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ASUS Announces Refreshed AMD B450 Chipset Motherboards

AMD's Socket AM4 platform accommodates PC builders of all stripes. Those who need the latest connectivity and features can choose an X570 or B550 motherboard to enable the next-gen PCI Express 4.0 interconnect for the graphics cards and storage devices. Not every PC builder needs to be on the cutting edge, though, and the attainable B450 platform is tailor-made for systems where value is the most important consideration. We're boosting the bang-for-the-buck of this platform with a refreshed family of ASUS B450 motherboards.

Going with one of our refreshed B450 boards for the foundation of your build gives you more flexibility in how you allocate resources in your next Ryzen system. You might be able to choose a faster processor, a boosted graphics card, a bigger, future-proof power supply, or quieter, more robust CPU cooling. The latest Ryzen 3000-series processors will be right at home in our buffed-up B450 boards, and you can still install first- and second-generation Ryzen CPUs in these boards if need be.

ASRock Announces 4X4 BOX-4000 Series Mini PCs With Ryzen 4000 Series APUs

ASRock Industrial Computer today announced the new 4X4 BOX-4000 Series Mini PCs 4X4 BOX-4800U, 4X4 BOX-4500U, 4X4 BOX-4300U, powered by AMD Ryzen 4000 U-series processors up to Ryzen 7 4800U with 8 cores, 16 threads to deliver premium performance and enhanced productivity. Featuring small yet powerful, the 4X4 BOX-4000 Series Mini PCs include dual LAN ports up to 2.5 Gigabit along with one DASH function and Teaming function, Intel Wi-Fi 6 for high-speed connectivity. Moreover, there is dual storage support with one M.2 2242/2260/2280 slot plus 2.5" bay for SATA3 HDD/SSD, while upholding four displays outputs in 4K@60Hz resolution. The all-in-one feature makes it well suited for a wide range of home and business applications such as home entertainment, gaming, video conference, working from home, KIOSK, digital signage, and many more.

ASUS Announces A520 Motherboards

ASUS today announced the new A520 chipset motherboards for its TUF Gaming, Prime and Pro series. The AMD A520 chipset is the successor to the A320 chipset, and features PCIe 3.0. Designed to cater to a wide range of needs, these motherboards feature a 32 MB BIOS flash ROM, and support future AMD Ryzen Zen 3 architecture CPUs and APUs.

ASUS A520 motherboards can be paired with an AMD APU to create a budget-friendly gaming rig or workstation, making them ideal for DIY PC users and small to medium-sized businesses. ASUS is also pleased to announce that its R&D team broke the existing world memory frequency record, setting DDR4- 6666 on ROG Strix B550-I Gaming, using the AMD Ryzen 4700GE processor and Crucial Ballistix MAX memory.

AMD Warhol, Van Gogh, and Cezanne to Make Up Company's 5th Gen Ryzen

A May 2020 report put together with info from multiple sources pointed towards AMD's client-segment product roadmap going as far into the future as 2022. The roadmap was partial, with a few missing bits. VideoCardz attempted to reconstruct the roadmap based on new information from one of the primary sources of the May leak, @MeibuW. According to the roadmap, 2020 will see AMD debut its 4th Gen Ryzen "Vermeer" desktop processors featuring "Zen 3" CPU cores, built on TSMC N7e or N7P silicon fabrication process, and offering PCIe Gen 4. The "Renoir" APU silicon combining up to 8 "Zen 2" CPU cores with a 512-SP "Vega" iGPU debuted on the mobile platform, and recently launched on the desktop platform as an OEM-exclusive. It remains to be seen if AMD launches this in the DIY retail channel.

2021 is when three new codenames from AMD get some air-time. "Warhol" is codename for the 5th Gen Ryzen part that succeeds "Vermeer." Interestingly, it too is shown as a combination of "Zen 3" CPU cores, PCIe Gen 4, and 7 nm. Perhaps AMD could innovate in areas such as DRAM (switch to PC DDR5), and maybe increase core counts. DDR5 could herald a new socket, after 4 years of AM4. The second silicon bound for 2021 is "Van Gogh," an APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an RDNA2 iGPU. Interestingly, "Cezanne," bound for the same year, has the opposite CPU+iGPU combination - a newer gen "Zen 3" CPU component, and an older gen "Vega" iGPU. The two chips could target different markets, looking at their I/O, with "Van Gogh" supporting LPDDR5 memory.

AMD Renoir Powers the World Record of DDR4 Memory Overclock: 6,666 MHz

A new HWBot entry has proven what some thought impossible years ago: AMD apparently features the best memory controller in the x86 consumer space. A user going by the alias Bianbao XE achieved a 6,666 MHz frequency on a single stick of Crucial Ballistix Max. The stick's original rating is for a mere 2,666 MHz - doesn't that put things in perspective?

Another thing that puts things into perspective is that the support for such an overclocking feat was a ROG Strix B550-I Gaming motherboard (min-ITX means smaller tracing distance between CPU and memory, and thus higher signal integrity) paired with none other than AMD's Ryzen 7 4700GE 'Renoir'. The APU was underclocked and overvolted - a technique that aimed to increase stability of the memory controller whilst also reducing operating temperatures (balancing the higher voltage and lower frequency). Of course, memory timings were loosened to achieve this feat (timings of 30-27-27-58 aren't what you'd usually like to see), but then again, this wasn't meant to power the utmost memory performance - only the highest frequency. And that was definitely achieved.

MSI Announces AMD A520 Motherboards

MSI, the world-leading motherboard manufacturer, proudly announces AMD A520 series motherboards. Ever since AMD launched Ryzen Desktop Processors with AM4 platform, MSI has occupied the market with its AM4 motherboards. A520 is the successor of A320, which does not support PCIe 4.0 and upgrades all PCIe 2.0 lanes to PCIe 3.0. With the support of 7 nm 3rd Gen Ryzen and Ryzen 4000 G-series processors, A520 is the best choice for Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 3 PRO processors.

Together with the AM4 Ryzen processors, MSI offers an A520 motherboard lineup from MAG Series to PRO Series with MSI's exclusive features to satisfy all types of users' needs. Exclusive DDR4 Boost and A-XMP provide stability and compatibility to memory and push its performance up to 4600 MHz. Moreover, all MSI A520 motherboards adopt a premium 2 oz thickened copper PCB to provide better performance and stability.

AMD "Cezanne" APU Spotted: Retains Renoir's iGPU, Updates CPU to "Zen 3"

AMD's 5th Generation Ryzen "Cezanne" APU sprung up on SiSoft SANDRA database, with big hints as to the areas where the company could innovate next. Apparently, "Cezanne" is a very similar silicon to "Renoir." It appears to feature the same iGPU solution, based on the "Vega" architecture. We're now learning that the iGPU even has the same core configuration, with up to 512 stream processors, and a likely bump in iGPU engine clocks over the Ryzen 4000 "Renoir" chips.

Much of the innovation is with the CPU component. Although the CPU core count is not yet known, the company is deploying its "Zen 3" microarchitecture, which sees all cores on the silicon sharing a large common slab of L3 cache. The "Vega" based iGPU should still perform better than the solution on "Renoir," as it's assisted by higher engine clocks, and possibly a higher IPC CPU component. In the SANDRA screenshot, the iGPU was shown bearing 1.85 GHz engine clocks, which amounts to a 100 MHz speed-bump compared to the engine clocks of the Ryzen 4000H and 4000U.

AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G Geekbenched, Gets Close to 3700X-level Performance

AMD's top upcoming Socket AM4 desktop APU, the Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G, was put through Geekbench 5, as discovered by TUM_APISAK. The processor produced performance figures in the league of the popular Ryzen 7 3700X desktop processor. Both are 8-core/16-thread processors based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, but while the 3700X has additional L3 cache and added power budget for the CPU cores (as the processor completely lacks an iGPU); the PRO 4750G offers a Radeon Vega 8 iGPU with its engine clock above 2.00 GHz. Both chips were compared on Geekbench 5.2.2.

The single-core performance of both the PRO 4750G and 3700X are similar, with the PRO 4750G scoring 1239 points, and the 3700X scoring 1266 points. The 3700X has a slight upper hand with multi-core performance, with 9151 points compared to 8228 points of the PRO 4750G. This is attributable to the 3700X enjoying four times the L3 cache size. The Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G is expected to be the top desktop SKU based on the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon that features eight "Zen 2" CPU cores, and an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture, featuring 8 NGCUs amounting to 512 stream processors. The processor features AMD PRO feature-set that make it fit for use in commercial desktops in large business environments.

Some AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Ship in Retail Boxes Meant for "Picasso" APUs

HKEPC's retail market scouts discovered that some AMD Ryzen 5 3600 desktop processors are shipping in paperboard boxes meant for the company's Ryzen 3000G series "Picasso" desktop APUs. Depending on factors such as iGPU, or the size of the included cooling solution, AMD uses common box sizes among various processor models. The largest cube-shaped boxes hold SKUs with the largest Wraith Prism RGB coolers, a slightly smaller, through still cube-shaped box is meant for SKUs with the Wraith Spire. Smaller cuboid boxes are meant for SKUs that either have the smaller Wraith Stealth coolers, or completely exclude a cooling solution.

Much of the SKU differentiation comes from a prominent brand extension (3/5/7/9) motif on the front-face, besides the top label that lists out the model name, OPN, serial number, and doubles up as a security seal. Boxes for the company's APUs (processors with integrated graphics), however, have a prominent "processor with AMD Radeon graphics" chrome insert on the front- and top faces. The 3600 shipping in such a box could confuse some buyers, particularly those shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, as they'd expect an iGPU where none exists. It's only the SKU sticker on the top-face that has the cautionary note "discrete graphics required." Other retail boxes (meant for non-APU products) have this note prominently printed on the box.

AMD Ryzen 7 4700GE Memory Benchmarked: Extremely Low Latency Explains Tiny L3 Caches

AMD's 7 nm "Renoir" APU silicon, which features eight "Zen 2" CPU cores, has only a quarter of the L3 cache of the 8-core "Zen 2" CCD used in "Matisse," "Rome," and "Castle Peak" processors, with each of its two quad-core compute complexes (CCXs) featuring just 4 MB of it (compared to 16 MB per CCX on the 8-core "Zen 2" CCD). Chinese-language tech publication TecLab pubished a quick review of an alleged Ryzen 7 4700GE socket AM4 processor based on the "Renoir" silicon, and discovered that the chip offers significantly lower memory latencies than "Matisse," posting just 47.6 ns latency when paired with DDR4-4233 dual-channel memory.

In comparison, a Ryzen 9 3900X with these kinds of memory clocks typically posts 60-70 ns latencies, owing to the MCM design of "Matisse," where the CPU cores and memory controllers sit on separate dies, which is one of the key reasons AMD is believed to have doubled the L3 cache amount per CCX compared to previous-generation "Zeppelin" dies. TecLab tested the alleged 4700GE engineering sample on a ROG Crosshair VIII Impact X570 motherboard that has 1 DIMM per channel (the best possible memory topology).

AMD "Cezanne" APU to Stick with "Vega" iGPU, "Van Gogh" Gets RDNA2

The earliest reports on AMD's next-generation "Cezanne" APU silicon pointed at the possibility of the chip combining "Zen 3" CPU cores with a next-generation iGPU solution based on RDNA2 ("Navi 2#"). AMD plans to launch "Cezanne" in 2021, which makes it the immediate successor to "Renoir." A report by Igor's Lab has fresh details on "Cezanne." Apparently the chip sticks with the "Vega" graphics architecture on its iGPU. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's the same exact iGPU as the 8 CU version on "Renoir."

On the other hand, the "Van Gogh" silicon slated for 2021 is expected to receive RDNA2 graphics. It's important to note here that "Van Gogh" and "Cezanne" sit in the same product stack, and "Van Gogh" does not succeed "Cezanne." Rather, it's the codename for an entry-level APU, succeeding "Dali" (Athlon 3000G), which also means the RDNA2-based iGPU will be a lot slimmer than the "Vega" based one on "Cezanne." It's only by 2022 that AMD will have a performance-segment APU with RDNA2-based iGPU, with "Rembrandt." Find our older article getting into AMD's roadmaps here.

AMD Preparing Additional Ryzen 4000G Renoir series SKUs, Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G Benchmarked

AMD Ryzen 4000 series of desktop APUs are set to be released next month as a quiet launch. What we expected to see is a launch covering only a few models ranging from Ryzen 3 to Ryzen 7 level, meaning that there would be configurations equipped with anything from 4C/8T to 8C/16T. In the beginning thanks to all the leaks we expected to see six models (listed in the table below), however thanks to discovery, we could be looking at even more SKUs of the Renoir family of APUs. Mentioned in the table are some new entries to both consumer and pro-grade users which means AMD will probably do a launch of both editions, possibly on the same day. We are not sure if that is the case, however, it is just a speculation.
AMD Ryzen 4000G Renoir SKUs

ASUS Readies PN50 Mini PCs Powered by AMD "Renoir" APUs

ASUS is giving finishing touches to the PN50 line of mini PCs (desktops) powered by AMD Ryzen 4000 "Renoir-U" APUs. Under the hood, these 115 mm x 115 mm x 49 mm boxes feature processor options ranging from the Ryzen 3 4300U all the way up to the Ryzen 7 4800U, an 8-core/16-thread beast, along with storage options that include up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, M.2 NVMe SSDs, 802.11ax networking, and 10 Gbps USB 3.2 ports. Swedish retailer Inet listed a few variants. The model powered by the 4300U is listed at the equivalent of $326, the one powered by the 4500U at $335, the one with the 4700U at $386, and the one with the 4800U at $506.

ASRock DeskMini SFF PC with AMD "Renoir" Desktop APU Surfaces

ASRock is working on a variant of its DeskMini SFF desktop PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 4000G series "Renoir" desktop APU. We know this is a desktop "Renoir" since ASRock uses socket AM4 SFF boards based on the A300 or X300 platform, that the clock speeds are higher than mobile "Renoir" chips launched so far, and since the performance numbers for both the CPU- and graphics put out by HardwareLeaks (_rogame) are higher than those of the mobile Ryzen 7 4800HS. The X300 is a barebones platform, as all the connectivity on the platform is handled by the AM4 SoC. AMD is expected to debut desktop Ryzen 4000G "Renoir" APUs within 2020.

Benchmarks Surface for AMD Ryzen 4700G, 4400G and 4200G Renoir APUs

Renowned leaker APISAK has digged up benchmarks for AMD's upcoming Ryzen 4700G, 4400G and 4200G Renoir APUs in 3D Mark. These are actually for the PRO versions of the APUs, but these tend to be directly comparable with AMD's non-PRO offerings, so we can look at them to get an idea of where AMD's 4000G series' performance lies. AMD's 4000G will be increasing core-counts almost across the board - the midrange 4400G now sports 6 cores and 12 threads, which is more than the previous generation Ryzen 5 3400G offered (4 cores / 8 threads), while the top-of-the-line 4700G doubles the 3400G's core-cpount to 8 physical and 16 logical threads.

This increase in CPU cores, of course, has implied a reduction in the area of the chip that's dedicated to the integrated Vega graphics GPU - compute units have been reduced from the 3400G's 11 down to 8 compute units on the Ryzen 7 4700G and 7 compute units on the 4400G - while the 4200G now makes do with just 6 Vega compute units. Clocks have been severely increased across the board to compensate the CU reduction, though - the aim is to achieve similar GPU performance using a smaller amount of semiconductor real-estate.

Distant Blips on the AMD Roadmap Surface: Rembrandt and Raphael

Several future AMD processor codenames across various computing segments surfaced courtesy of an Expreview leak that's largely aligned with information from Komachi Ensaka. It does not account for "Matisse Refresh" that's allegedly coming out in June-July as three gaming-focused Ryzen socket AM4 desktop processors; but roadmap from 2H-2020 going up to 2022 sees many codenames surface. To begin with, the second half of 2020 promises to be as action packed as last year's 7/7 mega launch. Over in the graphics business, the company is expected to debut its DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant RDNA2 client graphics, and its first CDNA architecture-based compute accelerators. Much of the processor launch cycle is based around the new "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

The server platform debuting in the second half of 2020 is codenamed "Genesis SP3." This will be the final processor architecture for the SP3-class enterprise sockets, as it has DDR4 and PCI-Express gen 4.0 I/O. The EPYC server processor is codenamed "Milan," and combines "Zen 3" chiplets along with an sIOD. EPYC Embedded (FP6 package) processors are codenamed "Grey Hawk."

AMD Ryzen 7 4700G "Renoir" Desktop Processor Pictured

Here is the first picture of the AMD Ryzen 7 4700G, the company's upcoming socket AM4 APU based on the 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, courtesy of VideoCardz. The picture reveals a standard-looking socket AM4 chip with commercial name and OPN markings (100-000000146), matching the Igor's Lab OPN code leak from earlier this week. The Ryzen 7 4700G offers an 8-core/16-thread CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and an integrated graphics solution that combines the SIMD machinery of the "Vega" graphics architecture, with the updated display- and media engines of "Navi." The iGPU is configured with 8 CUs (512 stream processors), which on the 4700G has an impressive maximum engine boost clock of 2.10 GHz, according to the Igor's Lab story.

The 8-core/16-thread CPU of the Ryzen 7 4700G has a nominal clock speed of 3.60 GHz, and a maximum boost frequency of 4.45 GHz, with several Precision Boost power-states in both directions of the nominal clock. The CPU features 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 8 MB of shared L3 cache (4 MB per CCX). The iGPU engine clock goes all the way up to 2.10 GHz, which could help it overcome some of the CU deficit vs. "Picasso," which has 11 CUs (704 stream processors), but clocked only up to 1.40 GHz. Since the Ryzen 5 3400G has an unlocked multiplier, it stands to reason that even the 4700G could. If the platform I/O of "Renoir" in its mobile avatar is anything to go by, then the 4700G could feature a limited PCI-Express x8 lane setup for its PEG port. AMD is rating the TDP of the 4700G at 65 W.

OPNs for At Least Twelve Desktop AMD "Renoir" APUs Decoded

Igor's Lab discovered that AMD may be working on as many as twelve desktop Ryzen G "Renoir" processors with integrated graphics. These include six SKUs each covering the 65 W and 35 W TDP categories, and include two each of 8-core/16-thread, 6-core/12-thread, and 4-core/8-thread SKUs per TDP category. All twelve chips feature increased power limits from their mobile siblings, and a reference memory frequency of DDR4-3200. The parts also feature iGPU maximum engine clock boost frequency as high as 2.10 GHz, to overcome the compute unit deficit "Renoir" has against its predecessor, "Picasso/Raven Ridge," with their up to 11 CUs.

The series appears to be led by an 8-core/16-thread SKU with CPU boost frequency as high as 4.45 GHz, iGPU engine clock as high as 2.10 GHz, and various power-state clock speeds detailed in the table below. The 6-core/12-thread part boosts up to 4.30 GHz, with iGPU engine clock up to 1.90 GHz. The 4-core/8-thread part boosts up to 4.10 GHz, with up to 1.70 GHz iGPU engine clocks. The 35 W TDP parts have, on average, 200-300 MHz lower max CPU core boost- and nominal clock speeds, but more aggressive power-management as defined in the various P-states. Half of these OPNs point to chips with identical clock speeds and core configurations. These are probably differentiated from each other with some of them being Ryzen PRO SKUs.

MediaTek Unveils 5G-Integrated Dimensity 1000+ Chip

MediaTek today announced enhancements to its Dimensity 5G chipset family with the Dimensity 1000+, an enhanced 5G-integrated chip with a number of leading technologies and upgrades for gaming, video and power-efficiency.

Dimensity 1000+ is based on the flagship performance of the Dimensity 1000 series and delivers a high-end, premium user experience. With years of accumulated experience in integrated chip technologies, MediaTek has made breakthroughs and innovations in all aspects and has become a pioneer in the 5G era.
MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC

Chuwi AeroBox Mini-PC Uses Same Motherboard as Xbox One S

Earlier this year Chinese PC manufacturer Chuwi announced the AeroBox a new high performance mini office PC utilizing the yet to be announced AMD A9-9820 APU. The AeroBox looks suspiciously like a certain games console from afar and now in an exclusive with TechRadar Pro a Chuwi spokesperson confirmed that the Chuwi AeroBox will use the same motherboard as the Xbox One S. The spokesperson also described the AMD A9-9820 APU chip found inside the PC as a "new 7th-generation chip" that runs on Windows 10."

The A9-9820 is a eight core chip with a max frequency of 2.35 GHz and will be paired with a Radeon R7 350 GPU running at up to 985 MHz. The A9-9820 is expected to be based on the Jaguar microarchitecture like the APU found in the Xbox One S and use DDR3 memory. The AeroBox features four DDR3 slots and room for an 2.5" drive, in its base configuration the AeroBox will come with 8 GB of DDR3 memory and a 250 GB M.2 SATA SSD. Chuwi is yet to announce a price for the AeroBox and has confirmed it won't be available outside of Japan at launch.

Microsoft Confirms Xbox Series X Specs - 12 TFLOPs, Custom APU With Zen 2, RDNA 2, H/W Accelerated Raytracing

Microsoft has confirmed the official specs for the Xbox Series X games console, due Holiday 2020 (think November). The new specs announcement confirms the powerhouse of a console this will be, with its peak 12 TFLOPs compute being 8 times that of the original Xbox One, and twice that of the Xbox One X, which already quite capable of powering true 4K experiences. This 12 TFLOPs figure is a mighty impressive one - just consider that AMD's current highest-performance graphics card, Radeon VII, features a peak 13.4 TFLOPs of computing power - and that's a graphics card that was launched just a year ago.

The confirmation also mentions support for Hardware-Accelerated raytracing, something that all but confirms the feature being built into AMD's RDNA 2 microarchitecture (of which we are expecting news anytime now). this, alongside Variable Rate Shading (VRS) support, brings AMD to feature parity with NVIDIA's Turing, and should allow developers to optimize their performance and graphical targets without any discernible quality loss.

AMD's Mobile Ryzen 9 4900U Listed by Lenovo

A video posted by Notebook Italia may have spilled the beans on a whole new tier for AMD's mobile APUs. The video, which has since been taken down, showed Lenovo's upcoming Yoga Slim 14, which was listed in its specs list with an AMD Ryzen 9 4900U. Of course, the need for such an SKU is debatable: it's relatively unlikely AMD would bring more than 8 cores and 16 logical threads to the mobile landscape and its higher concern with autonomy rather than pure performance. Especially when one considers the particular Lenovo model involved: the Yoga lineup isn't so much associated with ultimate performance. However, there are desktop-replacement scenarios where users might definitely want to see a more than 8-core CPU powering their machine.

That said, this could simply be a higher clocked 8-core (the Ryzen 7 4800U does feature a base 1.8 GHz/up to 4.2 GHz boost clocks, so there's room for improvement). The Yoga Slim 14 where the Ryzen 9 4900U was listed does only weigh 1.1 Kg and has a quoted 11 hour battery life on the 4K screen option (versus 14 hours on the FHD version). We'll just have to wait and see, with our thinking hats on. A typo is possible, but hard to make in both the physical specs list on the pictures, and on the official Lenovo website. The fact that the original video has since been edited with the specs list obscured definitely means something's afoot. This could also be another AMD bullet for the mobile market, where it has achieved its biggest share growth in recent times.

ASRock at CES 2020: Jupiter A320 Mini-PC, A320-M ITX Motherboard

ASRock at CES 2020 showcased their newfound commitment to AMD APUs and CPUs in the form of their new 1-liter Jupiter A320 mini-PC and the A320-M motherboard. The A320-M motherboard supports up to 65 W AMD APUs, features dual SODIMM memory sticks support, includes 1x NVMe M.2 storage slot and 1x SATA. Video outputs include 2x HDMI and one D-Sub.

ASRock also showcased their Jupiter A320 Mini-PC, which was previously an Intel-only product but will now be offered with AMD innards as well. Offering support for up to 65 W AMD APUs, the Jupiter A320 offers 2x NVMe M.2 storage expansion, 1x SATA, and 8x USB (including 2x Type C and 2x Type-A in the front panel). Video output is taken care of by 1x DisplayPort or 1x HDMI.

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.
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