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AMD Posts November Investor Presentation

AMD later this month is preparing to address investors as part of a yet-unknown event. The company typically hosts Financial Analyst Day events around Q1-Q2, and goes to the investors with substantial material on the current state of the organization, the products on offer, what's on the horizon, and how it could impact the company's financials. An alleged presentation related to the November 2021 event was leaked to the web. The presentation provides a guided tour of the entire product portfolio of the company, spanning server processors, compute accelerators, consumer graphics, some client processors, and the semi-custom business.

The presentation outlines that the company has so far successfully executed its roadmaps for the client-CPU, server-CPU, graphics, and compute-accelerator segments. In the client CPU segment, it shows a successful execution up to 2021 with the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. In the server space, it mentions successful execution for its EPYC processors up to "Zen 3" with its "Milan" processors, and confirms that its next-generation "Zen 4" microarchitecture, and its sister-architecture, the "Zen 4c," will be built on the 5 nm silicon fabrication node (likely TSMC N5). The presentation also details the recently announced "Milan-X" processor for existing SP3 platforms, which debuts the 3D Vertical Cache technology, bringing up to 96 MB of L3 cache per CCD, and up to 768 MB of L3 cache (804 MB L1+L2+L3 cache) per socket.
Update 10:54 UTC: The presentation can now be found on the AMD Investor Relations website.

AMD Stock Jumps 10% on Monday, Propelled by Meta (Facebook) Deal

AMD on Monday made several major announcements covering different parts of its enterprise product roadmap. These included the 3rd Gen EPYC "Milan-X" processors with 3D Vertical Cache memory; Instinct MI200 CDNA2 compute accelerators, and announcements related to next-generation "Zen 4" based EPYC "Genoa" and "Bergamo" processors that come with core counts as high as 128. The company's stock rallied up to 12%, closing up 10%, which left many in the tech community scratching their heads. It turns out that the AMD-Meta deal has a profound impact on investors.

Meta, the holding company of Facebook covering all its businesses, aspires to be a major cloud solutions provider on par with Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud. The deal could see Meta buying large stocks of AMD processors and compute accelerators to drive its next-gen server infrastructure. Sales of enterprise processors doubled year-over-year for AMD, and EPYC processors now account for 20% of the company's revenues.

Penetration Rate of Ice Lake CPUs in Server Market Expected to Surpass 30% by Year's End as x86 Architecture Remains Dominant, Says TrendForce

While the server industry transitions to the latest generation of processors based on the x86 platform, the Intel Ice Lake and AMD Milan CPUs entered mass production earlier this year and were shipped to certain customers, such as North American CSPs and telecommunication companies, at a low volume in 1Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. These processors are expected to begin seeing widespread adoption in the server market in 3Q21. TrendForce believes that Ice Lake represents a step-up in computing performance from the previous generation due to its higher scalability and support for more memory channels. On the other hand, the new normal that emerged in the post-pandemic era is expected to drive clients in the server sector to partially migrate to the Ice Lake platform, whose share in the server market is expected to surpass 30% in 4Q21.

TrendForce: Enterprise SSD Contract Prices Likely to Increase by 15% QoQ for 3Q21 Due to High SSD Demand and Short Supply of Upstream IC Components

The ramp-up of the Intel Ice Lake and AMD Milan processors is expected to not only propel growths in server shipment for two consecutive quarters from 2Q21 to 3Q21, but also drive up the share of high-density products in North American hyperscalers' enterprise SSD purchases, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In China, procurement activities by domestic hyperscalers Alibaba and ByteDance are expected to increase on a quarterly basis as well. With the labor force gradually returning to physical offices, enterprises are now placing an increasing number of IT equipment orders, including servers, compared to 1H21. Hence, global enterprise SSD procurement capacity is expected to increase by 7% QoQ in 3Q21. Ongoing shortages in foundry capacities, however, have led to the supply of SSD components lagging behind demand. At the same time, enterprise SSD suppliers are aggressively raising the share of large-density products in their offerings in an attempt to optimize their product lines' profitability. Taking account of these factors, TrendForce expects contract prices of enterprise SSDs to undergo a staggering 15% QoQ increase for 3Q21.

AMD and GlobalFoundries Wafer Supply Agreement Now Non-Exclusive, Paves Way for 7nm sIOD

AMD in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), revealed that its wafer supply agreement with GlobalFoundries has been amended. Under the new terms, AMD places orders for wafers from GlobalFoundries up to 2024, with purchase targets set for each year leading up to 2024. Beyond meeting these targets, AMD is free from all other exclusivity commitments. The agreement was previously amended in January 2019, setting annual purchase targets for 2019, 2020, and 2021, while beginning a de-coupling between AMD and GlobalFoundries. This enabled the company to source 7 nm (or smaller) chips, such as CCDs and GPUs, from other foundries, such as TSMC, while keeping GlobalFoundries exclusive for 12 nm (or larger) nodes.

The updated wafer supply agreement unlocks many possibilities for AMD. For starters, it can finally build a next-generation sIOD (server I/O die) on a more efficient node than GlobalFoundries 12LP, such as TSMC 7 nm. This transition to 7 nm will be needed as the next-gen "Genoa" EPYC processor could feature future I/O standards such as DDR5 memory and PCI-Express Gen 5, and the switching fabric for these could be too power-hungry on 12 nm. The "Zen 4" CPU core complex dies (CCDs) of "Genoa" are expected to be built on TSMC 5 nm.

AMD "Zen 4" Microarchitecture to Support AVX-512

The next-generation "Zen 4" CPU microarchitecture powering AMD's 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" enterprise processors, will support 512-bit AVX instruction sets, according to an alleged company slide leaked to the web on the ChipHell forums. The slide references "AVX3-512" support in addition to BFloat16 and "other ISA extensions." This would make "Zen 4" the first AMD microarchitecture to support AVX-512. It remains to be seen which specific instructions the architecture supports, and whether all of them are available to both the enterprise and client implementations of "Zen 4," or whether AMD would take an approach similar to Intel, in only enabling certain "relevant" instructions on the client parts. The slide also mentions core counts being "greater than 64" corresponding withour story from earlier today.

AMD "Genoa" Expected to Cram Up to 96 Cores, MCM Imagined

AMD's next-generation EPYC enterprise processor that succeeds the upcoming 3rd Gen EYPIC "Milan," codenamed "Genoa," is expected to be the first major platform update for AMD's enterprise platforms since the 2017 debut of the "Zen" based "Naples." Implementing the latest I/O interfaces, such as DDR5 memory and PCI-Express gen 5.0, the chip will also increase CPU core counts by 50% over "Milan," according to ExecutableFix on Twitter, a reliable source with rumors from the semiconductor industry. To enable the goals of new I/O and increased core counts, AMD will transition to a new CPU socket type, the SP5. This is a 6,096-pin land grid array (LGA), and the "Genoa" MCM package on SP5 is imagined to be visibly larger than SP3-generation packages.

With the added fiberglass substrate real-estate, AMD is expected to add more CPU chiplets to the package, and ExecutableFix expects the chiplet count to be increased to 12. AMD is expected to debut the "Zen 4" microarchitecture in the enterprise space with "Genoa," with the CPU chiplets expected to be built on the 5 nm EUV silicon fabrication node. Assuming the chiplets still only pack 8 cores a piece, "Genoa" could cram up to 96 cores per socket, or up to 192 logical processors, with SMT enabled.

AMD Zen 4 Reportedly Features a 29% IPC Boost Over Zen 3

While AMD has only released a few Zen 3 processors which are still extremely hard to purchase for RRP we are already receiving leaks on their successors. Zen 3 Milan processors will likely be the final generation of AM4 processors before the switch to AM5. AMD appears to be preparing a bridging series of processors based on the Zen 3+ architecture before the release of Zen 4. Zen 3+ is expected to be AMD's first AM5 CPU design and should bring small IPC gains similar to the improvements from Zen to Zen+ in the range of 4% - 7%. The Zen 3+ processors will be manufactured on TSMC's refined N7 node with a potential announcement sometime later in 2021.

Zen 4 is expected to launch the next year in 2022 and will bring significant improvements potentially up to 40% over Zen 3 after clock boosts according to ChipsandChesse. A Zen 4 Genoa engineering sample reportedly performed 29% faster than an existing Zen 3 CPUs at the same clock speeds and core counts. The Zen 4 architecture will be manufactured on a 5 nm node and could potentially bring another core count increase. This would be one of the largest generational improvements for AMD since the launch of Ryzen if true. Take all this information with a heavy dose of skepticism as with any rumor.

AMD Confirms "Zen 4" on 5nm, Other Interesting Tidbits from Q2-2020 Earnings Call

AMD late Tuesday released its Q2-2020 financial results, which saw the company rake in revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, and clock a 26 percent YoY revenue growth. In both its corporate presentation targeted at the financial analysts, and its post-results conference call, AMD revealed a handful interesting bits looking into the near future. Much of the focus of AMD's presentation was in reassuring investors that [unlike Intel] it is promising a stable and predictable roadmap, that nothing has changed on its roadmap, and that it intends to execute everything on time. "Over the past couple of quarters what we've seen is that they see our performance/capability. You can count on us for a consistent roadmap. Milan point important for us, will ensure it ships later this year. Already started engaging people on Zen4/5nm. We feel customers are very open. We feel well positioned," said president and CEO Dr Lisa Su.

For starters, there was yet another confirmation from the CEO that the company will launch the "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture across both the consumer and data-center segments before year-end, which means both Ryzen and EPYC "Milan" products based on "Zen 3." Also confirmed was the introduction of the RDNA2 graphics architecture across consumer graphics segments, and the debut of the CDNA scalar compute architecture. The company started shipping semi-custom SoCs to both Microsoft and Sony, so they could manufacture their next-generation Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 game consoles in volumes for the Holiday shopping season. Semi-custom shipments could contribute big to the company's Q3-2020 earnings. CDNA won't play a big role in 2020 for AMD, but there will be more opportunities for the datacenter GPU lineup in 2021, according to the company. CDNA2 debuts next year.

Distant Blips on the AMD Roadmap Surface: Rembrandt and Raphael

Several future AMD processor codenames across various computing segments surfaced courtesy of an Expreview leak that's largely aligned with information from Komachi Ensaka. It does not account for "Matisse Refresh" that's allegedly coming out in June-July as three gaming-focused Ryzen socket AM4 desktop processors; but roadmap from 2H-2020 going up to 2022 sees many codenames surface. To begin with, the second half of 2020 promises to be as action packed as last year's 7/7 mega launch. Over in the graphics business, the company is expected to debut its DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant RDNA2 client graphics, and its first CDNA architecture-based compute accelerators. Much of the processor launch cycle is based around the new "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

The server platform debuting in the second half of 2020 is codenamed "Genesis SP3." This will be the final processor architecture for the SP3-class enterprise sockets, as it has DDR4 and PCI-Express gen 4.0 I/O. The EPYC server processor is codenamed "Milan," and combines "Zen 3" chiplets along with an sIOD. EPYC Embedded (FP6 package) processors are codenamed "Grey Hawk."

AMD Financial Analyst Day 2020 Live Blog

AMD Financial Analyst Day presents an opportunity for AMD to talk straight with the finance industry about the company's current financial health, and a taste of what's to come. Guidance and product teasers made during this time are usually very accurate due to the nature of the audience. In this live blog, we will post information from the Financial Analyst Day 2020 as it unfolds.
20:59 UTC: The event has started as of 1 PM PST. CEO Dr Lisa Su takes stage.

AMD "Zen 4" 2021 Launch On Track as TSMC Optimistic About 5 nm

AMD's "Zen 4" CPU microarchitecture is on track for a 2021 launch as its principal foundry partner, TSMC, is optimistic about early yields of its 5 nm silicon fabrication node. TSMC supports the 5 nm product roadmaps of not just AMD, but also Apple and HiSilicon. "Zen 4" is particularly important for AMD, as it will release its next enterprise platform, codenamed "Genoa," along with the new SP5 socket. The new socket will present AMD with the opportunity to significantly change the processor's I/O, such as support for a new memory standard, a new PCIe generation, more memory channels, more PCIe lanes, etc. As early as 2019, the foundry is seeing yields of over 50 percent for the 5 nm node (possibly risk production designed to test the node), which is very encouraging for its customers.

AMD's roadmap for 2020 sees the introduction of "Zen 3" on the 7 nm EUV process (dubbed 7 nm+). AMD recently commented that the performance uplift of "Zen 3" versus "Zen 2" will be "right in line with what you would expect from an entirely new architecture." The 7 nm EUV node provides a significant 20 percent increase in transistor-density compared to the current 7 nm DUV node "Zen 2" chiplets and the company's "Navi" family of GPUs are built on. "Zen 3" could see the company do away with the CCX (quad-core CPU complex), and make chiplets monolithic blocks of CPU cores without sub-divisions. For the client-segment, 5 is a recurring number in 2021. It will see the introduction of the 5th generation Ryzen processors (5000-series), built on the 5 nm process, supporting DDR5 memory, PCI-Express gen 5, and the new AM5 client-segment CPU socket.

AMD Zen 3 Could Bid the CCX Farewell, Feature Updated SMT

With its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture designed for the 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process, AMD could bid the "Zen" compute complex or CCX farewell, heralding chiplets with monolithic last-level caches (L3 caches) that are shared across all cores on the chiplet. AMD embraced a quad-core compute complex approach to building multi-core processors with "Zen." At the time, the 8-core "Zeppelin" die featured two CCX with four cores, each. With "Zen 2," AMD reduced the CPU chiplet to only containing CPU cores, L3 cache, and an Infinity Fabric interface, talking to an I/O controller die elsewhere on the processor package. This reduces the economic or technical utility in retaining the CCX topology, which limits the amount of L3 cache individual cores can access.

This and more juicy details about "Zen 3" were put out by a leaked (later deleted) technical presentation by company CTO Mark Papermaster. On the EPYC side of things, AMD's design efforts will be spearheaded by the "Milan" multi-chip module, featuring up to 64 cores spread across eight 8-core chiplets. Papermaster talked about how the individual chiplets will feature "unified" 32 MB of last-level cache, which means a deprecation of the CCX topology. He also detailed an updated SMT implementation that doubles the number of logical processors per physical core. The I/O interface of "Milan" will retain PCI-Express gen 4.0 and eight-channel DDR4 memory interface.
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