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AMD to Build "Zen 2" and "Zen 3" Processors on 7 nm Process: CTO

AMD is in no mood to stick to the 14 nm process for as long as Intel has (building four performance x86 CPU micro-architectures on it). In an interview with EE Times, AMD CTO Mark Papermaster confirmed that the company's "Zen 2" and "Zen 3" CPU micro-architectures will be built on the next-generation 7 nm silicon fab process. Transition to the 7 nm process is not as straightforward as optically shrinking your chip designs and shipping them over to your foundry. Apparently it requires big technical changes for the chip design teams, which AMD feels are better executed while it's still riding on the success of its current "Zen" architecture.

"We had to literally double our efforts across foundry and design teams…It's the toughest lift I've seen in a number of generations," said Papermaster. He added that the 7 nm node requires new "CAD tools and [changes in] the way you architect the device [and] how you connect transistors-the implementation and tools change [as well as] the IT support you need to get through it." Papermaster predicts that 7 nm will be a "long node like 28 nm" in that chip designers will have to build several refinements to their designs on the node before the newer 4 nm node could be heralded. He urged semiconductor foundry companies to introduce EUV (extreme ultra-violet lithography), a technique used to etch transistors and circuits at the infinitesimally small 7 nm node, as soon as possible, so AMD could have more options at manufacturing its next generation processors.

AMD to Detail Vega, Navi, Zen+ on May 16th - Laying Out a Vision

Reports are circling around the web regarding an AMD meeting featuring some of its higher ups - namely, CEO Lisa Su, head of Radeon Technologies Group Raja Koduri, and AMD's CTO Mark Papermaster happening on the 16th of May. The purpose of this meeting seems to be to discuss AMD's inflexion point, and lay out a vision for the company's future, supported on its upcoming products: the too-long-awaited Vega, its successor Navi, and the natural evolution of the company's current Zen processors, tentatively identified as Zen+.

Naturally, a company such as AMD has its roadmap planned well in advance, with work on next-generation products and technologies sometimes even running in parallel with current-generation product development. It's just a result of the kind of care, consideration, time and money that goes into making new architectures that makes this so. And while some would say Vega is now approaching a state akin to grapes that have been hanging for far too long, AMD's next graphics architecture, Navi, and its iterations on Zen cores, which the company expect to see refreshes in a 3-to-5-year period, are other matters entirely. Maybe we'll have some more details regarding the specific time of Vega's launch (for now expected on Computex), as well as on when AMD is looking to release a Zen+ refresh. I wouldn't expect much with regards to Navi - perhaps just an outline on how work is currently underway with some comments on the expectations surrounding Global Foundries' 7 nm process, on which Navi is expected to be built. And no, folks, this isn't a Vega launch. Not yet.

id Software Talks AMD Ryzen, Hints at Heavily Optimized New Game Engine

id Software, the pioneering game studio behind "Doom" and "Quake," in a marketing video about how its developers and gamers are benefiting from AMD Ryzen processors, hinted that it is working on a new next-generation game engine that succeeds idTech 6, which is heavily optimized for AMD Ryzen processors. id CTO Robert Duffy spoke at length about how Ryzen is putting more CPU capabilities in the hands of gamers at attractive price-points, which is letting game developers add that much more content and production design that benefits from this level of parallelism and performance.

The most interesting part about Duffy's comment comes later in the video, where he talks about a new game engine that id is working on, which will be "far more parallel than idTech 6" (far more multi-core and multi-thread friendly), and that it will be able to consume "all of the CPU [compute power] that Ryzen can offer." Duffy also confirmed that "Quake Champions," the studio's upcoming online hero-based FPS, will be optimized for both Ryzen and Radeon Vega.
The video follows.

AMD Vega 10, Vega 20, and Vega 11 GPUs Detailed

AMD CTO, speaking at an investors event organized by Deutsche Bank, recently announced that the company's next-generation "Vega" GPUs, its first high-end parts in close to two years, will be launched in the first half of 2017. AMD is said to have made significant performance/Watt refinements with Vega, over its current "Polaris" architecture. VideoCardz posted probable specs of three parts based on the architecture.

AMD will begin the "Vega" architecture lineup with the Vega 10, an upper-performance segment part designed to disrupt NVIDIA's high-end lineup, with a performance positioning somewhere between the GP104 and GP102. This chip is expected to be endowed with 4,096 stream processors, with up to 24 TFLOP/s 16-bit (half-precision) floating point performance. It will feature 8-16 GB of HBM2 memory with up to 512 GB/s memory bandwidth. AMD is looking at typical board power (TBP) ratings around 225W.

Intel 14 nm Silicon Fab Development in Progress

Intel will be capable making chips on the 14 nanometer silicon fabrication process, in 18-inch diameter wafers, "in two years," as development of the technology and machinery to make it happen is making good progress, according to company CTO Justin Rattner. He noted that Intel's aggressive tech advancement will keep Moore's Law relevant for at least the next 10 years. By the end of 2013, Intel's D1X Fab in Oregon, Fab 42 in Arizona, in the US, and Fab 24 in Ireland will begin producing batches of simple chips such as P1272 and P1273 series SoCs. After 14 nm, development for 10 nm, 7 nm, and 5 nm will follow, in order.

AMD CTO Mark Papermaster Outlines Vision for 'Surround Computing'

In a keynote address opening the prestigious annual Hot Chips symposium, AMD CTO Mark Papermaster delivered a vision for the coming “Surround Computing Era”, and unveiled new processor architecture details, enabling technologies and design methodologies that will help drive the next era in computing. Surround computing is an extension of pervasive and ambient computing trends and describes an environment where computing technologies are completely natural and seamless parts of daily life.

“Surround computing imagines a world without keyboards or mice, where natural user interfaces based on voice and facial recognition redefine the PC experience, and where the cloud and clients collaborate to synthesize exabytes of image and natural language data. The ultimate goal is devices that deliver intelligent, relevant, contextual insight and value that improves consumers’ everyday life in real time through a variety of futuristic applications. AMD is leading the quest for devices that understand and anticipate users’ needs, are driven by natural user interfaces, and that disappear seamlessly into the background,” said Papermaster during his opening remarks.

Apple Invites Kaspersky to Improve OS X Security

Weeks after security mogul Eugene Kaspersky opined that Apple is "10 years behind Microsoft on security," Kaspersky Lab revealed that it is collaborating with Apple to investigate security concerns (read: vulnerabilities) of its operating systems, and improve its security. Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolai Grebennikov in an interview with Computing.co.uk was quoted saying "Apple recently invited us to improve its security."

Kaspersky Lab maintains that Apple's software is extremely vulnerable, going as far as to claim that Apple doesn't pay enough attention to security. "Our first investigations show Apple doesn't pay enough attention to security. For example, Oracle closed a vulnerability in Java, which was a target for a major botnet several months ago," said Grebennikov. Apple's decision to handle updates of Java runtime environment for OS X by itself, breaking away from Oracle's update cycle, particularly drew flack from Grebennikov. "Apple blocked Oracle from updating Java on Mac OS, and they perform all the udpates themselves. They only released the patch a few weeks ago – two or three months after the Oracle patch. That's far too long," he said. Kaspersky isn't too optimistic about the infinitely more popular iOS platform, either. "Our experience tells us that in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, we will see the first malware targeting iOS," it commented.

Graphics CTO Eric Demers leaves AMD

AnandTech is reporting Eric Demers is leaving AMD. This apparently was backed up with an official statement from AMD. Here is what they both had to say,
I just found out that AMD's Eric Demers (Corporate VP & CTO, Graphics Division) is leaving the company at the end of this week. He's not going to Intel or NVIDIA but I suspect that someone of Eric's talents will remain in the industry. I just had dinner with Eric a couple of weeks ago and he seemed very positive on AMD's roadmap going forward. Given how important the GPU is becoming in this ever expanding industry, someone like Eric is in very high demand.
We now have an official statement from AMD:
Eric Demers, AMD Corporate Vice President and CTO, Graphics Business Unit, has decided leave AMD to pursue other opportunities. AMD Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster will assume interim responsibility for the Graphics Business Unit CTO role until a replacement is found. AMD remains fully committed to our critical graphics IP development and discrete GPU products. We have a tremendous depth of talent in our organization, a game plan that is resonating with our customers and our team, and we are continuing to bring graphics-performance-leading products to market. We will attract the right technology leader for this role. We thank Eric for his contributions to the business and wish him well in his future endeavors.
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