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AMD Rolls Out Athlon 3000 Gold and Silver "Zen" 15W Mobile SoCs

The "Zen 2" based Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors and Threadripper 3990X HEDT chip dominated headlines throughout AMD's CES 2020 event, but an important product announcement slipped past us: the mobile Athlon 3000 Gold and 3000 Silver families of entry-level mobile SoCs. These are 15-Watt SoCs targeting low-cost ultraportables, convertibles, and straight up Windows x64 tablets, competing against Intel's Pentium Gold 5000U "Whiskey Lake" and Pentium Silver "Gemini Lake Refresh" series. The family currently only consists of two SKUs, the Athlon Gold 3150U and Athlon Silver 3050U.

The two chips are based on the "Dali" silicon, and feature "Zen" CPU cores. The Athlon Gold 3150U features a 2-core/4-thread "Zen" CPU clocked at 2.40 GHz with 3.30 GHz boost. The Athlon Silver 3050U, on the other hand, is configured with a 2-core/2-thread CPU clocked at 2.30 GHz with 3.20 GHz boost. The CPUs on both models is configured with 4 MB of L3 cache, which takes their "total cache" (L2 + L3) figure up to 5 MB. The iGPU on the 3150U is a Radeon Vega 3 with 192 stream processors, clocked at 1.00 GHz. The one on the 3050U, is AMD's smallest, with just 2 compute units, working up to 128 stream processors, but the engine clock is set at 1.10 GHz.

Curiously Named "Athlon Gold" Surfaces on Geekbench Database

A Geekbench database submission from an HP "17-ca2xxx" laptop (likely a prototype), spilled the beans on an upcoming AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor, with nomenclature that looks inspired from the Pentium Gold. Intel uses the "Gold" and "Silver" brand extensions to distinguish processors based on its performance microarchitectures from those based on its low-power microarchitectures (eg: a "Skylake" based Pentium Gold, and a "Goldmont" based Pentium Silver). The addition of "Gold" to the Athlon brand could denote performance rivaling mobile versions of Pentium Gold found in entry-level full-size notebooks.

Moving on to the test itself, and we see the Athlon Gold 3150U being listed as a "Raven Ridge" derivative featuring a 2-core/4-thread CPU and Radeon graphics (likely "Vega 3" as with its desktop counterpart). The CPU is shown having a 2.40 GHz base frequency, and 3.30 GHz boost, 512 KB L2 cache per core, and 4 MB shared L3 cache. The chip scores 3,559 single-core points, and 7,336 points multi-core, comparable to entry-level dual-core processors from this generation. This makes us wonder what the Athlon "Silver" could be, and whether AMD is working on a new low-power microarchitecture in the near future.
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