trim prices of Threadripper SKUs indicates that AMD is either stepping up the heat on Intel's Core X family, or that one can expect a brisk roll-out of 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon-based 2nd Generation Threadripper SKUs, even if not on April 19. The latest roadmaps put 2nd Gen Threadripper launch to the second half of 2018.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Accidentally Listed on Amazon

Amazon Germany accidentally listed the upcoming AMD Ryzen 5 2600X six-core processor. According to the listing availability of the chip is scheduled for 19th April. The chip is priced at 248.93€ including taxes, which is in line with the launch SEP prices we saw in the leaked AMD press-deck posted earlier this month. The listing also mentions a handful specifications, such as the chip being based on 12 nm silicon fabrication process, and featuring clock speeds of 3.60 GHz, with 4.25 GHz turbo. Unlike with some of the higher end first-generation Ryzen retail packages, AMD will be including cooling solutions with all models of the 2nd generation Ryzen series. The Ryzen 5 2600X will include a Wraith Spire cooler, characterized by its RGB LED ring, and having a design focus on low-noise operation.

AMD Readies Ryzen Threadripper SKUs based on "Pinnacle Ridge" Dies

Hot on the heels of this morning's big AMD Ryzen 2000-series slide dump, comes a new roadmap slide that gives a larger overview of how AMD is addressing various client processor market segments. It begins with the mention of a 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper series launch within 2018. These chips presumably, are multi-chip modules of the company's new 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon, and will be compatible with existing AMD X399 chipset motherboards through BIOS updates. The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon supports higher clock-speeds, has several microarchitecture refinements, and a few new overclocker-centric features.

The better news is that company seems to be updating its HEDT processor lineup every year; and that the current Threadripper series isn't a one-off halo product like its Athlon64 FX "QuadFX" 2P platform. With "Pinnacle Ridge" based Threadripper 2000-series MCMs slated for 2018; 2019 will see the launch of the new "Castle Peak" HEDT processor. It's not known if this is an MCM. The spiritual successor to "Pinnacle Ridge" is "Matisse." This is Zen 2 based, and will have significant changes to the core design, presenting AMD with an opportunity to review the way it arranges cores. "Picasso" succeeds "Raven Ridge" as the company's Zen 2-based APUs. "Picasso," along with "Matisse" and "Castle Peak" could see AMD implement GlobalFoundries' new 7 nm silicon fabrication process, given its 2019 timeline. 2020 will see their refined avatars - an unnamed "Next-Gen HEDT" chip, "Vermeer," and "Renoir," respectively.

HWiNFO Adds Support for Intel Ice Lake, Whiskey Lake, AMD 400-Series Chipset

HWiNFO v. 5.7 has brought with it a smattering of improvements and additions, as is usually the case. These are worthier of a news piece than most, however, since we're looking at quite a number of interesting developments. For one, preliminary support has been added for Intel's Whiskey Lake, an upcoming mobile design that succeed's Intel's Kaby Lake products, and should bring the fight to AMD's Ryzen Mobile offerings. Furthermore, and still on the Intel camp, support for the upcoming 10 nm Ice Lake has also been added. Íf you'll remember, Ice Lake is expected to be Intel's first foray into the 10 nm+ process in the mobile camp (given away by the U/Y product codes), after numerous delays that made the company stick with its 14 nm process through three iterations and in-process improvements. These are not the only Intel developments, however; the team behind HWiNFO has also added a new feature that reveals your Intel CPU's Turbo Boost multipliers, which the company has since removed form their ARK pages and processor specifications - an issue that generated rivers of ink.

Stepping away from the blue giant's camp, there's added support for AMD's next revision of their Ryzen processors (Pinnacle Ridge, on a 12 nm process). There's also mention of upcoming support for AMD's 400-series chipsets, which should improve platform features of the AM4 socket. This addition comes after we've seen its first appearance in the PCI-SIG Integrators List.

NVIDIA Announces TITAN V "Volta" Graphics Card

NVIDIA in a shock move, announced its new flagship graphics card, the TITAN V. This card implements the "Volta" GV100 graphics processor, the same one which drives the company's Tesla V100 HPC accelerator. The GV100 is a multi-chip module, with the GPU die and three HBM2 memory stacks sharing a package. The card features 12 GB of HBM2 memory across a 3072-bit wide memory interface. The GPU die has been built on the 12 nm FinFET+ process by TSMC. NVIDIA TITAN V maxes out the GV100 silicon, if not its memory interface, featuring a whopping 5,120 CUDA cores, 640 Tensor cores (specialized units that accelerate neural-net building/training). The CUDA cores are spread across 80 streaming multiprocessors (64 CUDA cores per SM), spread across 6 graphics processing clusters (GPCs). The TMU count is 320.

The GPU core is clocked at 1200 MHz, with a GPU Boost frequency of 1455 MHz, and an HBM2 memory clock of 850 MHz, translating into 652.8 GB/s memory bandwidth (1.70 Gbps stacks). The card draws power from a combination of 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Display outputs include three DP and one HDMI connectors. With a wallet-scorching price of USD $2,999, and available exclusively through NVIDIA store, the TITAN V is evidence that with Intel deciding to sell client-segment processors for $2,000, it was a matter of time before GPU makers seek out that price-band. At $3k, the GV100's margins are probably more than made up for.

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Availability Scarce Until 2018: Report

Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" 6-core processors aim to restore the company's competitiveness in the mainstream-desktop (MSDT) platform, which eroded to AMD's unexpectedly successful Ryzen. The chips will hit the stores a little later this month, at price-points very close to the outgoing 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors; although a report by SweClockers predicts that the chips will be scarcely available until early-2018.

Intel is launching "Coffee Lake" desktop processor family with a rather trimmed down lineup of six SKUs, two each under the Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 brands, with the former two being 6-core, and the Core i3 being quad-core, marking an increase in core-counts across the board. While these chips will very much be available on launch-date in the retail channel, there could be an inventory shortage running all the way till Q1-2018.

AMD's Pinnacle Ridge Zen+ 12 nm CPUs to Launch on February 2018

A recent AMD roadmap leak showed the company's "tick", process-improved plans for 2018's Zen+, as well as its painter-imbued aspirations with Zen 2 in 2019. Now, there's some new info posted by DigiTimes that's being sourced straight from motherboard makers that points to the company's Pinnacle Ridge launch being set sometime in February 2018.

This information seems to have been delivered to the motherboard makers straight from AMD itself, as a heads-up for when they should be expecting to ramp up production of next-generation chipsets. Sources report that AMD will follow their Summit Ridge, Ryzen launch, with the initial release of Pinnacle 7 in February, followed by the mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018. DigiTimes also reports that AMD is expecting to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to at least 30% in the first half of 2018 which, coeteris paribus, is more of a simple mathematical progression than clarvoyance.

AMD to Build 2nd Gen. Ryzen and Radeon Vega on GloFo 12nm

Not to be held back by silicon fabrication process limitations like in the past, AMD will build its second-generation Ryzen CPUs and Radeon Vega GPUs on the new 12 nanometer LP (low power) FinFET process by GlobalFoundries. From the looks of it, "2nd generation Ryzen" doesn't seem to be the same as "Zen2" (a micro-architectural advancement due to be built on the 7 nm process), and is more likely an optical shrink of existing 14 nm IP to the 12 nm process, giving AMD the headroom to increase yields, and clock speeds across the board. The 12 nm switch allows AMD to roll out a new "generation" of Ryzen processors as early as the first half of 2018.

The "Vega 10" silicon could be another key piece of AMD IP on the receiving end of an optical shrink to 12 nm, which will give AMD much needed power savings, letting it increase clock speeds, and probably implement faster standards of HBM2 memory, such as 2.00 GT/s. AMD will likely label this shrunk down silicon "Vega 20." There's also the possibility of AMD building a bigger new GPUs altogether. In 2019, the company will give its CPU and GPU lineups major micro-architectural upgrades, and the switch to the 7 nm node. The new "Zen2" micro-architecture with IPC increases and new ISA instruction-sets, will be launched on the CPU side, and the new "Navi" graphics architecture will take center-stage.

NVIDIA Announces the Tesla V100 PCI-Express HPC Accelerator

NVIDIA formally announced the PCI-Express add-on card version of its flagship Tesla V100 HPC accelerator, based on its next-generation "Volta" GPU architecture. Based on the advanced 12 nm "GV100" silicon, the GPU is a multi-chip module with a silicon substrate and four HBM2 memory stacks. It features a total of 5,120 CUDA cores, 640 Tensor cores (specialized CUDA cores which accelerate neural-net building), GPU clock speeds of around 1370 MHz, and a 4096-bit wide HBM2 memory interface, with 900 GB/s memory bandwidth. The 815 mm² GPU has a gargantuan transistor-count of 21 billion. NVIDIA is taking institutional orders for the V100 PCIe, and the card will be available a little later this year. HPE will develop three HPC rigs with the cards pre-installed.

NVIDIA Announces Its Volta-based Tesla V100

Today at its GTC keynote, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang took the wraps on some of the features on their upcoming V100 accelerator, the Volta-based accelerator for the professional market that will likely pave the way to the company's next-generation 2000 series GeForce graphics cards. If NVIDIA goes on with its product carvings and naming scheme for the next-generation Volta architecture, we can expect to see this processor on the company's next-generation GTX 2080 Ti. Running the nitty-gritty details (like the new Tensor processing approach) on this piece would be impossible, but there are some things we know already from this presentation.

This chip is a beast of a processor: it packs 21 billion transistors (up from 15,3 billion found on the P100); it's built on TSMC's 12 nm FF process (evolving from Pascal's 16 nm FF); and measures a staggering 815 mm² (from the P100's 610 mm².) This is such a considerable leap in die-area that we can only speculate on how yields will be for this monstrous chip, especially considering the novelty of the 12 nm process that it's going to leverage. But now, the most interesting details from a gaming perspective are the 5,120 CUDA cores powering the V100 out of a total possible 5,376 in the whole chip design, which NVIDIA will likely leave for their Titan Xv. These are divided in 84 Volta Streaming Multiprocessor Units with each carrying 64 CUDA cores (84 x 64 = 5,376, from which NVIDIA is cutting 4 Volta Streaming Multiprocessor Units for yields, most likely, which accounts for the announced 5,120.) Even in this cut-down configuration, we're looking at a staggering 42% higher pure CUDA core-count than the P100's. The new V100 will offer up to 15 FP 32 TFLOPS, and will still leverage a 16 GB HBM2 implementation delivering up to 900 GB/s bandwidth (up from the P100's 721 GB/s). No details on clock speed or TDP as of yet, but we already have enough details to enable a lengthy discussion... Wouldn't you agree?

NVIDIA to Build "Volta" Consumer GPUs on TSMC 12 nm Process

NVIDIA's next-generation "Volta" GPU architecture got its commercial debut in the most unlikely class of products, with the Xavier autonomous car processor. The actual money-spinners based on the architecture, consumer GPUs, will arrive some time in 2018. The company will be banking on its old faithful fab TSMC, to build those chips on a new 12 nanometer FinFET node that's currently under development. TSMC's current frontline process is the 16 nm FFC, which debuted in mid-2015, with mass-production following through in 2016. NVIDIA's "GP104" chip is built on this process.

This could also mean that NVIDIA could slug it out against AMD with its current GeForce GTX 10-series "Pascal" GPUs throughout 2017-18, even as AMD threatens to disrupt NVIDIA's sub-$500 lineup with its Radeon Vega series, scheduled for Q2-2017. NVIDIA's "Volta" architecture could see stacked DRAM technologies such as HBM2 gain more mainstream exposure, although competing memory standards such as GDDR6 aren't too far behind.

GlobalFoundries Announces its 12 nm FD-SOI Silicon Fabrication Node

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today unveiled a new 12nm FD-SOI semiconductor technology, extending its leadership position by offering the industry's first multi-node FD-SOI roadmap. Building on the success of its 22FDXTM offering, the company's next-generation 12FDXTM platform is designed to enable the intelligent systems of tomorrow across a range of applications, from mobile computing and 5G connectivity to artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

As the world becomes more and more integrated through billions of connected devices, many emerging applications demand a new approach to semiconductor innovation. The chips that make these applications possible are evolving into mini-systems, with increased integration of intelligent components including wireless connectivity, non-volatile memory, and power management-all while driving ultra-low power consumption. GLOBALFOUNDRIES' new 12FDX technology is specifically architected to deliver these unprecedented levels of system integration, design flexibility, and power scaling.
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