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AMD A12-9800 "Bristol Ridge" AM4 APU with ASUS A320M-C Tested

German PC enthusiast "Crashtest" clinched a sweet combo of an AMD A12-9800 "Bristol Ridge" socket AM4 APU with an ASUS A320M-C entry-level micro-ATX motherboard, for 200€. Pairing it with 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2133 memory, the platform was put through the AIDA64 test-suite. In the memory front, the platform performs on-par with older platforms at comparable DDR3 bandwidth. The K15.6 integrated memory controller isn't producing the kind of memory bandwidth as the Core i7-6700K with dual-channel DDR4-2133 memory from AIDA64's internal reference bench table.

In the CPU-related tests, the APU has about the same performance as its predecessors, such as the A10-7850K. The chip features two "Excavator" x86-64 CPU modules, making up four cores, and is clocked at 4.20 GHz. There are performance upticks seen in tests such as Hash and VP8, where the chip likely benefits from new instruction sets.
More results follow.

GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming K3 Socket AM4 Motherboard PCB Pictured

The picture of a bare PCB of an upcoming GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming series socket AM4 motherboard is doing rounds on the web. The picture reveals the bare PCB of the motherboard with all its traces and printed markings, but at a stage before surface-mount components can be soldered onto it. One can still make out quite a bit about the board. AMD X370 is the company's upcoming high-end desktop chipset, which will be launched alongside the company's Ryzen 8-core processor, some time in February, 2017.

To begin with, the AX370-Gaming K3 is built in the ATX form-factor. Its AM4 socket supports both Ryzen "Summit Ridge" CPUs and 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a second gen 3.0 x16 slot that's electrical x4, and three other gen 3.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity appears to include at least eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.1 (including type-C) ports, appear to make for the rest of the connectivity. GIGABYTE's signature Dual-UEFI is featured.
Many Thanks to TheLostSwede and Tomas H. for the tips!

AMD Socket AM4 "Bristol Ridge" APU De-lidded

Here are some of the first pictures of an AMD socket AM4 APU being de-lidded. De-lidding is the process of removing the IHS (integrated heatspreader), the metal plate covering the CPU die. Some PC enthusiasts remove the IHS to improve heat-transfer between the CPU and extreme cooling solutions, such as LN2/dry-ice evaporators. Overclocker Nam Dae Won, with access to a couple of socket AM4 chips (most likely 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs), de-lidded the chips, revealing a large rectangular die. AMD is using high-quality TIM between the die and the IHS, which could either be solder or liquid metal. There's also a clear picture of the underside pin-grid of the AM4 chip, which has a central cutout that lacks any SMT components. Socket AM4 has 1,331 pins.
Sources: Nam Dae Won (Facebook page), PCGH

AMD "Llano" Securities Fraud Lawsuit Ongoing; Class Action Status Granted

As you may remember, "Llano" was somewhat of a disappointment for AMD, to put it mildly. Production issues with partner Global Foundries meant that Llano's roll-out was affected and extended beyond its predicted time-frame. This, in conjunction with other various factors, such as lack of product appeal over disappointing performance and the usual competition from Intel, forced AMD to pull in its second-generation "Trinity" APU too soon. By the time production finally caught up, it ended up overproducing relative to diminishing demand, which resulted in unsold inventory, thus forcing an inventory write-down of "Llano" chips valued at around $100 million. This reduced the company's worth by nearly that much overnight, and tanked the value of the AMD stock. This, of course, didn't sit well with investors.

The as-of-yet ongoing securities fraud lawsuit over AMD's "Llano" APUs has just achieved a milestone, in having been authorized by the Court to proceed as a class action. The Court's decision doesn't imply that the defendants (Rory P. Read, Thomas J. Seifert, Richard A. Bergman, and Dr. Lisa T. Su) did anything wrong. The defendants have not been ordered to pay any money, no settlement has been reached, no money is available as of now and there is no guarantee that there will be in the future.

QNAP Partners with AMD On TVS-x73 NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. have partnered with AMD, announcing the release and immediate availability (with pricing details yet to come) of the high-performance TVS-x73 NAS series. Packing an AMD Embedded RX-421BD quad-core APU (2.1 GHz base, 3.4 GHz boost), up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, AES-NI hardware encryption engine, two M.2 SATA 6Gb/s SSD slots capable of delivering up to 1,172 MB/s throughput (which can benefit from Qtier Technology to optimize storage efficiency across M.2 SSDs, SATA SSDs and HDDs), SSD cache, USB 3.1 (10Gbps), 10GbE expandability, dual HDMI output, and hardware-assisted 4K video decoding and encoding acceleration.

Built with a state-of-the-art metal design and topped off with a stylish gold finish, the business-class TVS-x73 series is available in 4 (TVS-473), 6 (TVS-673), and 8-bay (TVS-873) models, all of which support four Gigabit LAN. Two PCIe slots are available for greater system flexibility. One is pre-installed with a dual-port USB 3.1 Type-A card and the other allows for an optional QNAP dual-port 10GbE (10GBASE-T or SFP+) network card. The 10GbE-enabled TVS-x73 fully satisfies businesses that demand higher bandwidth for virtualization and fast backup and restoration for an ever-growing amount of data.

AMD Announces the 7th Generation AMD PRO Processors

AMD at the Canalys Channels Forum announced the first PCs featuring 7th Generation AMD PRO APUs (formerly codenamed "Bristol Ridge PRO"). Built for business, AMD PRO APUs deliver increased computing and graphics performance, improved energy efficiency, while providing a secure and stable platform to protect customers' IT investments.

"In the past two years we made incredible progresses in the commercial client segment. Since its inception in mid-2014, AMD PRO processor unit shipments increased more than 45 percent enabling businesses all over the world to simplify IT with secure, high performance, reliable solutions" said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business, AMD. "We are thrilled to have PC market leaders like HP and Lenovo expanding their use of AMD technology in their business client portfolios."

AMD Aggressively Clearing Inventory to Make Room for ZEN

AMD is reportedly "aggressively clearing" its inventories of current-generation processors, such products in the AM3+ and FM2+ packages; to make room for next-generation processors based on the "ZEN" architecture, and new 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, both of which are built in the new socket AM4 package. You should be able to find AMD FX CPUs at attractive prices, so current 4-core and 6-core users could be lured to upgrade to faster 8-core chips, including those featuring the company's Wraith silent CPU cooler.

Taiwan industry observer DigiTimes reports that AMD will launch its next-generation "ZEN" processors, and motherboards based on the high-end X370 chipset, alongside the 2017 International CES expo, in early January. 2017 promises to be a big year for the company as it's not only attempting to regain competitiveness in the performance desktop CPU space, but also high-end graphics, with its Radeon "VEGA" family.

Source: DigiTimes

HP Socket AM4 A320 Chipset OEM Motherboard Pictured

Here is perhaps the first picture of a socket AM4 motherboard up close. The HP "Willow" is a micro-ATX motherboard custom-designed by the company to deploy on several of its upcoming desktop PC models, offered initially with AMD A-series "Bristol Ridge" socket AM4 APUs. Since this is custom-built for desktops that will probably be sold under $500, the board is built to a cost. The board features AMD A320 chipset.

The picture reveals socket AM4 to have extremely fine pins, and feature a square bolt-type cooler retention mechanism similar to that of contemporary Intel sockets. It does away with the rectangular layout. The advantage of a square layout is that it allows you to orient your cooler in any direction. Since the core-logic is moved to the APU/CPU package, the remaining rump of what AMD refers to as "chipset," is just a PCIe multi-function chip that puts out additional SATA and USB ports. With its TDP under 5W, this chip can make do without a heatsink. Other noteworthy features include two DDR4 DIMM slots, a PCIe gen 3.0 x16 slot, a short M.2 slot, a couple of SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and basic connectivity.

AMD "ZEN" Mobile Chips En Route Q2-2017 Launch

AMD will follow up its Q1-2017 launch of socket AM4 desktop processors and APUs based on the "ZEN" microarchitecture, with single-chip mobile processors and APUs in the following quarter, according to an Expreview report. These solutions could take advantage of the fact that "ZEN" CPUs and APUs completely integrate platform core-logic (chipsets), even though on the desktop platform, AMD is launching the A320, B350, and X370 chipsets to expand connectivity given out by the SoCs.

With requirements for fewer M.2, SATA, and USB 3.0 ports on mobile platforms such as notebooks, designs that completely do away with the chipset should theoretically be possible, and the company could use this to score design wins. Intel currently offers CPU and PCH on single packages, as multi-chip modules (MCMs).

Source: Expreview

AMD Unveils its 7th Generation A-Series Desktop APUs

AMD today unveiled its 7th generation A-series desktop APUs. Unlike its predecessors, the new chips are full-fledged SoCs, built in the new socket AM4 package, on which the company plans to launch its "Zen" processors. The 7th gen A-series APUs are based on the "Bristol Ridge" silicon, and are the first fully-integrated SoCs (systems-on-chip) from the company in the performance-desktop segment, in that the APU completely integrates the functionality of a motherboard chipset, including its FCH or southbridge.

This level of integration includes PCI-Express root-complex, USB 3.0, and storage interfaces such as SATA 6 Gb/s emerging directly from the AM4 socket. Some AM4 motherboards could still include a sort of "chipset," which expands connectivity options, such as USB 3.1 ports, additional SATA ports, and a few more downstream PCI-Express lanes. The amount of downstream connectivity and features decide the grade of the chipset. AMD is initially launching two chipsets, the A320 for the entry-level segment, and the B350 for mainstream desktops. The company plans to launch an even more feature-rich chipset at a later date (probably alongside ZEN "Summit Ridge" CPUs).

Vega Not Before 2017: AMD to Investors

In a leaked presentation meant for its investors, AMD states that it expects to launch the "Vega" GPU architecture no sooner than 2017. The company plans to get it out within the first half of 2017. What makes this decision significant is that the company isn't planning on making bigger GPUs on its existing "Polaris" architecture, and its biggest product is the $249 Radeon RX 480. This leaves the company's discrete GPU lineup virtually untended at key price-points above, against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and TITAN X Pascal, at least for the next five months.

In the mean time, AMD could launch additional mobile SKUs based on the Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 chips. The reasons behind this slow-crawl could be many - AMD could be turning its chip-design resources to the various semi-custom SoCs it's working on, for Microsoft and Sony, with their next-generation game consoles; AMD Vega development could also be running in-sync with market availability of HBM2 memory. 2017 promises to be a hectic year for AMD, with launch of not just Vega, but also its "ZEN" CPU architecture, the "Summit Ridge" processor, and APUs based on the CPU micro-architecture.

AMD ZEN Quad-Core Subunit Named CPU-Complex (CCX)

We've been chasing AMD Zen for a long time now. Our older report from April 2015 uncovered an important detail about component organization on Zen processors - the clumping of four CPU cores into a highly-specialized, possibly indivisible subunit referred to then, as the "Zen Quad-core Unit." Some of the latest presentations about the architecture, following AMD's "performance reveal" event from earlier this month, shed more light on this quad-core unit.

AMD is referring to the Zen quad-core unit as the CPU-Complex (CCX). Each CCX is a combination of four independent CPU cores. Unlike on "Bulldozer," a "Zen" core does not share any of its number-crunching machinery with neighboring cores. Each "Zen" core has a dedicated L2 cache of 512 KB, and four Zen cores share an 8 MB L3 cache. AMD will control core-counts by controlling CCX units. A "Summit Ridge" socket AM4 processor features two CCX units (making up eight cores in all), sharing a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, and the platform core-logic (chipset), complete with an integrated PCI-Express root complex. Socket AM4 APUs will feature one CCX unit, and an integrated GPU in place of the second CCX. With this, AMD is able to bring the two diverse desktop platforms under one socket.

Source: Heise.de

AMD "Zen" Processor Integrated Chipset Has USB 3.1 Issues, Could Escalate Costs

With its next-generation processors and APUs based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, AMD is integrating the chipset into the processor/APU die, making motherboards entirely chipset-free. This on-die chipset, however, is rumored to be facing issues with its integrated USB 3.1 controllers, according to industry sources. AMD sourced the design for the integrated USB 3.1 controllers from ASMedia. The company has a tendency of sourcing integrated controller IP from third-party manufacturers (eg: its SATA controllers and port-multipliers in the past have been sourced from Silicon Image).

Motherboard manufacturers are noticing significant drops in USB 3.1 bandwidths with increase in circuit distances (think wiring running from the AM4 socket to USB 3.1 front-panel headers on the bottom-right corner of a motherboard). Board designers are reportedly having to use additional retimer and redriver chips to get acceptable bandwidths over such ports, and in some cases even entire USB 3.1 controllers, eating into the platform's PCIe budget and escalating costs.

AMD Confirms Key "Summit Ridge" Specs

AMD CEO Lisa Su, speaking at the company's Computex reveal held up the most important CPU product for the company, the new eight-core "Summit Ridge" processor. A posterboy of the company's new "Zen" micro-architecture, "Summit Ridge" is an eight-core processor with SMT enabling 16 threads for the OS to deal with, a massive 40% IPC increase over the current "Excavator" architecture, and a new platform based around the AM4 socket.

The AM4 socket sees AMD completely relocate the core-logic (chipset) to the processor's die. Socket AM4 motherboards won't have any chipset on them. This also means that the processor has an integrated PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, besides the DDR4 integrated memory controller. With the chipset being completely integrated, connectivity such as USB and SATA will be routed out of the processor. The AM4 socket is shared with another kind of products, the "Bristol Ridge" APU, which features "Excavator" CPU cores and a 512-SP GCN 1.2 iGPU.

AMD Announces the 7th Generation A-Series APUs

AMD today announced its full 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processor lineup, designed to help provide powerful productivity and entertainment performance with maximum mobility for consumers. Previously codenamed "Bristol Ridge" and "Stoney Ridge," the 7th Generation AMD FX, A-Series, and E-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) show major improvements in performance compared to the previous generation, including double-digit gains in gaming, video rendering, and file compression performance.

Consumers can take their gaming experience to the next level using a PC equipped with support for DirectX 12 and features like AMD FreeSync and AMD Dual Graphics technologies. AMD Advanced Power Management (APM) technology boosts performance to accomplish computing tasks with superior power efficiency for on-the-go capabilities. The new APUs allow users to enjoy the latest multimedia experiences in up-to Ultra HD 4K video resolution, with AMD FreeSync Technology support for fluid, artifact-free eSports-style gaming performance. 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors enable a premium Microsoft Windows 10 experience and are primed to support the Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update, expected later this year.

Next-Gen Radeon "Polaris" Nomenclature Changed?

It looks like AMD is deviating from its top-level performance-grading, with its next-generation Radeon graphics cards. The company has maintained the Radeon R3 series for embedded low-power APUs, Radeon R5 for integrated graphics solutions of larger APUs; Radeon R7 for entry-thru-mainstream discrete GPUs (eg: R7 360, R7 370); and Radeon R9 for performance-thru-enthusiast segment (eg: R9 285, R9 290X). The new nomenclature could see it rely on the second set of model numbers (eg: 4#0) to denote market-positioning, if a popular rumor on tech bulletin boards such as Reddit holds true.

A Redditor posted an image of a next-gen AMD Radeon demo machine powered by a "Radeon RX 480." Either "X" could be a variable, or it could be series-wide, prefixing all SKUs in the 400 series. It could also be AMD marketing's way of somehow playing with the number 10 (X), to establish some kind of generational parity with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 10 series. The placard also depicts a new "Radeon" logo with a different, sharper typeface. The "RX 480" was apparently able to run "Doom" (2016) at 2560x1440 @ 144 Hz, with the OpenGL API.

Source: Reddit

AMD "Summit Ridge" Silicon Reserved for 8-core CPUs Initially

Sources tell Bits'n'Chips that AMD could use a common 8-core CPU die based on its upcoming "Zen" architecture over multiple CPU SKUs, at least initially. AMD will have two distinct kinds of processors, those with integrated graphics (APUs) based on the "Bristol Ridge" silicon, and those without integrated graphics (CPUs), based on the "Summit Ridge" silicon. Since products based on both the dies will use a common socket on the desktop (socket AM4), consumers looking for 2-4 CPU cores will be presented with APU options, while those looking for more powerful CPU solutions will be made to choose 8-core CPUs based on the "Summit Ridge" silicon.

Source: BitsnChips.it

AMD Outs "Bristol Ridge" APU Performance Numbers

Although AMD's upcoming socket AM4 heralds new lines of processors and APUs based on the company's next-generation "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, some of the first APUs will continue to be based the current "Excavator" architecture. The "Bristol Ridge" is one such chip. It made its mobile debut as the 7th generation A-Series and FX-Series mobile APUs, and is en route to the desktop platform, in the AM4 package. What sets the AM4 package apart from the FM2+ package, and in turn "Bristol Ridge" from "Carrizo" is that the platform integrates even the southbridge (FCH) into the APU die. This could explain the 1,331-pin count of the AM4 socket.

The "Bristol Ridge" silicon is likely built on the existing 28 nm process. That's not the only thing "current-gen" about this chip. Its CPU component consists of two "Excavator" modules that make up four CPU cores, with 4 MB total cache; and its integrated GPU will likely be based on the Graphics CoreNext 1.2 "Volcanic Islands" architecture, the same one which drives the "Tonga" and "Fiji" discrete GPUs. The integrated memory controller supports dual-channel DDR4 memory. In its performance benchmarks, an AM4 APU based on the "Bristol Ridge" silicon was pitted against older 6th generation APUs, in which it was found to be as much as 23 percent faster.

Source: HardwareCanucks

AMD Accelerates Availability of Mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors

AMD today announced early availability of its new mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors, timed to support an exciting new notebook design by HP Inc. Equipped with advanced video, graphics, performance, and security features designed to boost productivity and enhance the entertainment experience, 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors (codenamed "Bristol Ridge") also provide outstanding energy efficiency.

New OEM PC designs powered by mobile 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors -- from ultrathin notebooks and convertibles to sleek All-in-Ones -- will come to market first with HP in the new HP ENVY x360, and with other OEM announcements expected later in the year. AMD will officially introduce 7th Gen A-Series APUs and showcase a wide range of OEM designs at Computex 2016, May 31-June 4, 2016, in Taipei, Taiwan.

AMD Announces the A10-7890K and Athlon X4 880K Processors

AMD today announced new additions to its 2016 Desktop processor family, offering increasingly powerful processor options available for anyone seeking outstanding gameplay and power efficiency for their desktop PC. Setting a new APU Standard, the new AMD A10-7890K is the fastest AMD desktop APU released to date, with 1.0 TFLOPS of theoretical compute performance. This new processor has been paired with the top-of-the-line AMD Wraith Cooler to deliver a high-performance combination, enabling best-in-class online gaming, while offering near silent operation for a premium experience.

Gamers will be able to enjoy playing the most popular online and eSports games right out of the box on high settings with the new AMD A10-7890K APU, which is capable of providing smooth frame rates in some of the most popular online games like League of Legends, DOTA2, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. AMD APUs combine the power of AMD processors with the performance of discrete Radeon R7 class graphics in one convenient SoC, and support DirectX 12, OpenGL, Vulkan, and FreeSync in addition to Microsoft Xbox One game streaming on Windows 10.

AMD Announces Radeon Software Beta for Vulkan

AMD announced its first public beta driver featuring support for the Vulkan API. The company is a major contributor to the development of the API, since most of it is based on its Mantle code. Version 16.15.1009 supports Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. All of AMD's Graphics CoreNext based GPUs and APUs support Vulkan. This includes the company's Radeon HD 7700 series thru HD 7900 series; R9/R7 200 series, R9/R7 300 series, the R9 Fury series, and AMD APUs based on the "Godavari" and "Carrizo" silicons. This driver comes just in time for the Vulkan release of The Talos Principle.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Beta for Vulkan

ASRock Intros the A88M-ITXac Motherboard

ASRock introduced the A88M-ITXac socket FM2+ motherboard. As its name suggests, the board is built in the mini-ITX form-factor, and is based on AMD A88X chipset, supporting the latest socket FM2+ APUs and CPUs. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it with a 5-phase CPU VRM. The socket is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 memory; and the board's lone expansion slot - a PCI-Express 3.0 x16.

Storage connectivity on the A88M-ITXac includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and an M.2 PCIe port (on the reverse side of the PCB). Network connectivity includes 802.11ac WLAN (up to 433 Mbps), Bluetooth 4.0, and gigabit Ethernet. Display outputs include one each of HDMI 1.4a, dual-link DVI, and D-Sub. The board supports AMD Dual-Graphics, which lets you run the APU's onboard graphics in tandem with a select Radeon discrete graphics card, for added performance. Four USB 3.0 ports, and 6-channel HD audio make up the board's modern connectivity. The company didn't announce pricing.

AMD Offers New Thermal Solutions and Processors for Near-Silent Performance

AMD today launched new thermal solutions, including the flagship AMD Wraith Cooler, as well as the new AMD A10-7860K and new AMD Athlon X4 845 desktop processors. Designed for the consumer who cares about how their desktop PC runs, sounds, and looks, AMD now offers new thermal solutions that generate less than one-tenth the noise of their predecessors -- running at a near-silent 39 decibels, about as quiet as a library.

The new AMD Wraith Cooler combines near-silent operation with unique styling via a sleek fan shroud and LED illumination. Providing superb cooling, the new design delivers 34 percent more airflow and 24 percent more surface area for heat dissipation than its predecessor.

AMD Unveils A10-7890K Desktop APU

AMD made an update to its desktop APU lineup, with the addition of the A10-7890K. This socket FM2+ chip, based on the "Kaveri" Refresh silicon, replaces the A10-7870K as the fastest APU you can buy. The chip's maximum (Turbo Core) frequency is upped to 4.30 GHz, compared to the 4.20 GHz on the A10-7870K. The nominal clock speed remains unchanged, it's rumored to be 4.00 GHz, but it wouldn't surprise us if AMD kept it at 3.90 GHz. AMD could bundle its recently demoed Wraith air-cooler with this chip, which promises significantly lower noise levels than the older reference cooler. In addition to the A10-7890K, AMD announced that it is working with its motherboard partners to launch a fresh wave of socket FM2+ and AM3+ boards that feature modern connectivity, such as USB 3.1 type-C and type-A, and M.2 PCIe slots.

Source: AnandTech
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