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AMD's Next-Generation Radeon Instinct "Arcturus" Test Board Features 120 CUs

AMD is preparing to launch its next-generation of Radeon Instinct GPUs based on the new CDNA architecture designed for enterprise deployments. Thanks to the popular hardware leaker _rogame (@_rogame) we have some information about the configuration of the upcoming Radeon Instinct MI100 "Arcturus" server GPU. Previously, we obtained the BIOS of the Arcturus GPU that showed a configuration of 128 Compute Units (CUs), which resulted in 8,192 of CDNA cores. That configuration had a specific setup of 1334 MHz GPU clock, SoC frequency of 1091 MHz, and memory speed of 1000 MHz. However, there was another GPU test board spotted which featured a bit different specification.

The reported configuration is an Arcturus GPU with 120 CUs, resulting in a CDNA core count of 7,680 cores. These cores are running at frequencies of 878 MHz for the core clock, 750 MHz SoC clock, and a surprising 1200 MHz memory clock. While the SoC and core clocks are lower than the previous report, along with the CU count, the memory clock is up by 200 MHz. It is important to note that this is just a test board/variation of the MI100, and actual frequencies should be different.
AMD Radeon Instinct MI60

AMD Radeon Instinct MI100 "Arcturus" Hits the Radar, We Have its BIOS

AMD's upcoming large post-Navi graphics chip, codenamed "Arcturus," will debut as "Radeon Instinct MI100", which is an AI-ML accelerator under the Radeon Instinct brand, which AMD calls "Server Accelerators." TechPowerUp accessed its BIOS, which is now up on our VGA BIOS database. The card goes with the device ID "0x1002 0x738C," which confirms "AMD" and "Arcturus,". The BIOS also confirms that memory size is at a massive 32 GB HBM2, clocked at 1000 MHz real (possibly 1 TB/s bandwidth, if memory bus width is 4096-bit).

Both Samsung (KHA884901X) and Hynix memory (H5VR64ESA8H) is supported, which is an important capability for AMD's supply chain. From the ID string "MI100 D34303 A1 XL 200W 32GB 1000m" we can derive that the TDP limit is set to a surprisingly low 200 W, especially considering this is a 128 CU / 8,192 shader count design. Vega 64 and Radeon Instinct MI60 for comparison have around 300 W power budget with 4,096 shaders, 5700 XT has 225 W with 2560 shaders, so either AMD achieved some monumental efficiency improvements with Arcturus or the whole design is intentionally running constrained, so that AMD doesn't reveal their hand to these partners, doing early testing of the card.

AMD "Navi" GPU Architecture Successor Codenamed "Arcturus"?

Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the night sky, and could be the a new GPU architecture by AMD succeeding "Navi," according to a Phoronix report. The codename of Navi-successor has long eluded AMD's roadmap slides. The name "Arcturis" surfaced on Phoronix community forums, from a post by an AMD Linux liaison who is a member there. The codename is also supported by the fact that AMD is naming its GPU architectures after the brightest stars in the sky (albeit in a descending order of their brightness). Polaris is the brightest, followed by Vega, Navi, and Arcturus.

AMD last referenced the Navi-successor on a roadmap slide during its 2017 Financial Analyst Day presentation by Mark Papermaster. That slide mentioned "Vega" to be built on two silicon fabrication processes, 14 nm and "14 nm+." We know now that AMD intends to build a better-endowed "Vega" chip on 7 nm, which could be the world's first 7 nm GPU. "Navi" is slated to be built on 7 nm as the process becomes more prevalent in the industry. The same slide mentions Navi-successor as being built on "7 nm+," which going by convention, could refer to an even more advanced process than 7 nm. Unfortunately, even in 2017, when the industry was a touch more optimistic about 7 nm, AMD expected the Navi-successor to only come out by 2020. We're not holding our breath.
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