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AMD Navi 21 XT Seemingly Confirmed to Run at ~2.3, 2.4 GHz Clock, 250 W+

AMD's RDNA2-based cards are just around the corner, with the company's full debut of the secrecy-shrouded cards being set for October 28th. Rumors of high clocks on AMD's new architecture - which were nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors up to now - have seemingly been confirmed, with Patrick Schur posting on Twitter some specifications for upcoming RNDA2-based Navi 21 XT. Navi 21 XT falls under the big Navi chip, but likely isn't the top performer from AMD - the company is allegedly working on a Navi 21 XTX solution, which ought to be exclusive to their reference designs, with higher clocks and possibly more CUs.

The specs outed by Patrick are promising, to say the least; that AMD's Big Navi can reach clocks in excess of 2.4 GHz with a 250 W+ TGP (quoted at around 255 W) is certainly good news. The 2.4 GHz (game clock) speeds are being associated with AIB cards; AMD's own reference designs should be running at a more conservative 2.3 GHz. A memory pool of 16 GB GDDR6 has also been confirmed. AMD's assault on the NVIDIA 30-series lineup should embody three models carved from the Navi 21 chip - the higher performance, AMD-exclusive XTX, XT, and the lower performance Navi 21 XL. All of these are expected to ship with the same 256 bit bus and 16 GB GDDR6 memory, whilst taking advantage of AMD's (rumored, for now) Infinity Cache to make up for the lower memory speeds and bus. Hold on to your hats; the hype train is going full speed ahead, luckily stopping in a smooth manner come October 28th.

AMD RDNA2 Graphics Architecture Features AV1 Decode Hardware-Acceleration

AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture features hardware-accelerated decoding of the AV1 video format, according to a Microsoft blog announcing the format's integration with Windows 10. The blog mentions the three latest graphics architectures among those that support accelerated decoding of the format—Intel Gen12 Iris Xe, NVIDIA RTX 30-series "Ampere," and AMD RX 6000-series "RDNA2." The AV1 format is being actively promoted by major hardware vendors to online streaming content providers, as it offers 50% better compression than the prevalent H.264 (translating into that much bandwidth savings), and 20% better compression than VP9. You don't need these GPUs to use AV1, anyone can use it with Windows 10 (version 1909 or later), by installing the AV1 Video Extension from the Microsoft Store. The codec will use software (CPU) decode in the absence of hardware acceleration.

AMD "Big Navi" GPU Die Pictured? Allegedly Measures 536mm²

Coreteks, in a video presentation on Sunday, released what is possibly the very first picture of the AMD "Big Navi" GPU silicon, which could power the company's next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series flagship graphics card. The grainy, blurry-cam picture reveals a mostly square package with a large, rectangular die at its center, which Coreteks estimates to be 536 mm² in die-area, with 29 mm x 18.5 mm (LxW) dimensions. The channel used an unusual method for measuring the die size. The chip is rumored to feature around 80 compute units based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture, which includes fixed-function hardware for real-time raytracing, as RDNA2 is designed to meet DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements. We'll know more about the chip in the run up to its October 28 unveiling.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series RDNA2 Pictured Some More, Including a Smaller Twin Fan Variant

A new picture, and two new renders of the upcoming AMD Radeon RX 6000 series RDNA2 graphics cards were shown to the web by JayzTwoCents. These build on top of the official render and Fortnite 3D model reveal from Monday. The first picture shows a top angle shot of AMD's upcoming flagship card, with its dual-slot, triple fan cooling solution. You also get to see the new fan design that has webbed impellers, similar to the ASUS Axial-Tech fans, which direct all their airflow axially, onto the heatsink below. Besides red and black, there are silver bits on the metal cooler shroud, including bits of reflective chrome, and diamond-cut bores of the fan intakes.

Jayz also revealed a never-before-seen smaller reference design card from the RX 6000 series, which features a slightly shorter board design, and a dual-fan setup. He predicts that the larger triple-fan card could be released as a range-topping RX 6900 series, while the dual-fan card could launch in a different segment—6800 or 6700 series. AMD is expected to reveal the RX 6000 series RDNA2 graphics cards on October 28, 2020, but along the way we're sure to receive many more such reveals.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" RDNA2 Reference Design Pictured

AMD revealed its Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card reference design. This card will likely be AMD's flagship product based on its RDNA2 graphics architecture. The card features a refreshing new dual-slot, triple axial fan cooling solution that uses large new high-airflow fans that have webbed impellers, and an aluminium fin-stack heatsink that spans the entire length of this roughly-30 cm long card. A variation of the insert with the Radeon branding was teased last year. This is AMD's second reference design with triple axial fans, after the Radeon VII.

The card features two 8-pin PCIe power inputs right where you expect them. Display outputs include a pair of DisplayPorts, an HDMI, and a USB type-C. Since air exhaust is guided out of the top of the card with its fin-stack arrangement (and none from the rear I/O), AMD has a sealed I/O shield like the Radeon Fury. AMD partnered with Epic Games for a Fortnite treasure-hunt map that lets you see a 3D model of the card in from more angles. We'll spare you the treasure hunt with a video by Anshel Sag.
The Fortnite video follows.

Alleged AMD Radeon "Big Navi" Prototype Pictured

Following Wednesday's announcement of the Radeon RX 6000 series with product launches on October 28, the rumor mill started rolling full steam ahead. The RX 6000 series GPUs by AMD will be based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture, the same exact architecture powering the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and will feature DirectX 12 Ultimate support, including hardware raytracing. A PC enthusiast on Chinese microblogging site Bilibili posted a picture of an alleged "Big Navi" prototype. Since its July 2019 debut, there have been rumors of AMD working on a new high-end GPU to take on the upper-segment of NVIDIA, given that the RX 5700 series offered competitive performance to NVIDIA's breadwinning products, such as the RTX 2070 series and RTX 2060 series.

The picture reveals the reverse side of the alleged "Big Navi" prototype's PCB, showing a larger cluster of GPU ancillaries than those behind a "Navi 10," and eight memory pads with the paper labels "Typical XT ASIC" references for a "16 Gb Samsung GDDR6 memory." Over a 256-bit wide memory interface, the chip should hence have 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Since this is a prototype, several headers are sticking out of the PCB for the design and prototyping of the product. A tower-type CPU cooler has been MacGyvered onto the GPU (which isn't uncommon for VGA prototypes). We'll hear a lot more about this product in the run up to its October 28 launch.

AMD Announces a Red October: Zen 3 on October 8, RDNA2 on October 28

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su on Twitter just announced AMD's next-generation Ryzen processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, and next-generation Radeon RX graphics cards based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. AMD is promising a "red" October, with next-generation Ryzen "Zen 3" launch on October 8, and next-generation Radeon RDNA2 launch on October 28. We know for sure that AMD is referring to Ryzen and not EPYC, looking at the Socket AM4 MCM animation being used. The teaser picture for Radeon RDNA2 also hints at a new reference cooling solution with large axial fans.

Update 16:54 UTC: In a separate Tweet, AMD announced the Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards, based on the "breakthrough" RDNA2 graphics architecture.

Microsoft Rolls Out DirectX 12 Feature-level 12_2: Turing and RDNA2 Support it

Microsoft on Thursday rolled out the DirectX 12 feature-level 12_2 specification. This adds a set of new API-level features to DirectX 12 feature-level 12_1. It's important to understand that 12_2 is not DirectX 12 Ultimate, even though Microsoft explains in its developer blog that the four key features that make up DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements were important enough to be bundled into a new feature-level. At the same time, Ultimate isn't feature-level 12_1, either. The DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirement consists of DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading. These four, combined with an assortment of new features make up feature-level 12_2.

Among the updates introduced with feature-level 12_2 are DXR 1.1, Shader Model 6.5, Variable Rate Shading tier-2, Resource Binding tier-3, Tiled Resources tier-3, Conservative Rasterization tier-3, Root Signature tier-1.1, WriteBufferImmediateSupportFlags, GPU Virtual Address Bits resource expansion, among several other Direct3D raster rendering features. Feature-level 12_2 requires a WDDM 2.0 driver, and a compatible GPU. Currently, NVIDIA's "Turing" based GeForce RTX 20-series are the only GPUs capable of feature-level 12_2. Microsoft announced that AMD's upcoming RDNA2 architecture supports 12_2, too. NVIDIA's upcoming "Ampere" (RTX 20-series successors) may support it, too.

AMD Warhol, Van Gogh, and Cezanne to Make Up Company's 5th Gen Ryzen

A May 2020 report put together with info from multiple sources pointed towards AMD's client-segment product roadmap going as far into the future as 2022. The roadmap was partial, with a few missing bits. VideoCardz attempted to reconstruct the roadmap based on new information from one of the primary sources of the May leak, @MeibuW. According to the roadmap, 2020 will see AMD debut its 4th Gen Ryzen "Vermeer" desktop processors featuring "Zen 3" CPU cores, built on TSMC N7e or N7P silicon fabrication process, and offering PCIe Gen 4. The "Renoir" APU silicon combining up to 8 "Zen 2" CPU cores with a 512-SP "Vega" iGPU debuted on the mobile platform, and recently launched on the desktop platform as an OEM-exclusive. It remains to be seen if AMD launches this in the DIY retail channel.

2021 is when three new codenames from AMD get some air-time. "Warhol" is codename for the 5th Gen Ryzen part that succeeds "Vermeer." Interestingly, it too is shown as a combination of "Zen 3" CPU cores, PCIe Gen 4, and 7 nm. Perhaps AMD could innovate in areas such as DRAM (switch to PC DDR5), and maybe increase core counts. DDR5 could herald a new socket, after 4 years of AM4. The second silicon bound for 2021 is "Van Gogh," an APU that combines "Zen 2" CPU cores with an RDNA2 iGPU. Interestingly, "Cezanne," bound for the same year, has the opposite CPU+iGPU combination - a newer gen "Zen 3" CPU component, and an older gen "Vega" iGPU. The two chips could target different markets, looking at their I/O, with "Van Gogh" supporting LPDDR5 memory.

Microsoft Details Xbox Series X SoC, Drops More Details on RDNA2 Architecture and Zen 2 CPU Enhancements

Microsoft in its Hot Chips 32 presentation detailed the SoC at the heart of the upcoming Xbox Series X entertainment system. The chip mostly uses AMD IP blocks, and is built on TSMC N7e (enhanced 7 nm) process. It is a 360.4 mm² die with a transistor count of 15.3 billion. Microsoft spoke about the nuts and bolts of the SoC, including its largest component - the GPU based on AMD's new RDNA2 graphics architecture. The GPU takes up much of the chip's die area, and has a raw SIMD throughput of 12 TFLOP/s. It meets DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements, supporting hardware-accelerated ray-tracing.

The RDNA2 GPU powering the Xbox Series X SoC features 52 compute units spread across 26 RDNA2 dual compute units. The silicon itself physically features two additional dual CUs (taking the total physical CU count to 56), but are disabled (possibly harvesting headroom). We've detailed first-generation RDNA architecture in the "architecture" pages of our first AMD Radeon RX 5000-series "Navi" graphics card reviews, which explains much of the SIMD-level innovations from AMD that help it drive a massive SIMD IPC gain over the previous-generation GCN architecture. This hierarchy is largely carried over to RDNA2, but with the addition of a few SIMD-level components.

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.

Microsoft Announces Xbox Series X Games Showcase Event

After Sony has showcased Unreal Engine 5 capabilities on the new PlayStation 5 console, there was a counterpart event missing from Microsoft. However, Microsoft has announced today that the company will host a live stream event on July 23rd. That is the date when Microsoft will host the event on YouTube and Twitch. Starting at 9 am PT time, the company will showcase the capabilities of the new Xbox Series X console. Possibly, Microsoft will show ray tracing and all the latest technology advancements with AMD's RDNA2 graphics card found inside the new console. What we can expect in terms of games is Halo Infinite and maybe new Forza and Gears of War games. Either way, we have to wait and find out on July 23rd.

Apple MacOS "Big Sur" Beta Driver Code Points to AMD "Navi 31" GPU

AMD's "Navi 20-series" GPUs implementing the RDNA2 graphics architecture are barely close to launch (September 2020 unveiling expected); and there's already talk of the "Navi 30-series." When digging through the driver code for AMD Radeon graphics that ships with Apple's MacOS "Big Sur" developer beta 1, Hardware Leaks (_rogame) uncovered pointers to an AMD "navi31" GPU. This could be the very first indication that AMD will codename successors of the RDNA2-based "Navi 2#" GPUs, such as the "Navi 21," under the "Navi 3#" series. It remains to be seen if these chips implement the RDNA3 graphics architecture, or are a refresh of RDNA2-based chips on a newer process.

AMD "Cezanne" APU to Stick with "Vega" iGPU, "Van Gogh" Gets RDNA2

The earliest reports on AMD's next-generation "Cezanne" APU silicon pointed at the possibility of the chip combining "Zen 3" CPU cores with a next-generation iGPU solution based on RDNA2 ("Navi 2#"). AMD plans to launch "Cezanne" in 2021, which makes it the immediate successor to "Renoir." A report by Igor's Lab has fresh details on "Cezanne." Apparently the chip sticks with the "Vega" graphics architecture on its iGPU. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's the same exact iGPU as the 8 CU version on "Renoir."

On the other hand, the "Van Gogh" silicon slated for 2021 is expected to receive RDNA2 graphics. It's important to note here that "Van Gogh" and "Cezanne" sit in the same product stack, and "Van Gogh" does not succeed "Cezanne." Rather, it's the codename for an entry-level APU, succeeding "Dali" (Athlon 3000G), which also means the RDNA2-based iGPU will be a lot slimmer than the "Vega" based one on "Cezanne." It's only by 2022 that AMD will have a performance-segment APU with RDNA2-based iGPU, with "Rembrandt." Find our older article getting into AMD's roadmaps here.

AMD to Update its Radeon Logo Yet Again, Possibly Debut with Big Navi

AMD is updating the Radeon logo yet again, as spotted by Casmoden on Twitter. The new logo was tucked away in the main branding screen of a "Godfall" trailer that revealed the game's Holiday 2020 release date. Tucked away besides developer- and console platform logos is the new AMD Radeon logo, indicating optimization for AMD GPUs. The new logo features a Ryzen logo typeset (resembling the ESPN logo, with floating tops of the letters E, R, and D). In a March 2020 tweet, AMD Radeon RX group head Scott Herkelman mentioned that the lack of logo alignment between Ryzen, EPYC, and Radeon had been "bugging them." For reference, there's the current AMD Radeon logo in a company slide. AMD could likely debut the new Radeon logo with its upcoming RDNA2-based "Big Navi" graphics card that is expected to be announced in September.

September Unveil Makes Big Navi, Not Next-Gen Consoles, AMD's RDNA2 Debutante

AMD has a lot riding on RDNA2, its first graphics architecture that meets the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements, introducing real-time ray-tracing to the lineup. RDNA2 is confirmed to be part of the SoC that powers next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The company is simultaneously readying its own Radeon RX discrete graphics cards based on the Navi 2# silicon, based on RDNA2, with a leading part unofficially called the "Big Navi" given its alleged lofty specs increase over the "Navi 10." Turns out, that this GPU, and not next-gen consoles, will debut RDNA2.

AMD is planning a big gamer-specific event in late-Q3/early-Q4, likely September, where it plans to announce its 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, and Radeon RX graphics cards based on RDNA2, including the "Big Navi." Speaking at the Bank of America Securities Global Technology Conference, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar confirmed that "Big Navi" will be a halo product and not merely a lofty performance increase over the RX 5700 XT to make AMD competitive against GeForce "Ampere." He states "there's a lot of excitement for Navi 2, or what our fans have dubbed as the Big Navi," adding "Big Navi is a halo product." He goes on to state that "enthusiasts love to buy the best, and we are certainly working on giving them the best." AMD's product stack so far is application-specific, rather than competition-specific. The RX 5700 XT was designed for 1440p gaming, and ended up competitive to the RTX 2070. "Big Navi" could hence have a lofty design goal: 4K gaming with ray-tracing.

AMD "Sienna Cichlid" Could be "Big Navi"

Linux kernel patches reference an AMD "Sienna Cichlid" GPU, which Phoronix believes could be the fabled "Big Navi" GPU. We know this is a GPU and not a headless CDNA scalar processor as the patches include code for VCN 3.0 video encoding capabilities (RDNA2's media engine), and DCN3 (RDNA2's display engine), which constitute bulk that AMD could get rid of on CDNA chips. The unusual internal codename could reference AMD's next generation RDNA2 architecture based flagship GPU, armed with 80 compute units (5,120 stream processors), Radeon Intersection Engines (accelerate real-time ray-tracing). The codename comes across as unusual, but AMD does tend to use wacky internal codenames to detect sources of leaks.

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 RDNA2 "Navi 21" GPU to Double CU Count Over "Navi 10"

AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture, which sees real-time ray-tracing among other DirectX 12 Ultimate features, could see the company double the amount of stream processors generation-over-generation, according to a specs leak by _rogame. The increase in stream processors would fall in line with AMD's effort to increase performance/Watt by 50%. It may appear like the resulting SKUs finally measure up to the likes of the RTX 2080 Ti, but AMD has GeForce "Ampere" in its competitive calculus, and should the recent specs reveal hold up, the new "Navi 21" could end up being a performance-segment competitor to GeForce graphics cards based on the "GA104" ("TU104" successor), rather than a flagship-killer.

The RDNA2-based "Navi 21" GPU allegedly features 80 RDNA2 compute units amounting to 5,120 stream processors. AMD might tap into a refined 7 nm-class silicon fabrication node by TSMC to build these chips, either N7P or N7+. The die-size could measure up to 505 mm², and AMD could aim for a 50% performance/Watt gain over the "Navi 10." AMD could carve out as many as 10 SKUs out of the "Navi 21," but only three are relevant to the gamers. The SKU with the PCI device ID "0x731F: D1" succeeds the RX 5700 XT. The one bearing "0x731F: D3" succeeds the RX 5700, with a variant name "Navi 21 XL." The "Navi 21 XE" variant has a PCI ID of "0x731F: DF," and succeeds the RX 5600 XT.

AMD RDNA2 Based Radeon RX Graphics Cards Launching This September

AMD's next-generation RDNA2 architecture based Radeon RX series client-segment graphics cards will launch in September 2020, according to a DigiTimes report citing industry sources. This would make September a mighty busy month for hardware launches, as the company is also expected to debut its 4th generation Ryzen "Vermeer" (and possibly "Renoir) desktop processors in the AM4 package. NVIDIA is expected to debut its GeForce "Ampere" client-segment graphics cards around the same time. Although not in the same computing segment, Intel could also debut its 11th generation Core "Tiger Lake" mobile processors.

RDNA2 is an important launch for AMD as it's the company's first graphics architecture that meets the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements, which include real-time ray-tracing capability leveraging DXR, variable rate shading, mesh shaders, and sampler feedback. AMD and NVIDIA will be debuting their graphics cards close to the release of CD Projekt's "Cyberpunk 2077," which is emerging as the year's most hotly anticipated game.

Graphics Cards Shipments to Pick Up in 2H-2020: Cooling Solution Maker Power Logic

Power Logic, a graphics card cooling solution OEM, in an interview with Taiwan tech industry observer DigiTimes, commented that it expects graphics card shipments to rise in the second half of 2020, on the backs of new product announcements from both NVIDIA and AMD, as well as HPC accelerators from the likes of Intel and NVIDIA. NVIDIA is expected to launch its "Ampere" based GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards, while AMD is preparing to launch its Radeon RX 6000-series "Navi 2#" graphics cards based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. Power Logic has apparently commenced prototyping certain cooling solutions, and is expected to begin mass-production at its Jiangxi-based plant towards the end of Q2-2020; so it could begin shipping coolers to graphics card manufacturers in the following quarters.

AMD Confirms Zen 3 and RDNA2 by Late-2020

AMD in its post Q1-2020 earnings release disclosures stated that the company is "on track" to launching its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture and RDNA2 graphics architecture in late-2020. The company did not reveal in what shape or form the two will debut. AMD is readying "Zen 3" based EPYC "Milan" enterprise processors, "Vermeer" Ryzen desktop processors, and "Cezanne" Ryzen mobile APUs based on "Zen 3," although there's no word on which product line the microarchitecture will debut with. "Zen 3" compute dies (CCDs) are expected to do away with the quad-core compute complex (CCX) arrangement of cores, and are expected to be built on a refined 7 nm-class silicon fabrication process, either TSMC N7P or N7+.

The only confirmed RDNA2 based products we have as of now are the semi-custom SoCs that drive the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X next-generation consoles, which are expected to debut by late-2020. The AMD tweet, however, specifies "GPUs" (possibly referring to discrete GPUs). Also, with AMD forking its graphics IP to RDNA (for graphics processors) and CDNA (for headless compute accelerators), we're fairly sure AMD is referring to a Radeon RX or Radeon Pro launch in the tweet. Microsoft's announcement of the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo is expected to expedite launch of Radeon RX discrete GPUs based on RDNA2, as the current RDNA architecture doesn't meet the logo requirements.

AMD "Renoir" Successor is "Cézanne," Powered by "Zen 3" and RDNA2

AMD's 7 nm "Renoir" silicon breathed life into the notebook processor market, by bringing 8-core/16-thread CPU performance into segments Intel reserved for 4-core/8-thread; and beat Intel in the iGPU performance front. 7 nm brought performance-Watt uplifts that spell serious competition for Intel across all notebook form factors, be it 15 W or 45 W. According to _rogame, who has a knack of getting far-out hardware rumors right, AMD has its successor on the drawing-board, and it's codenamed "Cézanne," after the French post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne.

"Cézanne" could prove vital for AMD's foothold in the premium mobile computing segments as Intel is preparing to launch its 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" processor soon, with advanced "Willow Cove" CPU cores, and Xe based integrated graphics. AMD plans to tap into its very latest IP. Although its core-count is not known, "Cézanne" will feature CPU cores based on the latest "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The iGPU will receive its biggest performance uplift in 3 generations, with an iGPU based on the cutting-edge RDNA2 graphics architecture that meets DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements.

Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate: Why it Helps Gamers Pick Future Proof Graphics Cards

Microsoft Thursday released the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo. This is not a new API with any new features, but rather a differentiator for graphics cards and game consoles that support four key modern features of DirectX 12. This helps consumers recognize the newer and upcoming GPUs, and tell them apart from some older DirectX 12 capable GPUs that were released in the mid-2010s. For a GPU to be eligible for the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo, it must feature hardware acceleration for ray-tracing with the DXR API; must support Mesh Shaders, Variable Rate Shading (VRS), and Sampler Feedback (all of the four). The upcoming Xbox Series X console features this logo by default. Microsoft made it absolutely clear that the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo isn't meant as a compatibility barrier, and that these games will work on older hardware, too.

As it stands, the "Navi"-based Radeon RX 5000 series are "obsolete", just like some Turing cards from the GeForce GTX 16-series. At this time, the only shipping product which features the logo is NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 20-series and the TITAN RTX, as they support all the above features.

Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

Sony in a YouTube stream keynote by PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, detailed the upcoming entertainment system's hardware. There are three key areas where the company has invested heavily in driving forward the platform by "balancing revolutionary and evolutionary" technologies. A key design focus with PlayStation 5 is storage. Cerny elaborated on how past generations of the PlayStation guided game developers' art direction as the low bandwidths and latencies of optical discs and HDDs posed crippling latencies arising out of mechanical seeks, resulting in infinitesimally lower data transfer rates than what the media is capable of in best case scenario (seeking a block of data from its outermost sectors). SSD was the #1 most requested hardware feature by game developers during the development of PS5, and Sony responded with something special.

Each PlayStation 5 ships with a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 SSD with a flash controller that has been designed in-house by Sony. The controller features 12 flash channels, and is capable of at least 5.5 GB/s transfer speeds. When you factor in the exponential gains in access time, Sony expects the SSD to provide a 100x boost in effective storage sub-system performance, resulting in practically no load times.
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