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No 16-core AMD Ryzen AM4 Until After 7nm EPYC Launch (2019)

AMD in its Q2-2018 investors conference call dropped more hints at when it plans to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen processors, based on its "Zen2" architecture. CEO Lisa Su stated in the Q&A session that rollout of 7 nm Ryzen processors will only follow that of 7 nm EPYC (unlike 1st generation Ryzen preceding 1st generation EPYC). What this effectively means is that the fabled 16-core die with 8 cores per CCX won't make it to the desktop platform any time soon (at least not in the next three quarters, certainly not within 2018).

AMD CEO touched upon the development of the company's 7 nm "Rome" silicon, which will be at the heart of the company's 2nd generation EPYC processor family. 2nd generation EPYC, as you'd recall from our older article, is based on 7 nm "Zen2" architecture, and not 12 nm "Zen+." 3rd generation Ryzen is expected to be based on "Zen2." As of now, the company is said to have completed tape-out of "Rome," and is sending samples out to its industry partners for further testing and validation. The first EPYC products based on this will begin rolling out in 2019. The 7 nm process is also being used for a new "Vega" based GPU, which has taped out, and will see its first enterprise-segment product launch within 2018.

AMD EPYC Airport Ads Punch Close to the Belt

Airports are the latest battleground for AMD and Intel as the two vie to catch the attention of IT managers in the midst of an AI and big-data inflection point that promises to trigger a gold rush for enterprise processors. AMD took to San Jose International Airport with its latest AMD EPYC static ads targeted at IT managers stuck with Intel Xeon for its historic market leadership. AMD EPYC processors offer "more performance, more security, and more value" than Intel Xeon processors, the ads claim, but not before landing a mean punch in the general area of Intel's belt.

AMD Shares to Jump 25% in Wake of PC Market Growth: Stifel

Analyst Kevin Cassidy, responsible for AMD shares rating with Stifel, has revised expected AMD growth in the wake of expected (and already verified) PC market growth. Following the news at the end of last week, AMD shares jumped by 5% on Friday, and increased by another 2% on Monday. This marks an increase of 61.3% YTD (year-to-date.) Looking at this trend, the analyst increased his 12-month price target on the stock to $21 from $17, a nearly 27% upside from Monday close.

AMD Deepens Senior Management and Technical Leadership Bench

AMD today announced key promotions that extend senior-level focus on company growth. AMD named "Zen" chief architect Mike Clark an AMD corporate fellow; promoted Darren Grasby to senior vice president of global Computing and Graphics sales and AMD president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and promoted Robert Gama to senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

"We believe the opportunities ahead of us are tremendous as we execute on our long-term strategy and exciting product roadmap," said Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "As leaders, Mike, Darren, and Robert have made significant contributions to our success so far, and these promotions elevate their impact at AMD as we accelerate company growth going forward."

GIGABYTE Expands AMD EPYC Family with New Density Optimized Server

GIGABYTE continues our active development of new AMD EPYC platforms with the release of the 2U 4 Node H261-Z60, the first AMD EPYC variant of our Density Optimized Server Series. The H261-Z60 combines 4 individual hot pluggable sliding node trays into a 2U server box. The node trays slide in and out easily from the rear of the unit.

EPYC Performance
Each node supports dual AMD EPYC 7000 series processors, with up to 32 cores, 64 threads and 8 channels of memory per CPU. Therefore, each node can feature up to 64 cores and 128 threads of compute power. Memory wise, each socket utilizes EPYC's 8 channels of memory with 1 x DIMM per channel / 8 x DIMMS per socket, for a total capacity of 16 x DIMMS per node (over 2TB of memory supported per each node ).

AMD to Polevault Zen+, Head Straight to 7nm Zen2 for EPYC

AMD in its Computex 2018 address earlier today, mention that its second-generation EPYC enterprise processors will be based on its 7 nanometer "Zen 2" architecture, and not 12 nm "Zen+." The company has the 7 nm silicon ready in its labs, and will begin sampling within the second half of 2018. The first products could launch in 2019, after validations. Besides improved energy-efficiency, the 12 nm "Zen+" architecture features a minor 3-5 percent IPC uplift thanks to improved multi-core clock-speed boosting, and faster caches. "Zen 2," on the other hand, presents AMD with the opportunity to make major design changes to its silicon to achieve higher IPC uplifts. The 7 nm process introduces significant transistor density uplifts over the current process. AMD is in the process of building 4-die multi-chip modules using the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon for its 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT client processor family.

AMD EPYC Secure Encrypted Virtualization Not So Secure: Researchers

Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) was touted as one of the killer features of AMD EPYC and Ryzen Pro series processors. It involves encryption of parts of the memory of the host machine which house virtual machines (or guests), with encryption keys stored on the processor, so the host has no scope of infiltrating or reading the contents of the guest's memory. This was designed to build trust in cloud-computing and shared hosting industries, so web-present small businesses with sensitive data could have some peace of mind and wouldn't have to spend big on dedicated hosting. A Germany-based IT security research team from Fraunhofer AISEC, thinks otherwise.

Using a technique called "SEVered," the researchers were able to use rogue host-level administrator, or malware within a hypervisor, to bypass SEV and copy decrypted information from the guest machine's memory. The exploit involves alteration of the guest machine's physical memory mappings using standard page tables, so SEV can't properly isolate and encrypt parts of the guest in the physical memory. The exploit is so brazen, that you could pull plaintext information out of compromised guests. The researchers published a paper on SEVered, along with technical details of the exploit.

Cray Debuts AMD EPYC Processors in Supercomputer Product Line

Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. today announced it has added AMD EPYC processors to its Cray CS500 product line. To meet the growing needs of high-performance computing (HPC), the combination of AMD EPYC 7000 processors with the Cray CS500 cluster systems offers Cray customers a flexible, high-density system tuned for their demanding environments. The powerful platform lets organizations tackle a broad range of HPC workloads without the need to rebuild and recompile their x86 applications.

"Cray's decision to offer the AMD EPYC processors in the Cray CS500 product line expands its market opportunities by offering buyers an important new choice," said Steve Conway, senior vice president of research at Hyperion Research. "The AMD EPYC processors are expressly designed to provide highly scalable, energy- and cost-efficient performance in large and midrange clusters."

GIGABYTE Refreshes Their AMD EPYC Server Lineup

GIGABYTE, an industry leader in competitive, high performance server motherboards and systems, has refreshed its AMD EPYC 1U and 2U server line-up with a range updated options supporting different storage device combinations, with increased NVMe connectivity to integrate more dense, high bandwidth storage. These five systems are part of GIGABYTE's ready-to-integrate general purpose Rack Server family, equipped with the best power supplies and cooling fans and combining a high level of performance, energy efficiency and overall reliability for web hosting, mass storage, virtualized infrastructures, databases & analytics and other demanding applications.

GIGABYTE's AMD EPYC server systems are based on the 7000 series EPYC processor, offered as a SoC and incorporating a multi-die design with 32 cores per processor, 128 PCIe lanes and 8 channels of DDR4 memory. These features have allowed GIGABYTE to create a range of servers that pack a real punch in flexibility and expansion options. First released in July last year, adoption of GIGABYTE's AMD EPYC servers has been gaining momentum, lowering TCO for datacenters by offering an optional balance of compute, memory, I/O and security.

AMD Throws EPYC Jab at Intel Xeon Products on Cloudfest

Cloudfest is a summit of sorts, a running line of conferences and announcements that focus on the cloud side of computing. With the increasing market value and demand of cloud services and providers, it's no surprise that industry behemoths are in attendance. AMD is one such, and it took the opportunity to throw a slight jab at Intel. Making the best it can from its long-coming favorable position in the server market, AMD put up a banner with an EPYC pun, touting its 3.3x performance per dollar advantage versus the Xeon competition... and then some. Just take a look at the image for yourself. It's all in good sport... Right?

IBASE Announces Embedded Devices with EPYC 3000 and Ryzen Embedded CPUs

IBASE Technology Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of industrial motherboard and embedded systems, today launched a series of new AMD Ryzen Embedded and EPYC Embedded processor-based products, including the MI988 Mini-ITX motherboard, SI-324 4x HDMI 2.0 digital signage player and FWA8800 1U rackmount network appliance.

"As a premier AMD partner, we have been working closely on building products utilizing both AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 and EPYC Embedded 3000 products." said Jackson Mao, Product Planning Division Vice President of IBASE. "The next-generation performance and scalability delivered by the new AMD processors translate to real-world differentiation and benefits for our customers across networking, digital media, and industrial applications."

AMD Launches Embedded EPYC 3000 and Ryzen V1000 Processors

AMD today introduced two new product families - the AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 processor and AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor - to enter a new age for high-performance embedded processors. AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 brings the power of "Zen" to a variety of new markets including networking, storage and edge computing devices, while AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 targets medical imaging, industrial systems, digital gaming and thin clients. These new AMD Embedded processors deliver breakthrough performance, exceptional integration and on-chip security.

"Today we extend the high-performance x86 'Zen' architecture from PCs, laptops and the datacenter to networking, storage and industrial solutions with the AMD EPYC Embedded and AMD Ryzen Embedded product families, delivering transformative performance from the core to the edge," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, Datacenter and Embedded Solutions Business Group, AMD. "AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 raises the bar in performance for next-generation network functions virtualization, software-defined networking and networked storage applications. AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 brings together the 'Zen' core architecture and 'Vega' graphics architecture to deliver brilliant graphics in a single chip that provides space and power savings for medical imaging, gaming and industrial systems. With these high-performance products, AMD is ushering in a new age for embedded processors."

iBase MBN806, the First AMD Snowy Owl Motherboard to Appear in the Wild

Taiwanese industrial computer manufacturer iBase has listed what appears to be the first motherboard for AMD's Snowy Owl platform. Based on the BGA2028 socket, the iBase MBN806 is powered by an eight-core, eight-thread EPYC Embedded 3201 SoC with a clock speed up to 2.3 GHz. The motherboard has four DDR4 memory slots and supports up to 128GB of registered memory or 64GB of unregistered memory (ECC/non-ECC) at a maximum frequency of 2667 MHz. A lonely PCIe x8 also slot sits near the memory slots. As for storage options, the MBN806 comes with two SATA III ports and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot that supports both the SATA and PCIe protocols. By default, there are no integrated display outputs, but consumers can purchase a separate IPMI module to add a VGA port to the motherboard. Ethernet connectivity is present via an Intel I210-AT GbE controller.

Dell EMC Announces Three New PowerEdge Servers Powered by AMD EPYC Processors

Dell EMC announced three new servers designed for software-defined environments, edge and high-performance computing (HPC). The PowerEdge R6415, PowerEdge R7415 and PowerEdge R7425 expand the 14th generation of the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio with new capabilities to address the demanding workload requirements of today's modern data center. All three rack servers with the AMD EPYC processor offer highly scalable platforms with outstanding total cost of ownership (TCO).

"As the bedrock of the modern data center, customers expect us to push server innovation further and faster" said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, president, Server and Infrastructure Systems at Dell EMC. "As customers deploy more IoT solutions, they need highly capable and flexible compute at the edge to turn data into real-time insights; these new servers that are engineered to deliver that while lowering TCO."

HWiNFO Adds Support For Upcoming AMD CPUs, GPUs, Others

PC diagnostics tool HW Info has added support for future, as-of-yet unreleased AMD CPUs and GPUs, which seemingly confirm some earlier news on AMD's plans for their next-generation offerings. HWiNFO's v5.72 update adds support for upcoming AMD Navi GPUs, Pinnacle Ridge, 400-series motherboards (which should make their market debut alongside AMD's Zen+ CPUs), and enhanced support for AMD's Starship, Matisse and Radeon RX Vega M. We already touched upon AMD's Matisse codename in the past: it's expected to refer to the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, which will bring architecture overhauls of the base Zen design - alongside a 7 nm process - in order to bring enhanced performance and better power consumption.

Starship, on the other hand, is a previously leaked evolution of AMD's current Naples offering that powers their EPYC server CPUs. Starship has been rumored to have been canceled, and then put back on the product schedule again; if anything, its inclusion in HWiNFO's latest version does point towards it having made the final cut, after all. Starship will bring to businesses an increased number of cores and threads (48/96) compared to Naples' current top-tier offering (32/64), alongside a 7 nm manufacturing process.

An EPYC Threadripper: Der8auer Gets EPYC CPU Working on X399 Motherboard

So, maybe it isn't really working - but at least the system boots up all the way to the BIOS memory checks, where it then stops emitting life signs. Der8auer went through a sort of blind process to discover that there is a particular ID pin on EPYC that when covered, allows the CPU to be booted up by a X399 motherboard (in this case, an ASUS X399 Zenith Extreme). ID pins are nothing new, and basically tell sockets whether or not they should be powering up a particular CPU.

So what exactly does this mean? Nothing much - only that the sockets and pinouts are the same. The approach towards detecting the ID pin was a crude, brute force one, appending a piece of electrical tape to different parts of the CPU, narrowing down the search for a single pin. When this particular pin was covered, standby power finally kept on, and the motherboard ran through some initial boot steps until stopping at the D0 memory boot code. Der8auer thinks that a "simple" BIOS switch on this TR4 motherboard to an EPYC motherboard's BIOS would suffice to get the EPYC CPU running on this Threadripper motherboard. Check out the full video after the break.

AMD Struggles to Be Excluded from Unwarranted Intel VT Flaw Kernel Patches

Intel is secretly firefighting a major hardware security vulnerability affecting its entire x86 processor lineup. The hardware-level vulnerability allows unauthorized memory access between two virtual machines (VMs) running on a physical machine, due to Intel's flawed implementation of its hardware-level virtualization instruction sets. OS kernel-level software patches to mitigate this vulnerability, come at huge performance costs that strike at the very economics of choosing Intel processors in large-scale datacenters and cloud-computing providers, over processors from AMD. Ryzen, Opteron, and EPYC processors are inherently immune to this vulnerability, yet the kernel patches seem to impact performance of both AMD and Intel processors.

Close inspection of kernel patches reveal code that forces machines running all x86 processors, Intel or AMD, to be patched, regardless of the fact that AMD processors are immune. Older commits to the Linux kernel git, which should feature the line "if (c->x86_vendor != X86_VENDOR_AMD)" (condition that the processor should be flagged "X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE" only if it's not an AMD processor), have been replaced with the line "/* Assume for now that ALL x86 CPUs are insecure */" with no further accepted commits in the past 10 days. This shows that AMD's requests are being turned down by Kernel developers. Their intentions are questionable in the wake of proof that AMD processors are immune, given that patched software inflicts performance penalties on both Intel and AMD processors creating a crony "level playing field," even if the latter doesn't warrant a patch. Ideally, AMD should push to be excluded from this patch, and offer to demonstrate the invulnerability of its processors to Intel's mess.

Microsoft Azure Becomes First Global Cloud Provider to Deploy AMD EPYC

AMD today announced the first public cloud instances powered by the AMD EPYC processor. Microsoft Azure has deployed AMD EPYC processors in its datacenters in advance of preview for its latest L-Series of Virtual Machines (VM) for storage optimized workloads. The Lv2 VM family will take advantage of the high-core count and connectivity support of the AMD EPYC processor.

"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Microsoft Azure to bring the power of AMD EPYC processors into their datacenter," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager of Enterprise Solutions. "There is tremendous opportunity for users to tap into the capabilities we can deliver across storage and other workloads through the combination of AMD EPYC processors on Azure. We look forward to the continued close collaboration with Microsoft Azure on future instances throughout 2018."

Enermax Intros Liqtech TR4 280 CPU Cooler

Enermax today introduced its third entry to its Liqtech TR4 series all-in-one liquid CPU coolers tailor-made for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Liqtech TR4 280. As its name suggests, the cooler features a 280 mm x 140 mm radiator, and includes two 140 mm fans. This model offers a middle-ground between the Liqtech TR4 240 and the largest Liqtech TR4 360. Enermax has also re-tuned its pump for higher coolant pressure. It is rated by its makers to handle thermal loads of up to 500W.

Like its other siblings, the Enermax Liqtech TR4 280 features a large pump-block base that offers 100% coverage of the Ryzen Threadripper integrated-heatspreader, and comes with factory-fitted retention modules for AMD TR4 and SP3r2 sockets (you can also use it on EPYC). The included T.B. Pressure 140 mm fans spin between 500 to 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 80.71 CFM of air, with a noise-output of up to 28 dBA, each. The radiator is 28 mm thick, and is made of aluminium. Available soon, the cooler is expected to be priced around USD $100.

AMD EPYC 7601 Processors Set Two New World Records on SPEC CPU Benchmarks

​AMD today announced that the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise ProLiant DL385 Gen10 server, powered by AMD EPYC processors set world records in both SPECrate2017_fp_base and SPECfp_rate2006. The secure and flexible 2P 2U HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 Server joins the HPE Cloudline CL3150 server in featuring AMD EPYC processors. With designs ranging from 8-core to 32-core, AMD EPYC delivers industry-leading memory bandwidth across the HPE line-up, with eight channels of memory and unprecedented support for integrated, high-speed I/O with 128 lanes of PCIe 3 on every EPYC processor.

"HPE is joining with AMD today to extend the world's most secure industry standard server portfolio to include the AMD EPYC processor. We now give customers another option to optimize performance and security for today's virtualized workloads," said Justin Hotard, vice president and GM, Volume Global Business Unit, HPE. "The HPE ProLiant DL385 featuring the AMD EPYC processor is the result of a long-standing technology engagement with AMD and a shared belief in continuing innovation."

AMD Expands EPYC Availability, Introduces ROCm 1.7 With Tensor Flow Support

AMD has been steadily increasing output and availability of their latest take on the server market with their EPYC CPUs. These are 32-core, 64-thread monsters that excel in delivering a better feature set in 1P configuration than even some of Intel's 2P setups, and reception for these AMD processors has been pretty warm as a result. The usage of an MCM design to create a 4-way cluster of small 8-core processor packages has allowed AMD to improve yields with minimum retooling and changes to its manufacturing lines, which in turn, has increased yields and profits for a company that sorely needed a a breakout product.

AMD's James Prior Clarifies Threadripper's "Dummy Dies"

Much has been said regarding AMD's Threadripper CPUs, particularly when it comes to how they are manufactured. At first, we thought Threadripper was actually EPYC in disguise, due it having what appeared to be four full-fledged 8-core modules - the same design as AMD's server-bound 32-core EPYC chips. The presence of gold-plating under all four dies seemed to confirm that these were in fact four full Threadripper dies, instead of two dies and two spacers (as AMD's statements led us to believe) for even IHS pressure on the four dies, instead of the uneven pressure that would result from the chip only having two physical dies present.

On The Story of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Product Development

In a Forbes interview conducted by Anthony Leather, AMD officials Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Marketing John Taylor, Sarah Youngbauer of AMD's communications team, and James Prior, AMD's Senior Product Manager, have shed some light on the development process for AMD's equivalent of a flash hit - their HEDT, HCC Threadripper chips. Threadripper, which leverages AMD's Zen architecture used in their Ryzen and EPYC processors, makes use of an MCM design with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, with AMD's svelte Zen, 8-core base units linked through the company's high speed interconnect Infinity Fabric.

This has allowed the company to scale designs from four core processors with Ryzen 3, all the way towards the current cream of the crop Threadripper 1950X. It's an extremely scalable design, which brings with it improved yields and some pretty significant cost savings for AMD due to smaller dies. This, in turn, means the company is able to more agressively price their Ryzen and Threadripper processors compared to the competition, at least when it comes to high core and thread counts for the same price bracket - and the success of that business decision is showing.

For our forum lurkers, this article is marked as an editorial.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X Core Configuration Detailed

At its pre-launch media conference call for the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X, AMD mentioned that the chip has been carved out from the common 4-die EPYC MCM using a "4-0-4-0 diagonal configuration," which led to some confusion as to which cores/dies AMD disabled to carve out the $549 8-core HEDT processor. The company shed some light on this matter, responding to questions from TechPowerUp.

It turns out, that the Threadripper 1900X features an entire CCX (quad-core CPU complex) disabled per active die on the multi-chip module, so the CCX that's enabled has 8 MB of L3 cache; and access to the die's entire uncore resources, such as the dual-channel memory controller, PCIe root complex, etc. With two such active "Zeppelin" dies, the Threadripper 1900X ends up with 8 cores, 16 MB of L3 cache, a quad-channel memory interface, and 64 PCIe lanes.

Intel Announces Xeon-W Workstation CPUs - Skylake-SP and ECC Memory

In a response to AMD's current uptake in the consumer, HEDT and server markets with its vertical slice of the Zen architecture, Intel has started rebranding their products and image, changing product names and placement in a bid to increase the "freshness" factor of its offerings. E5 and E7 Xeons are gone, with the introduction of a metallic naming scheme: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum are now Intel's Xeon products, and Xeon-W takes the spot as Intel's workstation-oriented product stack. They do this by being - essentially - a conversion of Intel's Core i9 X299 family of processors towards the professional market with inclusion of professional-geared features. And as is usual with Intel, a new chipset - C422 - is needed in order for these to properly function.

The new Xeon-W product family will still make use of the LGA 2066 socket, bringing with them ECC and vPro support. The Xeon-W CPU family will feature 4 to 18 cores, support up to 512GB of ECC RDIMM/LRDIMM memory, support dual 512-bit FMAs, and peak clocks of 4 GHz base and 4.5 GHz Turbo. All the parts will support 48 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the processor,and CPUs in the Xeon-W stack are rated at 140W TDP: with exception of the quad cores, which come in at at 120W. Xeon-W processors only support Turbo Boost 2.0, instead of their Core i9 counterparts' Turbo 3.0.
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