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Samsung Electronics Begins Mass Production at New EUV Manufacturing Line

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that its new cutting-edge semiconductor fabrication line in Hwaseong, Korea, has begun mass production.

The facility, V1, is Samsung's first semiconductor production line dedicated to the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology and produces chips using process node of 7 nanometer (nm) and below. The V1 line broke ground in February 2018, and began test wafer production in the second half of 2019. Its first products will be delivered to customers in the first quarter.

AMD Introduces Radeon Pro W5500 Professional Graphics Card

AMD today announced the AMD Radeon Pro W5500 workstation graphics card, delivering the performance and advanced features demanded by today's Design & Manufacturing and Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) professionals. AMD also announced the AMD Radeon Pro W5500M GPU, designed and optimized to power next-generation, high-performance professional mobile workstations. Today's design and engineering workforce pushes the boundaries of professional design applications. These increasingly mobile professionals often use multiple graphics-intensive applications simultaneously and require no-compromise performance to visualize, review and interact with their designs in real time.

AMD Radeon Pro W5500 graphics harness the high-performance, power-efficient AMD RDNA architecture, 7 nm process technology, high-speed GDDR6 memory, high-bandwidth PCI Express 4.0 support and advanced software features. Expanding the AMD family of high-performance professional graphics products, they offer outstanding performance in real-world applications, rock-solid stability and superb energy efficiency. In addition, the AMD Radeon Pro W5500 graphics card delivers incredible multitasking performance even in demanding situations, such as allowing professionals to continue developing their designs while rendering a visualization in the background.

Apple Finally Buying AMD CPUs? Pointers to Ryzens Found in MacOS Beta

Since its switch to the x86 machine architecture from PowerPC in the mid-2000s, Apple has been consistent with Intel as its sole supplier of CPUs for its Macbooks, iMac desktops, and Mac Pro workstations. The company's relationship with rival AMD has been limited to sourcing discrete GPUs. If pieces of code from a MacOS beta is anything to go buy, Apple could bite the AMD bullet very soon. References to several AMD processors were found in MacOS 10.15.4 Beta 1. These include the company's "Picasso," "Renoir," and "Van Gogh" APUs.

It's very likely that with increasing CPU IPC and energy-efficiency, Apple is finally seeing the value in single-chip solutions from AMD that have a good enough combination of CPU and iGPUs. The 7 nm "Renoir" silicon in particular could change the mobile and desktop computing segments, thanks to its 8-core "Zen 2" CPU, and a "Vega" based iGPU that's highly capable in non-gaming and light-gaming tasks. AMD's proprietary SmartShift feature could also be leveraged, which dynamically switches between the iGPU and an AMD discrete GPU.

AMD Readies Radeon Pro W5500, Navi 14 Wears a Suit

AMD is giving final touches to the Radeon Pro W5500, a mid-range professional graphics card, which surfaced on an early listing by workstation builder SabrePC. Going by AMD's new nomenclature for its Radeon Pro W-series graphics cards, the W5500 could possibly be a professional variant of the RX 5500 XT, based on the 7 nm "Navi 14" silicon. It remains to be seen however, if AMD enables all 1,536 stream processors on the silicon, or if it's strictly aligned with the core-configuration of the RX 5500 XT (1,408 stream processors). Currently the only AMD product to max out this silicon is the Radeon Pro 5500M found exclusively in the new 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro.

AMD's Radeon Pro W5500 includes 8 GB of GDDR6 memory across the chip's 128-bit wide memory interface. According to the now-redacted SabrePC listing reported by Tom's Hardware, the W5500 apparently features four DisplayPorts, one short of the W5700, and there's no mention of the card supporting USB-C. The listing also mentions a price of USD $391.57, which, although a placeholder, closely aligns with the card's competitor, the NVIDIA Quadro P2200, which retails around the $400-mark.

AMD to Debut 2nd Gen RDNA Architecture in 2020

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su, in her Q4-2019 and FY-2019 earnings call, confirmed that the company debut its second-generation RDNA graphics architecture in 2020. "In 2019 we launched our new architecture in GPUs, it's the RDNA architecture, and that was the Navi-based products. You should expect those will be refreshed in 2020, and we will have our new next-generation RDNA architecture that will be part our 2020 lineup."

Second-gen RDNA, or RDNA2, is expected to leverage the new 7 nm+ (EUV) silicon fabrication process at TSMC, to dial up transistor-counts, clock-speeds, and performance. Among the two anticipated feature additions are VRS (variable rate shading) and possibly ray-tracing. The fabled "big Navi" silicon, a GPU larger than "Navi 10," is also on the cards, according to an earlier statement by Dr Su. More details about these upcoming graphics cards are expected to be put out in March, at the 2020 AMD Investor Day conference.

ASML to Deliver 35 EUV Systems in 2020

In a 2019 earnings call ASML, a Dutch company that is currently the world's largest semiconductor lithography supplier has been talking about the company's records and what awaits them in the future. In its 2019 earning report, ASML was forecasting the delivery of as much as 35 EUV systems in 2020. It is not a forecast per se, but rather a known fact since factories order their equipment months before they need to use it. Having previously delivered 26 EUV systems in 2019, the plan for the coming years is to boost the EUV system shipments by as much as 40% yearly. With plans to ship between 45 and 50 EUV systems in the year 2021, AMSL sees a strong revenue gain in the coming years. What is driving the demand for these machines is the use of ever-smaller semiconductor manufacturing nodes. Even at 7 nm, there is almost a need to use EUV lithography, and as you drop in size the lithography challenge becomes real, the use of EUV becomes a necessity.

PowerColor Presents the Red Devil and Red Dragon RX 5600 XT Graphics Cards

PowerColor today issued a press release where they present the world their new Red Devil and Red Dragon models of AMD's RX 5600 XT graphics cards. This comes after reports on AMD's move towards increasing TDP, memory and core clockspeeds on their new graphics card so as to better compete with NVIDIA's recently price-cut RTX 2060, which would make it a much better performer than AMD's RX 5600 XT at a slightly higher price ($279 vs $299).

Hence a reported strike back from AMD in increasing performance for their RX 5600 XT with increased power envelope (160 W over 150 W), faster memory (at 14 Gbps instead of the original 12 Gbps) and increased core clocks (1615 MHz gaming and 1750 MHz boost, versus 1375 MHz gaming and 1560 MHz on AMD's CES press-event slides). The change in configuration brought about changes in the card design, with the higher-powered Red Devil coming in with 1x 8-pin and 1x 6-pin power delivery inputs, instead of the firstly developed 8-pin only. The changes have been brought about by a BIOS change, and not all cards will ship with the new specifications. However, PowerColor said that a BIOS update will be made available for customers to get their RX 5600 XT on steroids. Of course, whether or not it should be the onus of users to do such an update (which may risk in bricking their graphics card) is another matter entirely. The press release follows.

Rumor: NVIDIA's Next Generation GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 "Ampere" Graphics Cards Detailed

NVIDIA's next-generation of graphics cards codenamed Ampere is set to arrive sometime this year, presumably around GTC 2020 which takes place on March 22nd. Before the CEO of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang officially reveals the specifications of these new GPUs, we have the latest round of rumors coming our way. According to VideoCardz, which cites multiple sources, the die configurations of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 have been detailed. Using the latest 7 nm manufacturing process from Samsung, this generation of NVIDIA GPU offers a big improvement from the previous generation.

For starters the two dies which have appeared have codenames like GA103 and GA104, standing for RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 respectively. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) count. The smaller GA104 die has as much as 48 SMs, resulting in 3072 CUDA cores, while the bigger, oddly named, GA103 die has as much as 60 SMs that result in 3840 CUDA cores in total. These improvements in SM count should result in a notable performance increase across the board. Alongside the increase in SM count, there is also a new memory bus width. The smaller GA104 die that should end up in RTX 3070 uses a 256-bit memory bus allowing for 8/16 GB of GDDR6 memory, while its bigger brother, the GA103, has a 320-bit wide bus that allows the card to be configured with either 10 or 20 GB of GDDR6 memory. In the images below you can check out the alleged diagrams for yourself and see if this looks fake or not, however, it is recommended to take this rumor with a grain of salt.

ASUS Gives Radeon RX 5600 XT the ROG Strix and TUF Gaming Treatment

ASUS is keeping its Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card lineup trim, with just two SKUs, both of which are factory-overclocked. The lineup is led by the ROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XT O6G, while its affordable sibling is the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO. ASUS hasn't finalized the clock-speeds for either, as it's rumored that AMD is working with its partners to increase them across the board, to make the RX 5600 XT competitive against the GeForce RTX 2060. Both ASUS RX 5600 XT graphics cards are largely based on its RX 5700-series board designs as the RX 5600 XT is carved from the same 7 nm "Navi 10" ASIC.

The ROG Strix RX 5600 XT O6G features the company's premium triple-slot DirectCU III cooling solution with three Axial-Tech fans, idle fan-stop, plenty of RGB bling on the cooler shroud and metal back-plate, and a high-grade VRM solution that pulls power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The TUF Gaming X3 RX 5600 XT EVO, on the other hand, also features a triple-slot design, the TUF X3 cooling solution with three Axial-Tech fans (the one in the middle is smaller than the others); idle fan-stop, and a metal back-plate. This card pulls power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, unlike the ROG Strix.

GIGABYTE Unveils its Radeon RX 5600 XT Graphics Card Series

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today announced the launch of the Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING OC 6G and Radeon RX 5600 XT WINDFORCE OC 6G. The latest Radeon RX 5600 XT series graphics processing built with 7 nm processor technology with RDNA architecture is designed for the best 1080 pixel gaming experience, and supports the PCI Express 4.0 interface. It delivers extreme 1080 pixel performance so users can enjoy higher game fidelity, better gaming performance with higher frame rates, and ultra-fast response times, for a better gaming experience than ever before.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING OC 6G is cooled by the WINDFORCE 3X cooling system that comes with triple 90 mm unique blade fans and alternate spinning fans. The thermal cooling solution includes 5 copper heat-pipes that directly touch the GPU so the heat from the GPU will be dissipated rapidly via conductivity effect. With these thermal dissipation methods, GIGABYTE tends to each component's temperatures for VRAM and MOSFETs at the same time, keeping components at low temperatures during the stable working state and extends the lifespan. The black metal back plate not only strengthens the overall structure but also prevents the PCB from bending or losing parts and gives the external design a more textured look. Moreover, GAMING OC has LOGO lighting on the card side so gamers can synchronize 16.7 million customizable color options and numerous lighting effects with other AORUS devices by clicking on RGB Fusion 2.0. It also allows users to adjust the diversified gaming atmosphere to what they have in mind.

MSI Announces Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming and Mech Graphics Cards

As the world's most popular GAMING graphics card brand, MSI is proud to introduce its full line up of graphics cards based on new AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card with considerable performance. Furnished with the new AMD RDNA gaming architecture - Efficiently energetic, RDNA architecture was designed to deliver incredible performance, scalability and power efficiency. Built on the 7 nm FinFET process and delivering higher performance-per-watt compared to the previous architecture. The Radeon RX 5600 XT Series will be available as GAMING and MECH.

These AMD RDNA architecture-powered GAMING cards feature the new MSI exclusive Innovative Power Allocation Technology. This technology ensures that the card will draw its power from the power supply rather than the PCIe slot on the motherboard, resulting in a cleaner power signal and preventing any issues with the motherboard.

Sapphire Launches the Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT Graphics Card

SAPPHIRE Technology launches PULSE version of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card with powerful TriXX boost Software tool that delivers up to a 15% performance improvement in popular games when the resolution is adjusted from 1920 x 1080 to 1728 x 972. Built on the groundbreaking AMD RDNA gaming architecture and 7 nm process technology, the PULSE Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card comes with 2304 stream processors, a Boost Clock of up to 1620 MHz and a Game Clock of 1560 MHz delivering ultra- responsive high fidelity AAA gaming @ up to 60 FPS in select titles. The SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5600 XT Series are equipped with 6 GB GDDR6 of high speed memory and PCI Express 4.0 support for maximum game performance, exceptional power efficiency and outstanding value.

Focusing on what gamers' need, the PULSE Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card comes with a pivotal set of exciting features that deliver a superlative gaming experience powered by the new AMD RDNA gaming architecture. Impressive clock speeds, near silent cooling and a durable design are the trademark of the PULSE series of graphics cards.

ASRock Announces Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming & Challenger Series

The leading global motherboard, graphics card and mini PC manufacturer, ASRock, announces the brand-new Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming and Challenger series graphics cards, including the triple-fan Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 6G OC, the dual-fan Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D2 6G OC, and the dual-fan Radeon RX 5600 XT Challenger D 6G OC graphics cards.

They use AMD 7 nm Radeon RX 5600 XT GPUs, with 6 GB 192-bit GDDR6 video memory, plus support for the PCI Express 4.0 bus standard, as well as the latest thermal design and excellent default GPU/VRAM clock settings, making ASRock's Phantom Gaming & Challenger series product lines more complete, and providing gamers an excellent 1080p gaming experience.

Expect High-end Navi: AMD CEO

At a Q&A session with the tech press in Las Vegas, AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su raised hopes of a high-end graphics card based on its "Navi" family of GPUs. Responding to a specific question by Gordon Ung from PC World on whether there will be a high-end competitor in the discrete graphics space, Dr Su stated that one should expect a "high-end Navi." Dr Su states: "I know those on Reddit want a high end Navi! You should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, and that it is important to have it. The discrete graphics market, especially at the high end, is very important to us. So you should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, although I don't usually comment on unannounced products."

For months now, it's been speculated that AMD has been working on a larger GPU die than "Navi 10." In 2020, AMD is expected to release the "Navi 20" familly of GPUs built on 7 nm+ (EUV) node, based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. The key design goals of RDNA2 are expected to be support for at least tier-1 variable-rate shading (VRS), and possibly hardware-accelerated ray-tracing. It's possible that "high-end Navi" belongs to this family of GPUs.

AMD Announces Ryzen 4000 Mobile Processors: 4800U and 4800H

AMD today announced its Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors designed to compete with Intel's fastest, across both its 10th gen "Ice Lake" and "Comet Lake" mobile processors lines. At the heart of these processors is the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, which doubles the CPU core count over the previous generation "Picasso," and improves IPC (single-thread performance) by a double-digit percentage. "Renoir" combines a CPU with 8 cores based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, with an iGPU that has the number-crunching machinery of "Vega," but with display- and multimedia-engines of "Navi." It is a monolithic piece of silicon with a dual-channel IMC that supports not just conventional DDR4 memory, but also fast LPDDR4X.

There are two distinct classes of Ryzen 4000 Mobile: U and H. The Ryzen 7 4800U, with its 15 W TDP, targets ultra-portable notebooks, and goes head-on against Intel's Core i7 "Ice Lake-U" processors, winning on the CPU front with its high core-count and IPC. The Ryzen 7 4800H, on the other hand, taps into the 45 W TDP headroom to dial up CPU and iGPU clock-speeds significantly, offering CPU performance that beats the desktop Core i7-9700K. It also introduces SmartShift, an iGPU + dGPU virtualization technology that lets your notebook dynamically switch between the two based on graphics load.

AMD Announces Radeon RX 5600 XT Graphics Card

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su at the company's 2020 International CES address announced the company's e-sports flagship graphics card, the Radeon RX 5600 XT. This card is designed to dominate the sub-$300 market-segment that's been led by NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1660-series. Based on 7 nm "Navi" silicon, the RX 5600 XT has surprisingly powerful specs: 2,304 stream processors across 36 RDNA compute units, which is the same as the RX 5700, but with some cost-cutting in the way of memory: 6 GB of GDDR6 across a 192-bit wide memory interface, and 12 Gbps memory speed. The GPU has a gaming engine clock of roughly 1500 MHz. Other key specs include 144 TMUs and 48 ROPs.

Designed with a 150 W typical board power target, the card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The RX 5600 XT is designed to provide 1080p e-sports gaming at high refresh-rates, or 1440p gaming at reasonable graphics settings. In its presentation, AMD showed the RX 5600 XT beating the GTX 1660 Ti that leads NVIDIA's GTX 16-series. With a price of USD $279 SEP, which is on-par with that of the GTX 1660 Ti, AMD looks to bring some serious competition to the $200-300 market-segment. Available January 21, 2020.

Xbox Head Posts "Project Scarlett" (Xbox Series X) SoC Picture, Has that 7nm Tinge

Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division at Microsoft, posted a picture of the semi-custom SoC at the heart of the company's upcoming "Project Scarlett" Xbox Series X game console as his Twitter avatar. The picture reveals a chip that looks visibly similar to that of "Project Scorpio" (Xbox One X). The picture was also taken from an angle that reveals the pinkish/auburn tinge of 7 nm AMD chips made at TSMC. You'll find the same tinge on chips such as "Navi 10" when viewed from an angle. The die unabashedly bears the "Project Scarlett" and "8K" markings.

Next-generation game consoles are marketing 4K 60 Hz and 8K gaming capability. They likely use a combination of dynamic resolution-scale and variable rate shading to achieve this. The "Project Scarlett" SoC is a semi-custom chip co-designed by Microsoft and AMD, and uses CPU cores based on the company's "Zen 2" microarchitecture, combined with a powerful GPU based on RDNA2, which features hardware-accelerated ray-tracing and variable-rate shading. Hardware enthusiasts on Twitter are abuzz with estimating the die-size of the SoC, with calculations pinning it around the 350 mm² mark ±10 mm², or roughly similar to that of "Project Scorpio," but one must factor in the switch to 7 nm from 16 nm significantly increasing transistor-density.

ASRock Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming OC Graphics Card Pictured

Here's the first press-shot of an upcoming Radeon RX 5600 XT custom-design graphics card, this one from ASRock. The RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming OC appears to combine a compact PCB with a long triple-fan cooling solution that's 29 cm in length. The cooling solution features an aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a trio of 80 mm spinners. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, indicating a significantly lower power draw target than the RX 5700-series. The card's box confirms 6 GB of GDDR6 memory, and factory-overclocked speeds, which according to VideoCardz are 1560 MHz gaming.

From an older report, we know that the RX 5600 XT is designed to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. It's armed with 2,304 stream processors, 144 TMUs, possibly 48 ROPs, and a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface holding 6 GB of memory, which ticks at 12 Gbps. The RX 5600 XT appears to be carved from the 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon, with a quarter of its memory interface disabled. AMD is expected to debut the card at its International CES 2020 presser, later this month.

NVIDIA's Next-Generation Ampere GPUs to be 50% Faster than Turing at Half the Power

As we approach the release of NVIDIA's Ampere GPUs, which are rumored to launch in the second half of this year, more rumors and information about the upcoming graphics cards are appearing. Today, according to the latest report made by Taipei Times, NVIDIA's next-generation of graphics cards based on "Ampere" architecture is rumored to have as much as 50% performance uplift compared to the previous generations of Turing GPUs, while using having half the power consumption.

Built using Samsung's 7 nm manufacturing node, Ampere is poised to be the new king among all future GPUs. The rumored 50% performance increase is not impossible, due to features and improvements that the new 7 nm manufacturing node brings. If utilizing the density alone, NVIDIA can extract at least 50% extra performance that is due to the use of a smaller node. However, performance should increase even further because Ampere will bring new architecture as well. Combining a new manufacturing node and new microarchitecture, Ampere will reduce power consumption in half, making for a very efficient GPU solution. We still don't know if the performance will increase mostly for ray tracing applications, or will NVIDIA put the focus on general graphics performance.

AMD to Outpace Apple as TSMC's Biggest 7nm Customer in 2020

AMD in the second half of 2020 could outpace Apple as the biggest foundry customer of TSMC for its 7 nm silicon fabrication nodes (DUV and EUV combined). There are two key factors contributing to this: AMD significantly increasing its orders for the year; and Apple transitioning to TSMC's 5 nm node for its A14 SoC, freeing up some 7 nm allocation, which AMD grabbed. AMD is currently tapping into 7 nm DUV for its "Zen 2" chiplet, "Navi 10," and "Navi 14" GPU dies. The company could continue to order 7 nm DUV until these products reach EOL; while also introducing the new "Renoir" APU die on the process. The foundry's new 7 nm+ (EUV) node will be utilized for "Zen 3" chiplets and "Navi 2#" GPU dies in 2020.

Currently, the top-5 customers for TSMC 7 nm are Apple, HiSilicon, Qualcomm, AMD, and MediaTek. Barring AMD, the others in the top-5 build mobile SoCs or 4G/5G modem chips on the node. AMD is expected to top the list as it scales up orders with TSMC. In the first half of 2020, TSMC's monthly output for 7 nm is expected to grow to 110,000 wafers per month (wpm). Apple's migration to 5 nm in 2H-2020, coupled with capacity-addition could take TSMC's 7 nm output to 140,000 wpm. AMD has reportedly booked the entire capacity-addition for 30,000 wpm, taking its allocation up to 21% in 2H-2020. Qualcomm is switching to Samsung for its next-generation SoCs and modems designed for 7 nm EUV. NVIDIA, too, is expected to built its next-gen 7 nm EUV GPUs on Samsung instead of TSMC. These moves by big players could free up significant foundry allocation at TSMC for AMD's volumes to grow in 2020.

AMD CEO To Unveil "Zen 3" Microarchitecture at CES 2020

A prominent Taiwanese newspaper reported that AMD will formally unveil its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture at the 2020 International CES. Company CEO Dr Lisa Su will head an address revealing three key client-segment products under the new 4th generation Ryzen processor family, and the company's 3rd generation EPYC enterprise processor family based on the "Milan" MCM that succeeds "Rome." AMD is keen on developing an HEDT version of "Milan" for the 4th generation Ryzen Threadripper family, codenamed "Genesis Peak."

The bulk of the client-segment will be addressed by two distinct developments, "Vermeer" and "Renoir." The "Vermeer" processor is a client-desktop MCM that succeeds "Matisse," and will implement "Zen 3" chiplets. "Renoir," on the other hand, is expected to be a monolithic APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, with updated display- and multimedia-engines from "Navi." The common thread between "Milan," "Genesis Peak," and "Vermeer" is the "Zen 3" chiplet, which AMD will build on the new 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process at TSMC. AMD stated that "Zen 3" will have IPC increases in line with a new microarchitecture.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Features 2,304 Stream Processors

AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card features the same exact stream processor count as the $350 RX 5700, according to a leaked specs sheet of a an AIB partner's custom-design graphics card. With a stream processor count of 2,304, it's safe to assume that the RX 5600 XT is based on the same 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon as the RX 5700 series. What set the RX 5600 XT apart from the RX 5700, besides lower clock-speeds, is the memory subsystem, which is severely stripped down. The Radeon RX 5600 XT will be equipped with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit wide memory interface. What's more, the memory ticks at 12 Gbps, compared to 14 Gbps on the RX 5700 series.

With these specs, the RX 5600 XT has 288 GB/s of memory bandwidth at its disposal, same as NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. In contrast, with 8 GB of 256-bit GDDR6 running at 14 Gbps, the RX 5700 enjoys 448 GB/s. The specs sheet suggests that AMD has also dialed down the engine clock-speeds (GPU clocks) a bit, with up to 1620 MHz boost, up to 1460 MHz gaming, and 1235 MHz base. With these specs, it's highly likely that the RX 5600 XT outperforms the GTX 1660 Ti and gets close to the RTX 2060. It all boils down to pricing. The RX 5500 XT is a decent GTX 1650-series alternative with a lukewarm price thanks to NVIDIA's aggressive product-stack management by getting its partners to lower prices of the GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Super. It would be interesting to see if AMD can outfox NVIDIA in the sub-$300 market.

AMD Ryzen 4000 Rumored to Offer Around 17% Increased Performance

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 4000 series processors will be based on the company's Zen 3 design, which will feature a deeply revised architecture aiming to offer increased performance (surprising no-one). AMD themselves have already said that Zen 3 will offer performance increases in line with the release of new architectures - and we all remember the around 15% increase achieved with the release of Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series, which surprised even AMD on its performance capabilities. Several sources around the web are quoting an around 17% increase in performance, taking into account increased operating frequencies of Zen 3 (100 to 200 MHz at least for the enterprise solutions, which could pave the way for even higher increases in consumer-geared products) and increased IPC of its core design. The utilization of EUV in the 7 nm process shouldn't have much to do with the increased frequencies of the CPUs, and will mostly be used to reduce the number of masks that are required for production of AMD's Zen 3 CPUs (which in turn will lead to increased yields).

Sources are claiming an increase of up to 50% in Zen 3's Floating Point Units (FPU) compared to Zen 2, while integer operations should make do with a 10-12% increase. Cores should remain stable across the board - and with that increase in performance, I'd say an upper limit of 16 physical and 32 logic cores in a consumer-geared CPU is more than enough. Increased IPCs and frequencies will definitely make AMD an even better proposition for all markets - gaming in particular, where Intel still has a (slightly virtual) hold in consumer's minds.

PowerColor Readies SFF-friendly Radeon RX 5700 ITX: Single 8-pin, Idle-Fan-Off

PowerColor is readying a small form-factor friendly custom-design Radeon RX 5700 graphics card, called simply the PowerColor RX 5700 ITX. With a length of 17.5 cm, standard 11 cm height, and strictly 2-slot thickness, the card uses a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink with four 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU at the base, ventilated by a single 80 mm fan. More interestingly, the card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector (225 W max power input for the connector + PCIe slot).

Unsurprisingly, the PowerColor RX 5700 ITX sticks to AMD-reference clock-speeds of 1465 MHz base, 1625 MHz gaming, and 1725 MHz boost, with the memory ticking at 14 Gbps (GDDR6-effective). Despite its compact cooling solution, the card does not skimp on idle-fan-off. Display outputs include two DisplayPort 1.4, and one HDMI 2.0. Based on the 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon, the RX 5700 features 2,304 stream processors across 36 RDNA compute units, 144 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, holding 8 GB of memory. PowerColor didn't reveal pricing of the card, as it will formally launch it later this month.

Broadcom Ships 25.6 Tbps Network Switch on 7 nm Chip

Broadcom has today started shipping its latest Tomahawk 4 chip for network switches, used by all hyperscale cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. The Tomahawk 4 is a processor built using a 7 nm manufacturing node from TSMC. Featuring over 31 billion transistors, the chip is one of the largest ever Broadcom built. It is an improvement to the Tomahawk 3, which achieved 12.8Tbps. This new chip is having two times the bandwidth available, resulting in 25.6 Tbps speeds while still achieving the form of a single die.

To achieve the massive throughput of 25.6 Tbps, Broadcom put 512 PAM4 SerDes blocks running at 50 Gbps on a single monolithic design. Capable of supporting 64 ports of 400GbE or 256 ports of 100GbE, the Tomahawk 4 is said to bring costs of operations down by 75% due to the less required power and hardware to operate 25.6 Tbps switch, where in the past it was required to run multiple switches to achieve such throughput. Additionally, to control all the telemetry processing and run the switch firmware, four Arm CPUs running at 1 GHz are embedded in die to help out.
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