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Intel 10nm "Ice Lake" to Combine "Sunny Cove" CPU Cores with Gen11 iGPU

Intel's upcoming "Ice Lake" die could be the company's biggest processor innovation in a decade, combining new clean-slate design "Sunny Cove" CPU cores, and a new integrated graphics solution based on the company's Gen11 architecture. "Sunny Cove" introduces significant IPC (single-thread performance) gains over "Coffee Lake," introduces new ISA instruction sets, including AVX-512; and a brand new uncore component; while the Gen11 graphics core is Intel's first iGPU to reach the 1 TFLOP/s mark. Intel demonstrated the ultra-low power "Ice Lake-U" SoC platform in its 2018 Architecture Day briefing.

This "Ice Lake-U" chip, with its TDP in the ballpark of 15 W, was shown ripping through 7-zip and "Tekken 7." With 7-zip, Intel was trying to demonstrate vector-AES and SHA-NI improving archive encryption performance by 75 percent over "Skylake." The Gen11 iGPU was shown providing a smoother gameplay than Skylake with Gen9, although the company neither mentioned resolution, nor frame-rates. Anandtech wagers it's above 30 fps.

Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

Intel today unveiled its first clean-slate CPU core micro-architecture since "Nehalem," codenamed "Sunny Cove." Over the past decade, the 9-odd generations of Core processors were based on incrementally refined descendants of "Nehalem," running all the way down to "Coffee Lake." Intel now wants a clean-slate core design, much like AMD "Zen" is a clean-slate compared to "Stars" or to a large extent even "Bulldozer." This allows Intel to introduce significant gains in IPC (single-thread performance) over the current generation. Intel's IPC growth curve over the past three micro-architectures has remained flat, and only grew single-digit percentages over the generations prior.

It's important to note here, that "Sunny Cove" is the codename for the core design. Intel's earlier codenaming was all-encompassing, covering not just cores, but also uncore, and entire dies. It's up to Intel's future chip-designers to design dies with many of these cores, a future-generation iGPU such as Gen11, and a next-generation uncore that probably integrates PCIe gen 4.0 and DDR5 memory. Intel details "Sunny Cove" as far as mentioning IPC gains, a new ISA (new instruction sets and hardware capabilities, including AVX-512), and improved scalability (ability to increase core-counts without running into latency problems).

AMD "Zen 2" IPC 29 Percent Higher than "Zen"

AMD reportedly put out its IPC (instructions per clock) performance guidance for its upcoming "Zen 2" micro-architecture in a version of its Next Horizon investor meeting, and the numbers are staggering. The next-generation CPU architecture provides a massive 29 percent IPC uplift over the original "Zen" architecture. While not developed for the enterprise segment, the stopgap "Zen+" architecture brought about 3-5 percent IPC uplifts over "Zen" on the backs of faster on-die caches and improved Precision Boost algorithms. "Zen 2" is being developed for the 7 nm silicon fabrication process, and on the "Rome" MCM, is part of the 8-core chiplets that aren't subdivided into CCX (8 cores per CCX).

According to Expreview, AMD conducted DKERN + RSA test for integer and floating point units, to arrive at a performance index of 4.53, compared to 3.5 of first-generation Zen, which is a 29.4 percent IPC uplift (loosely interchangeable with single-core performance). "Zen 2" goes a step beyond "Zen+," with its designers turning their attention to critical components that contribute significantly toward IPC - the core's front-end, and the number-crunching machinery, FPU. The front-end of "Zen" and "Zen+" cores are believed to be refinements of previous-generation architectures such as "Excavator." Zen 2 gets a brand-new front-end that's better optimized to distribute and collect workloads between the various on-die components of the core. The number-crunching machinery gets bolstered by 256-bit FPUs, and generally wider execution pipelines and windows. These come together yielding the IPC uplift. "Zen 2" will get its first commercial outing with AMD's 2nd generation EPYC "Rome" 64-core enterprise processors.

Update Nov 14: AMD has issued the following statement regarding these claims.
As we demonstrated at our Next Horizon event last week, our next-generation AMD EPYC server processor based on the new 'Zen 2' core delivers significant performance improvements as a result of both architectural advances and 7nm process technology. Some news media interpreted a 'Zen 2' comment in the press release footnotes to be a specific IPC uplift claim. The data in the footnote represented the performance improvement in a microbenchmark for a specific financial services workload which benefits from both integer and floating point performance improvements and is not intended to quantify the IPC increase a user should expect to see across a wide range of applications. We will provide additional details on 'Zen 2' IPC improvements, and more importantly how the combination of our next-generation architecture and advanced 7nm process technology deliver more performance per socket, when the products launch.

AMD Zen 2 Offers a 13% IPC Gain over Zen+, 16% over Zen 1

AMD "Zen" CPU architecture brought the company back to competitive relevance in the processor market. It got an incremental update in the form of "Zen+" which saw the implementation of an improved 12 nm process, and improved multi-core boosting algorithm, along with improvements to the cache subsystem. AMD is banking on Zen 2 to not only add IPC (instructions per clock) improvements; but also a new round of core-count increases. Bits n Chips has information that Zen 2 is making significant IPC gains.

According to the Italian tech publication, we could expect Zen 2 IPC gains of 13 percent over Zen+, which in turn posted 2-5% IPC gains over the original Zen. Bits n Chips notes that these IPC gains were tested in scientific tasks, and not in gaming. There is no gaming performance data at the moment. AMD is expected to debut Zen 2 with its 2nd generation EPYC enterprise processors by the end of the year, built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. This roughly 16 percent IPC gain versus the original Zen, coupled with higher clocks, and possibly more cores, could complete the value proposition of 2nd gen EPYC. Zen 2-based client-segment products can be expected only in 2019.

Intel Core i5-9600K Surfaces on GeekBench Database

With the swanky Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K eight-core chips getting all the attention, the less glamorous Core i5-9600K is taking shape, which could bring a little more performance to the $250 price-point. This 6-core/6-thread chip succeeds the current-gen i5-8600K, and has the same 9 MB of L3 cache. With not much in the way of micro-architectural IPC improvements, barring silicon-level hardening against certain vulnerabilities, which could improve speculative execution performance (versus processors with software patches that inflict performance penalties); Intel has dialed up clock speeds. The chip is clocked at 3.70 GHz, with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 4.60 GHz, compared to the 3.60 GHz nominal and 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost frequencies of its predecessor.

The higher clocks seem to bring the i5-9600K a touch higher than the i5-8600K in terms of GeekBench scores, although still nowhere close to the i7-8700 (non-K). The i5-8600K, if you'll recall, beat some of its pricier previous-generation siblings such as the i7-7700, in multi-threaded tests. Someone with access to an i5-9600K put it through GeekBench 4. The chip scores 6,015 points in the single-core test or about 3.7 percent faster than its predecessor (the i5-8600K typically scores 5,800 points), coming from the 300 MHz higher single-core boost. The multi-core score is 23,393 points, which is a meager 2 percent faster (the i5-8600K typically scores around 23,000 points). The generational jump in performance for the mid-range hence seems to have stagnated. At best the i5-9600K will repair the uncertain price/performance equation the i5-8600K has against the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X.

Intel "Whiskey Lake-U" Core Processor Lineup Detailed

Intel is giving final touches to its 9th generation Core "Whiskey Lake-U" processors for Ultrabooks and other ULV platforms. Successors to 8th Gen "Kaby Lake Refresh" chips, these 15-Watt SoCs may not pack a newer microarchitecture in terms of IPC increases, but Intel is building them on the latest iteration of its 14 nm node, along with tweaks made to their Turbo Boost algorithm, which combined with higher boost clocks, should offer better performance than the previous generation.

The lineup begins with the Core i3-8145U, successor to the i3-8130U. This 2-core/4-thread chip is has a lower nominal clock at 2.10 GHz (vs. 2.20 GHz of its predecessor), but significantly higher boost clocks of 3.90 GHz (vs. 3.40 GHz of the i3-8130U). The Core i5-8265U and top-end i7-8565U are both 4-core/8-thread chips with a nominal clocks of 1.60 GHz and 1.80 GHz, respectively. The i5-8265U has a boost clock of 4.10 GHz and 6 MB of L3 cache; while the i7-8565U tops that with 4.70 GHz boost clocks, and 8 MB of L3 cache. All three chips have 15W TDP, configurable to 25W by applying the "high performance" power scheme.

Intel to Paper-launch 9th Gen Core on August 14, Availability in Q4-2018

Intel's client desktop processor lineup is under tremendous pressure owing to competition from AMD, with the company having to roll out entire processor generations over mere 2-3 quarters. You'll recount that Intel was merrily trotting around with its barely-innovative 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" family in early 2017, when AMD stunned the industry with an outperforming product lineup. The 7th generation barely lasted its planned product cycle, before Intel rushed in a pathetic sub-$500 Core X lineup, and the 8th generation "Coffee Lake" with 50-100% core-count increases. Even that is proving insufficient in the wake of 2nd generation AMD Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge," and Intel is cutting short its product cycle with the 9th generation Core "Whiskey Lake" (or "Coffee Lake" Refresh) series, that further increase core-counts.

"Whiskey Lake" was originally planned for Q1-2019 alongside the 14 nm original Z390 chipset. Intel wasn't expecting AMD to rebound with Ryzen 2000 series (particularly the tangible IPC increases and improved multi-core boosting). And so, it decided to rush through with a new product generation yet again. The Z370 is being re-branded to Z390 (with an improved CPU VRM reference design), and what was originally meant to come out in Q1-2019, could come out by Q4-2018, at the very earliest by October. Intel reportedly planned availability sooner, but realized that distributors have heaps of unsold 8th generation Core inventory, and motherboard vendors aren't fully ready for the chip. Since getting a 9th gen Core chip doesn't warrant a new motherboard, customers would be inclined to pick up 9th generation chip with their existing boards, or any new 300-series board. This would kill the prospects of selling 8th generation Core CPUs.

Rumor: AMD's Zen 2, 7 nm Chips to Feature 10-15% IPC Uplift, Revised 8-core per CCX Design

A post via Chiphell makes some substantial claims on AMD's upcoming Zen 2 microarchitecture, built on the 7 nm process. AMD has definitely won the core-count war once again (albeit with a much more decisive blow to Intel's dominance than with Bulldozer), but the IPC battle has been an uphill one against Intel's slow, but sure, improvement in that area over the years. AMD did say, at the time they introduced the Zen architecture, that they had a solid understanding on Zen's choke points and its improveable bits and pieces - and took it to heart to deliver just that.

AMD to Begin Sampling 7nm "Zen 2" Processors Within 2018 for a 2019 Launch

It looks like AMD's processor product launch cycle is on steroids, and keeping up (or even ahead) of Intel. After launching the first 12 nm processor architecture with "Zen+," the company is giving final touches to what it hopes to be the world's first 7 nanometer processor architecture, with "Zen 2." The company will reportedly begin sampling the chip within 2018, to enable volume production and market launch in 2019. Speaking at an investors conference call following the company's Q1-2018 Results release, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su confirmed the 7 nm roll-out strategy of her company.

"We have a 7nm GPU based on Vega that we'll sample later this year. We have a 7nm server CPU that we'll sample later this year. And then, obviously, we have a number of products that are planned for 2019 as well. So it's a very, very busy product season for us. But we're pleased with the sort of the execution on the product roadmap," Dr. Su said. Unlike Zen+, Zen 2 is a major update to the company's processor micro-architecture, and presents the company with opportunities to improve several silicon-level specifications, such as the number of cores per CCX, the IPC of each core, the core-count of the die, the cache hierarchy, and the overall energy-efficiency.

AAEON Announces the BOXER-6640 IPC

AAEON, an award-winning developer of embedded systems, is pleased to announce the release of the BOXER-6640, an embedded controller with a 6th or 7th Generation Intel Core Desktop Processor and support for DDR4 memory.

The BOXER-6640 is purpose built for factory automation and machine vision applications. With two LAN ports, four USB3.0 ports, and three USB2.0 ports, it can be connected to a range of cameras and sensors, and its 8-bit DIO enables it to control connected systems based on digital inputs. As it also has a VGA port and two further combined HDMI and DP ports for dual display output, this controller can easily serve as the hub of an effective HMI solution.

Aaeon Announces BOXER-6640M Rugged IPC

AAEON, a leading developer of Industry 4.0 solutions, announces the release of the BOXER-6640M embedded Box PC. This feature-rich ruggedized device supports high frames per second (FPS) cameras and dynamic facial recognition software, making it ideal for both machine vision and digital surveillance applications.

"With its combination of nine LAN ports and a 6th or 7th Generation Intel Core Desktop Processor, the BOXER-6640M achieves a level of performance few other systems can match," said system platform division product manager Roy Huang. While it is normal to see PCs fitted with either a powerful processor or a large number of LAN ports, it's rare to find both features on the same machine. The BOXER-6640M also features eight USB 3.0 ports to meet the growing demand for USB camera support.

AMD Confirms 2nd Generation Ryzen Processors to Debut in Q1-2018

At a press event, AMD confirmed that its 2nd generation Ryzen desktop processors will debut in Q1-2018 (before April). It also clarified that "2nd Generation" does not equal "Zen2" (a micro-architecture that succeeds "Zen"). 2nd Generation Ryzen processors are based on two silicons, the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge," which is a GPU-devoid silicon with up to eight CPU cores; and "Raven Ridge," which is an APU combining up to 4 CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The core CPU micro-architecture is still "Zen." The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon takes advantage of the optical shrink to 12 nm to increase clock speeds, with minimal impact on power-draw.

AMD is also launching a new generation of chipset, under the AMD 400-series. There's not much known about these chipsets. Hopefully they feature PCIe gen 3.0 general purpose lanes. The second-generation Ryzen processors and APUs will carry the 2000-series model numbering, with clear differentiation between chips with iGPU and those without. Both product lines will work on socket AM4 motherboards, including existing ones based on AMD 300-series chipset (requiring a BIOS update). AMD is reserving "Zen2," the IPC-increasing successor of "Zen" for 2019. The "Mattise" silicon will drive the multi-core CPU product-line, while the "Picasso" silicon will drive the APU line. Both these chips will run on existing AM4 motherboards, as AMD plans to keep AM4 as its mainstream-desktop socket till 2020.

AMD "Navi" GPU by Q3-2018: Report

AMD is reportedly accelerating launch of its first GPU architecture built on the 7 nanometer process, codenamed "Navi." Graphics cards based on the first implementation of "Navi" could launch as early as by Q3-2018 (between July and September). Besides IPC increments with its core number-crunching machinery, "Navi" will introduce a slew of memory and GPU virtualization technologies.

AMD will take its multi-chip module (MCM) approach of building high-performance GPUs a step further, by placing multiple GPU dies with their HBM stacks on a single package. The company could leverage its InfinityFabric as a high-bandwidth interconnect between the GPU dies (dubbed "GPU module"), with an I/O controller die interfacing the MCM with the host machine. With multi-GPU on the decline for games, it remains to be seen how those multiple GPU modules are visible to the operating system. In the run up to "Navi," AMD could give its current "Vega" architecture a refresh on a refined 14 nm+ process, to increase clock speeds.

AMD to Build 2nd Gen. Ryzen and Radeon Vega on GloFo 12nm

Not to be held back by silicon fabrication process limitations like in the past, AMD will build its second-generation Ryzen CPUs and Radeon Vega GPUs on the new 12 nanometer LP (low power) FinFET process by GlobalFoundries. From the looks of it, "2nd generation Ryzen" doesn't seem to be the same as "Zen2" (a micro-architectural advancement due to be built on the 7 nm process), and is more likely an optical shrink of existing 14 nm IP to the 12 nm process, giving AMD the headroom to increase yields, and clock speeds across the board. The 12 nm switch allows AMD to roll out a new "generation" of Ryzen processors as early as the first half of 2018.

The "Vega 10" silicon could be another key piece of AMD IP on the receiving end of an optical shrink to 12 nm, which will give AMD much needed power savings, letting it increase clock speeds, and probably implement faster standards of HBM2 memory, such as 2.00 GT/s. AMD will likely label this shrunk down silicon "Vega 20." There's also the possibility of AMD building a bigger new GPUs altogether. In 2019, the company will give its CPU and GPU lineups major micro-architectural upgrades, and the switch to the 7 nm node. The new "Zen2" micro-architecture with IPC increases and new ISA instruction-sets, will be launched on the CPU side, and the new "Navi" graphics architecture will take center-stage.

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."

AMD Talks Zen 3, "Raven Ridge," and More at Reddit AMA

AMD, at its post-Ryzen 7 launch Reddit AMA, disclosed some juicy details about its other upcoming socket AM4 chips, beginning with the rest of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 "Summit Ridge" processor roll-out, and a little bit about its 8th generation socket AM4 APU, codenamed "Raven Ridge." To begin with, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated that "Raven Ridge" will also be sold under the Ryzen brand. This would mark a departure from the less-than-stellar A-series branding for its performance APUs. "Raven Ridge" likely combines a "Zen" quad-core CPU complex (CCX) with an integrated GPU based on one of AMD's newer GPU architectures (either "Polaris" or "Vega").

The range-topping Ryzen 7 series will lead the company's lineup throughout Q1, with six-core and quad-core Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series launches being scheduled for later this year. Our older reports pinned Ryzen 5 series rollout for Q2, and Ryzen 3 series for the second half of 2017. This is likely also when the company rolls out "Raven Ridge" initially as mobile Ryzen products (BGA packages, which will likely also be used in AIOs), and later as desktop socket AM4 parts.

Following Ryzen's Launch, Intel's CPUs Likely to See Price-Cuts

Let's quietly approach the elephant in the room: Intel's pricing structure will hardly stand the onslaught of AMD's Ryzen, which, if early benchmarks are to be believed, has apparently caught Intel with its pants down. Even purely from the leaks that have been following us non-stop in the last several months, it's obvious that AMD managed to outdo itself in the best way possible, managing to develop an architecture which offers up to 52% more performance than their previous one. Intel, which was enjoying the sun-shaded comfort of carrying a virtual, high-performance x86 monopoly, grew stagnant in innovation, ensuring it would stretch its bottom-line by way of minimal R&D investment - just enough to be able to name their improvements as a "new generation" of processors each year.

This in turn has led to an interesting outlook in the high-performance x86 market: customers aren't blind, and they see when a company is stretching its fingers in their pockets. A stagnant performance increase on Intel's customer processors with almost a decade of single-digit increments and paralyzed core-counts to an (admittedly strong) architecture have taken away a lot of customers' goodwill towards Intel. That Intel still has strong brand cognition is a no-brainer, but it doesn't have as much brand credit these days, on account of the low performance gains, and tick-tock falter, than it did in the days of Athlon 64. AMD has the benefit of being the underdog, of coming up with something new, fresh and performant (with headlines claiming it is the latest revival of a sleeping giant)... and those are all points that put pressure on Intel to reignite interest on its products.

AMD Ryzen Die Shot and New Architecture Details Revealed at ISSCC

At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference held earlier this month, some solid information has come to surface on a subject near and dear to many enthusiast hearts right now: AMD's upcoming Ryzen CPU line.

As far as credibility, the information comes in fairly convincing form. AMD's claims are backed with die shots of actual AMD Ryzen cores and further supported by more shots of their CCX (core complex) modules. From these shots, we can guess at several things, and further more see evidence for several of their claims.

Intel Announces the Xeon E7-8894 v4 Processor

Intel today extended the performance capabilities of the Intel Xeon processor E7-8800 v4 product family with the addition of a high-performance SKU in the processor family's Advanced SKU stack. The new SKU delivers the processor family's highest performance to handle the most demanding, mission-critical enterprise workloads. Businesses can use Intel Xeon processor E7-8894 v4-based servers to derive faster insights from the unprecedented amount of data being generated to create new services and improve customer experiences.

The Intel Xeon processor E7-8894 v4 combines high memory capacity and compute performance to deliver quicker results and improved productivity. The processor is targeted at scale-up workloads such as large databases, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), online transaction processing (OLT) and in-memory analytics. The ability to scale-up allows more resources (more sockets and more memory) to be added to a single node image.

Intel Core i7-7700K Cracks 7 GHz Bench-Stable Overclock

It may have practically no IPC gains over its predecessor, but Intel's 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" unlocked processors are shaping up to be an overclocker's delight. A Core i7-7700K sample tested by professional overclocker Allen "Splave" Golibersuch was able to breach the 7 GHz barrier. To achieve this feat however, HyperThreading was disabled, and two of the four CPU cores were also disabled.

Paired with an ASRock Z170 OC Formula motherboard, the i7-7700K was bench-stable at 7022.96 MHz, at the chip's maximum base clock multiplier of 69x, and a base-clock of 101.78 MHz. The Vcore voltage was set at a scorching 2.00V. The chip crunched PiFast in 9.02 seconds, SuperPi 32M in 4 minutes 20.25 seconds, wPrime 32M in 2.953 seconds, and wPrime 1024M in 1 minute 33.171 seconds. Paired with an ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX OC graphics card, it scored 643,316 points in Aquamark, and 86,798 points in 3DMark 05.

AMD Ryzen Performance Review Leaked: Promising

French tech print magazine "Canard PC" is ready with early benchmarks of an AMD Ryzen 8-core processor. The scan of a page from its Ryzen performance review article got leaked to the web, revealing three key performance takeaways. In the first selection of tests, Canard PC put Ryzen through synthetic CPU-intensive tests that take advantage of as many CPU cores/threads as you can throw at them. These include the likes of H.264 and H.265 video encoding, WPrime, Blender, 3DSMax 2015, and Corona. Ryzen was found to be faster than the quad-core Core i7-6700K, and the six-core i7-6800K, but somewhere between the i7-6800K and the eight-core i7-6900K.

The next selection of tests focused on PC gaming, with a list of contemporary AAA titles, including "Far Cry 4," "Battlefield 4," "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," "Anno 2070," "GRID: Autosport," and "ARMA III." Here, the Ryzen sample was found to be underwhelming - it was slower than the Core i5-6600 quad-core chip clocked at 3.30-3.90 GHz; but faster than the i5-6500, clocked at 3.20-3.60 GHz. The fastest chip in the table is the i7-6700K (4.00-4.20 GHz). The reviewer still notes that Ryzen has a decent IPC gain unseen from the AMD stable in a while.

Intel Core i5-7600K Tested, Negligible IPC Gains

Ahead of its launch, a Core i5-7600K processor (not ES) made its way to Chinese tech publication PCOnline, who wasted no time in putting it through their test-bench, taking advantage of the next-gen CPU support BIOS updates put out by several socket LGA1151 motherboard manufacturers. Based on the 14 nm "Kaby Lake" silicon, the i5-7600K succeeds the current i5-6600K, and could be positioned around the $250 price-point in Intel's product-stack. The quad-core chip features clock speeds of 3.80 GHz, with 4.20 GHz max Turbo Boost frequency, and 6 MB of L3 cache. Like all its predecessors, it lacks HyperThreading.

In its review of the Core i5-7600K, PCOnline found that the chip is about 9-10% faster than the i5-6600K, but that's mostly only due to its higher clock speeds out of the box (3.80/4.20 GHz vs. 3.50/3.90 GHz of the i5-6600K). Clock-for-clock, the i5-7600K is just about 1% faster, indicating that the "Kaby Lake" architecture offers only negligible IPC (instructions per clock) performance gains over the "Skylake" architecture. The power-draw of the CPU appears to be about the same as the i5-6600K, so there appear to be certain fab process-level improvements, given the higher clock speeds the chip is having to sustain, without a proportionate increase in power-draw. Most of the innovation appears to be centered on the integrated graphics, which is slightly faster, and has certain new features. Find more performance figures in the review link to PCOnline below.

AMD Details ZEN Microarchitecture IPC Gains

AMD Tuesday hosted a ZEN microarchitecture deep-dive presentation in the backdrop of Hot Chips, outlining its road to a massive 40 percent gain in IPC (translated roughly as per-core performance gains), over the current "Excavator" microarchitecture. The company credits the gains to three major changes with ZEN: better core engine, better cache system, and lower power. With ZEN, AMD pulled back from its "Bulldozer" approach to cores, in which two cores share certain number-crunching components to form "modules," and back to a self-sufficient core design.

Beyond cores, the next-level subunit of the ZEN architecture is the CPU-Complex (CCX), in which four cores share an 8 MB L3 cache. This isn't different from current Intel architectures, the cores share nothing beyond L3 cache, making them truly independent. What makes ZEN a better core, besides its independence from other cores, and additional integer pipelines; subtle upscaling in key ancillaries such as micro-Op dispatch, instruction schedulers; retire, load, and store queues; and a larger quad-issue FPU.

AMD Confirms Key "Summit Ridge" Specs

AMD CEO Lisa Su, speaking at the company's Computex reveal held up the most important CPU product for the company, the new eight-core "Summit Ridge" processor. A posterboy of the company's new "Zen" micro-architecture, "Summit Ridge" is an eight-core processor with SMT enabling 16 threads for the OS to deal with, a massive 40% IPC increase over the current "Excavator" architecture, and a new platform based around the AM4 socket.

The AM4 socket sees AMD completely relocate the core-logic (chipset) to the processor's die. Socket AM4 motherboards won't have any chipset on them. This also means that the processor has an integrated PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, besides the DDR4 integrated memory controller. With the chipset being completely integrated, connectivity such as USB and SATA will be routed out of the processor. The AM4 socket is shared with another kind of products, the "Bristol Ridge" APU, which features "Excavator" CPU cores and a 512-SP GCN 1.2 iGPU.

Intel Intros "Crystalwell" IGP Based Core "Skylake-R" Embedded CPUs

Intel introduced a trio of embedded CPUs for SFF desktops and industrial PCs (IPCs), based on its "Skylake-R" silicon. This variant of Skylake features the largest integrated GPU Intel ever made - the Intel Iris Pro 580. This IGP features 72 execution units (compared to 24 on, say, the i7-6700K), and relies on a 128 MB eDRAM L4 cache for fast frame-buffering operations. The IGP uses this tiny yet fast cache, in conjunction with its traditional UMA system memory share, as video memory. The "Skylake-R" package is a multi-chip module of the main die with four "Skylake" CPU cores and the 72-EU IGP, and a second die housing the L4 cache.

Among the three "Skylake-R" chips Intel launched are the Core i7-6785R, the Core i5-6685R, and the Core i5-6585R. The i7-6785R features HyperThreading enabling 8 logical CPUs, 8 MB of L3 cache, and 3.30 GHz nominal clock speed, with 3.90 GHz Turbo Boost. The i5-6685R and the Core i5-6585R lack HyperThreading, and feature just 6 MB of L3 cache; the former features clock speeds of 3.20 GHz nominal with 3.80 GHz Turbo Boost, while the latter offers 2.80 GHz nominal with 3.60 GHz Turbo Boost. All three feature iGPU clocks of 350 MHz nominal, with up to 1150 MHz boost. The 14 nm chips further feature TDP of 65W, and feature dual-channel memory controllers that support both DDR4 and DDR3L memory. Sold in the OEM channel, the i7-6785R, i5-6685R, and i5-6585R, are priced at US $370, $288, and $255, respectively, per-piece, and in 1000-unit tray quantities.
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