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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 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."

AMD Announces Computex 2018 Conference

AMD today started the formal invitation procedure for the company's Computex 2018 presence, which should result in an updated state of affairs for the company as it aims to deliver its 2018 roadmap. You'd be forgiven to think AMD had exhausted its product portfolio for the year with its 12 nm Ryzen 2000 series, but the 2018 release schedule for AMD still counts some notable products.

Chief among these (for enthusiasts, at least) is the company's second generation Threadripper lineup, which will update the company's premium, many-core HEDT products to the current 12 nm process. However, the impact of AMD's Pro products shouldn't be underestimated - as tamer (in consumers' eyes - as they are compared to the screaming wildcat that is a 16-core CPU, these products usually carry higher margins for AMD - the company just also has to count on proper volume being there, which, if AMD's Zen architecture strength is anything to go by, really should keep gaining momentum. Of course, the real question on anyone's minds now regards AMD's RTG, and more precisely, what graphics technology advancements - and especially products - can be expected from the company. The 500 series (well, 400 series on steroids) is old in the tooth by now, and Vega is what it is. Here's hoping the Computex conference will bring some light to these matters. The Press Release follows.

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.

Graphics Industry Leaders Mike Rayfield and David Wang Join AMD

AMD today announced the appointment of Mike Rayfield as senior vice president and general manager of AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), and David Wang as senior vice president of engineering for RTG. Both will report to President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. Rayfield will be responsible for all aspects of strategy and business management for AMD's graphics business including consumer graphics, professional graphics, and semi-custom products. Wang will be responsible for all aspects of graphics engineering, including the technical strategy, architecture, hardware, and software for AMD graphics products and technologies.

"Mike and David are industry leaders who bring proven track records of delivering profitable business growth and leadership product roadmaps," said AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. "We enter 2018 with incredible momentum for our graphics business based on the full set of GPU products we introduced last year for the consumer, professional, and machine learning markets. Under Mike and David's leadership, I am confident we will continue to grow the footprint of Radeon across the gaming, immersive, and GPU compute markets."

AMD Shows Off Ryzen Mobile Products at Its CES 2018 Booth

AMD took to CES 2018 with a smattering of partner products and designs that take advantage of the company's mobile implementation of its Ryzen CPUs (and ZEN architecture). At its CES 2018 booth, AMD showcased products from HP and Lenovo, and our lucky coverage agents even managed to catch AMD CEO, Lisa Su, in her visit/inspection to her company's CES 2018 presence (extra Easter-egg after the break).

The products on display included one HP AIO, one Dell AIO, one HP and one Lenovo laptop, as well as pre-built systems from the likes of Dell (under its own brand and the Alienware brand) and Lenovo. The HP Pavilion AIO 24 makes use of AMD's Ryzen Mobile 2500U with Radeon Vega 8 graphics, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2 TB HDD. The other AIO in the house, a Dell Inspiron 7775, packs a desktop-class Ryzen 7 1700, discrete Radeon RX 580 graphics, 16 GB of DDR4 memory, a 256 GB SSD, and a 1 TB HDD for all your storage needs.

AMD Confirms Raja Koduri's Departure, CEO Lisa Su Interim RTG Head

AMD late Tuesday confirmed the departure of Raja Koduri as head of the company's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG). Koduri had been on a "sabbatical" since September. Company CEO Lisa Su, who has been directly heading RTG, will continue to do so, until a replacement is found. AMD in its statement confirming Koduri's departure, assured all concerned (particularly investors), that there will be no change in the group's plans and the strategic direction in which it's heading.

"Earlier today, we announced two unrelated updates for our Radeon Technologies Group: 1) Raja Koduri has decided to leave AMD and 2) we are taking the next steps in our work to strengthen RTG by further focusing the organization on key growth areas," said Drew Prairie from corporate communications at AMD. "I wanted to also make sure you understood these updates do not impact our plans or the strategic direction we are driving our graphics business," he continued.

AMD Radeon Boss Raja Koduri Jumps Ship

As we reported back in September, Raja Koduri took a sabbatical leave from AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) to find himself. AMD CEO Lisa Su was left in charge during this time as Raja wasn't expected to return until December. However, our friends over at Hexus got their hands on a memo that Raja left to this team revealing his intentions to leave the company for good.

Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

Raja Koduri, chief of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has reportedly taken an extended leave from the company, running up to December 2017. Ryan Shrout, editor of PC Perspective stated that he got confirmation from the company about this development. Company CEO Lisa Su has taken direct control over RTG in the meantime.

Formed in 2015 after a major internal reorganization, RTG handles a bulk of AMD's graphics IP, developing and marketing products under the Radeon brand, including Radeon RX series consumer graphics chips, Radeon Pro series professional graphics chips, and Radeon Instinct line of GPGPU accelerators. This move is of particular significance as Q4 tends to be the biggest revenue quarter, as sales rally on account of Holiday.

Ethereum Takes Literal Flight; Mining Conglomerates Rent Airplanes for Transport

Ethereum is a strange little thing. When you open up your Blockfolio to look at how much you're valued right now, it can be as a fine bit of coffee in the morning, perking you up for the entire day, or a wrecking ball to your capitalist, speculative heart. However, even if you don't believe in the technology, there are many people who do believe: at least, in the future value of it. They believe it so much, really, that they're willing to rent entire airplanes to transport mining equipment (read graphics cards). And we're talking Boeing 747 here, not your average private jet (handy infographic on the pictures below, by the way.)

Ethereum's price fluctuations notwithstanding, which saw the currency soar from $10 at the beginning of the year to a historical high of $400 in mid-June, seems to have somehow settled around a $200 support level. At that value, it's still profitable to mine - even with the increased difficulty of the myriad of miners, dedicated or not, who have flooded towards the GPU-based workloads that support the cryptocurrency's POW (Proof of Work) design. And faith - or expectation of future value is so high, that mining conglomerates (the ones with the greatest running costs, but also pretty scalable profits - aren't willing to waste more idle time than they possibly can. Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, told Quartz that "Time is critical, very critical. For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity."

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

AMD today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $1.22 billion, operating income of $25 million, and net loss of $16 million, or $(0.02) per share. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $49 million, net income was $19 million, and earnings per share was $0.02.

"Our second quarter results demonstrate strong growth driven by leadership products and focused execution," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Our Ryzen desktop processors, Vega GPUs, and EPYC datacenter products have received tremendous industry recognition. We are very pleased with our improved financial performance, including double digit revenue growth and year-over-year gross margin expansion on the strength of our new products."

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Retail Packaging Pictured?

AMD CEO Lisa Su, ahead of the company's grand SIGGRAPH event, unveiled what could very well be the retail packaging of the company's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. There's a good possibility that this isn't the retail packaging, because it looks shaped like an old-school television, and could be a prop AMD is using for its SIGGRAPH booth, or it's a special packaging AMD is reserving for reviewers (the company does that with most of its flagship products).

The rounded cuboid box features a prominent window with a CRT-like convex bulge through which you can look at the large Ryzen Threadripper chip. There's minimal branding or literature on the box itself, which could indicate the presence of an outer cover. AMD is planning to launch its Ryzen Threadripper lineup with two SKUs for the retail (DIY) channel, the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core/32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. The two parts will be accompanied by a small but growing selection of compatible socket TR4 motherboards based on the AMD X399 chipset, by industry majors such as ASUS, ASRock, and GIGABYTE. The processor is expected to be available by 9th August.

AMD to Continue Working With TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES on 7 nm Ryzen

In the Q&A section of their 2017 Financial Analyst Day, AMD CEO Lisa Su answered an enquiry from a Deutsche-bank questioner regarding the company's aggressive 7 nm plan for their roadmap, on which AMD seems to be balancing its process shrinkage outlook for the foreseeable future. AMD will be developing their next Zen architecture revisions on 7 nm, alongside a push for 7 nm on their next-generation (or is that next-next generation?) Navi architecture. This means al of AMD's products, consumer, enterprise, and graphics, will be eventually built on this node. This is particularly interesting considering AMD's position with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, with which AMD has already had many amendments to their Wafer Supply Agreement, a remain of AMD's silicon production division spin-off, the latest of which runs from 2016 to 2020.

As it is, AMD has to pay GLOBALFOUNDRIES for its wafer orders that go to other silicon producers (in this case, TSMC), in a quarterly basis since the beginning of 2017, based on the volume of certain wafers purchased from another wafer foundry. In addition, AMD has annual wafer purchase targets from 2016 through the end of 2020, fixed wafer prices for 2016, and a framework for yearly wafer pricing in this amendment, so the company is still bleeding money to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. However, AMD is making the correct decision in this instance, I'd wager, considering GLOBALFOUNDRIES' known difficulties in delivering their process nodes absent of quirks.

AMD Announces High Performance Computing Platform - "Naples" is EPYC

Today on their Financial Analyst Day 2017, AMD has taken the lid off their "Naples" Zen implementation. The balanced Zen core in its unrestrained, server-grade level has become EPYC, with AMD CEO Lisa Su holding the silicon in her bare hands. The new EPYC platform with its I/O performance improvements allows more GPUs to be connected to a CPU than any other platform, with up to 128 PCIe lanes being expected on these server-grade chips.

AMD Executives Tease Vega Reveal On Today's Event

We've recently covered how AMD was going to have a full day today, with the company's top executives present on a meeting that is expected to build on AMD's product portfolio inflection point. This meeting will bring together most of AMD's higher-ups - namely, CEO Lisa Su, head of Radeon Technologies Group Raja Koduri, and AMD's CTO Mark Papermaster. 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+.

Don't expect this to be a full-blown, specification-laden, performance-benchmarks-driven presentation, though. That honor is probably reserved to AMD's Computex 2017 event, scheduled for May 31st from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

AMD Confirms Press Conference for Computex 2017 - Vega is (Almost) Here

AMD today has confirmed a highly-awaited, long-time-coming, almost too-late-to-be-true press conference on Computex 2017. Via email, the company announced their intention to share a save-the-date announcement for AMD's press conference, scheduled for May 31st from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

The conference will be hosted by AMD's CEO Lisa Su and other key executives, and will serve as a venue to "hear more about the latest products and leading-edge technologies coming from AMD in 2017." AMD is apparently "looking forward to providing new details on 2017 products and the ecosystems, both OEM and channel, that will support them." So yeah, this is probably it. A shame about that May 25th Easter Egg with Vega's location on the star charts, but maybe we shouldn't really be complaining, or else AMD might cancel this announcement altogether. And we've waited for Vega long enough, haven't we?

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.
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