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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."

Sapphire Intros FS-FP5V SFF Motherboard Based on Ryzen Embedded

Sapphire introduced the FS-FP5V, a mini-ITX (147.3 mm x 139.7 mm) SFF motherboard designed for AIO desktops, digital signage boxes, and compact desktops. At the heart of this board is an AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 series FP5 SoC based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon. Since this SoC also integrates a southbridge, the board is practically chipset-less. The Ryzen Embedded V1000 chip is configured with a 4-core/8-thread "Zen" CPU clocked at 2.00 GHz with 3.35 GHz boost, and 4 MB L3 cache. The iGPU is a Radeon Vega 11, which may look overkill, but is required to pull the four DisplayPort 1.4 outputs of this board (handy for digital-signage applications).

The Ryzen Embedded V1000 is wired to two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2933 memory. Storage connectivity includes an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, an M.2 E-key slot with x1 wiring for WLAN cards; and a SATA 6 Gbps port. Networking options include two 1 GbE interfaces. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports at the rear-panel, and two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports (direct ports) at the front side of the board, one each of type-A and type-C. Stereo HD audio makes for the rest of it. The board draws power from either 2-pin DC (external) or 4-pin ATX.

AMD Raven Ridge APUs Not Getting Beta Drivers, 3-Month WHQL Only

AMD's latest Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.6.1 Beta, which is available now, lacks Raven Ridge APU support. Driver support for the APUs are limited to WHQL releases only, as noted by an AMD representative on the Overclockers UK forum. Currently AMD is set to use a three month release cycle for APU drivers. Understandably, this has caused some concern with the latest driver to offer support for the Raven Ridge APUs being the Adrenalin Edition 18.5.1 driver released in May. The only good news here is the limited driver releases allow AMD to further optimize their costs in regards to testing and qualification.

Limited or outdated drivers, with such a long period between releases, means games could perform sub-optimally on AMD's latest and greatest APUs. Worse yet, consumers could be stuck waiting three months for an updated driver. Even then, if a problem arises and is a fringe issue, fixes could take even longer. Essentially Raven Ridge owners are being left out in the cold to some extent in regards to hot-fixes and performance improvements. This makes AMD's Raven Ridge APUs with built in VEGA graphics for both desktops and mobile systems a bit less appealing. This issue is further exacerbated by the fact Intel's Kaby Lake G series which also features AMD's VEGA graphics has seen a new driver released that is based on the 18.6.1 driver.

AMD "Vega" Outsells "Previous Generation" by Over 10 Times

At its Computex presser, leading up to its 7 nm Radeon Vega series unveil, AMD touched upon the massive proliferation of the Vega graphics architecture, which is found not only in discrete GPUs, but also APUs, and semi-custom SoCs of the latest generation 4K-capable game consoles. One such slide that created quite some flutter reads that "Vega" shipments are over 10 times greater than those of the "previous generation."

Normally you'd assume the previous-generation of "Vega" to be "Polaris," since we're talking about the architecture, and not an implementation of it (eg: "Vega 10" or "Raven Ridge," etc.). AMD later, at its post event round-table, clarified that it was referring to "Fiji," or the chip that went into building the Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 Nano, etc., and comparing its sales with that of products based on the "Vega 10" silicon. Growth in shipments of "Vega" based graphics cards is triggered by the crypto-mining industry, and for all intents and purposes, AMD considers the "Vega 10" silicon to be a commercial success.

AMD Introduces FreeSync Technology for New Samsung QLED TVs

AMD and Samsung today announced support for Radeon FreeSync technology in the new Samsung QLED 55" to 82" TV range, bringing the ultimate, ultrawide 4K gaming experience to an entirely new format - big screen TVs. Samsung is the first company to utilize industry-leading Radeon FreeSync adaptive refresh technology for stutter-free gaming inside a consumer television set. With High Dynamic Range (HDR) support up to 1000nits and stunning picture quality, Samsung's QLED displays allow gamers to experience strikingly high refresh rates and low latency on TVs at a variety of price points and screen sizes ranging from 55" to 82" creating a single display for all their home entertainment needs.

Over the past three years, Radeon FreeSync technology has driven widespread adoption and become the industry's most selected solution for smooth gaming. Earlier this year, AMD expanded the ecosystem by propelling tear-free gameplay beyond the PC with the launch of support for FreeSync technology in Microsoft's Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles in early March. With more than 250 compatible displays offered by more than 20 partners, this is more than double the availability of competing technology.

AMD Teases Its 7 nm Vega Instinct Accelerator - Data-Pushing Silicon Deployed

AMD has announced via its Twitter feed that the Vega die shrink from current 14 nm down to 7 nm has actually coalesced into a hardware product that can be tested and vetted at their labs. Via a teaser image, the company said that "7nm @RadeonInstinct product for machine learning is running in our labs."

Of course, working silicon is only half the battle - considerations such as yields, leakage, and others are all demons that must be worked out for actual production silicon, which may thus be some months off. Only AMD and TSMC themselves themselves know how the actual production run went - and the performance and power efficiency that can be expected from this design (remember that AMD's CEO Lisa SU herself said they'd partner with both TSMC and Globalfoundries for the 7 nm push, though it seems TSMC may be pulling ahead in that field). Considering AMD's timeline for the die-shrunk Vega to 7 nm - with predicted product launch for 2H 2018 - the fact that there is working silicon being sampled right now is definitely good news.

Intel Crimson Canyon NUC to Feature Cannon Lake-U CPU and Radeon 500 Graphics

Photographs of Intel's Crimson Canyon NUC have finally surfaced. WinFuture managed to get their hands on one that's powered by an Intel Core i3-8121U dual-core processor based on the Cannon Lake architecture. The NUCs come with 4 GB or 8 GB of memory, a 2.5-inch hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The Crimson Canyon NUC also features a discrete AMD Radeon graphics card. The "Radeon 500-series" reference in one of the screenshots along with the "2GB of GDDR5" on the packaging takes us to the conclusion that Intel is most likely integrating a Polaris-based graphics card into the Crimson Canyon NUC. It's highly unlikely that we will find the CPU and GPU on the same chip like the one in the Hades Canyon NUC. Instead, the GPU will probably be soldered directly to the motherboard itself. The Intel Core i3-8121U models (NUC8I3CYSM2 and NUC8I3CYSM3) start around 450 euros, which roughly translates to $550. There was no mention when they will be available though.

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega Nano Pictured

A mysterious Radeon RX Vega Nano graphics card from manufacturer PowerColor made a surprise appearance at AMD's Ryzen 2000 series launch event held in Munich. Although based on AMD's reference design, this PowerColor model differs a little from the RX Vega Nano prototype that was showcased back in SIGGRAPH 2017 by Raja Koduri. In terms of design, PowerColor's prototype lacks the illuminated Radeon cube on the corner, and the axial fan sits further to the left. The heatsink is physically longer and extends slightly beyond the graphics card's PCB. The manufacturer also added an additional 6-pin PCIe connector for more power delivery. At the time of this article's publication, PowerColor hasn't confirmed if their Radeon RX Vega Nano will be available to the public.

AMD Responds to NVIDIA's GPP: AIB Partners to Announce New Radeon-Exclusive Brands

In a blog post on its gaming website, AMD has decided to put on the white gloves for a distinctive strike against NVIDIA's GPP initiative, which has seen rivers of ink and public discussion already. In the blog post, entitled "Radeon RX Graphics: A Gamer's Choice", the company is clearly putting its footing on the same stance it always finds itself positioned to by NVIDIA: the freedom of choice, and freedom of standards side of the equation.

The blog post entirely reads as an anti environment-lock manifesto, extorting the virtues of PC gaming and the open-ended building and assembly of parts from various manufacturers that it's built upon. As a move against NVIDIA's decision to enforce their GPP initiative to lock-in AIB partners towards having an NVIDIA-exclusive brand, AMD has come out of the gates saying that the simple solution is for partners to announce new, AMD-exclusive brands as well. This is logical; was to be expected; and is really AMD's only move out of this forced hand it was dealt with.

ASUS Announces the AMD-Exclusive 'AREZ' Brand for Radeon Graphics Cards

ASUS today announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek god of war, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem. The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD's Radeon graphics processors and software.

"Gamers around the world rally behind AMD Radeon because of what the Radeon name stands for: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers to take advantage of all graphics hardware, including AMD Radeon graphics. We invite gamers everywhere who believe in these values and the value of the exceptional gaming experience Radeon graphics delivers to join the Red team," said Scott Herkelman, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group.

HP Revamps Pavilion PCs with Premium Features and Design

HP, Inc. today introduced its next generation Pavilion portfolio, infusing premium features and expressive designs into its convertible, notebook and desktop PCs. The latest Pavilion lineup includes refined materials and finishes, thin bezels, and stepped-up performance options that enhance the customer experience. It will debut this weekend at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where festival-goers will use the power of Pavilion to create unique experiences at the intersection of art and music.

"Pavilion excels at delivering amazing customer experiences at exceptional value. Our new lineup, featuring the sleekest, thinnest and most powerful Pavilion devices ever designed, raises the bar and inspires new ways to create, connect and share," said Kevin Frost vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "Coachella is synonymous with creative expression and amazing experiences, making it the perfect venue to launch our new Pavilion line and enhance the event though technology."

Mining, and not Gaming, Compelled ASRock to Enter the Graphics Market

When we first reported news of ASRock entering the graphics market with a focus on AMD Radeon GPUs, the story included a theory that crypto-currency mining was the primary driver behind the company's move. ASRock in its press-deck announcing its new Phantom Gaming series graphics cards late Wednesday, inadvertently confirmed that theory. While the cards are branded Phantom "Gaming," the press-deck slide detailing the lineup is prominently headlined "Mining" besides "Radeon 500 Series VGA." Our GPU Database curator also mentions that the cards' designs bear striking similarities to coolers from Chaintech, the OEM that supplies to Chinese VGA brands such as Colorful. Strangely enough, ASRock still went with "gaming" branding, and gave the cards proper display connectors, so it's hedging its bets on both gamers and miners.

ASRock Storms Into the Graphics Market with Phantom Gaming Series Graphics Cards

A leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is moving into the graphics card market with the Phantom Gaming range - a strong line up of AMD Radeon RX500 series cards, including the Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX580 8G, Radeon RX570 8G, the Phantom Gaming Radeon RX560 4G/2G and Radeon RX550 4G/2G. "ASRock finally expand into the graphics card field," said Mr. LL Shiu, ASRock Chief Executive Officer. "We are happy and proud to team up with AMD, our strong and reliable partner, and of course we look forward to bringing out more interesting and competitive products in future."

Cards offer advanced performance technology
ASRock Phantom Gaming series promises elegant design, flexibility for power users combined with user friendly control, and of course, outstanding performance. ASRock never compromises on product quality and performance, so these new products are packed with amazing features as well as the best components to ensure they meet everyone's expectations.

AMD Announces Radeon Rays and Radeon GPU Profiler 1.2 at GDC 2018

AMD announced at GDC widened support for Radeon Rays with Unity Lightmapper. Its open-source, high efficiency, high performance GPU-accelerated ray tracing software helps game developers to achieve higher visual quality and stunningly photorealistic 3D images in real-time. Radeon ProRender now supports real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization-based rendering, to combine the value of ray tracing with the interactivity of rasterization.

For gaming, ray tracing is in its early stages. For professional applications, however, real-time ray tracing is a well-established rendering technique. Today, AMD is announcing ProRender support for real-time GPU acceleration of ray tracing techniques mixed with traditional rasterization based rendering. Now built on Vulkan, ProRender is continuing to enable developers to deliver interactive photorealistic graphics. We are actively engaging with professional developers to make real-time visualization a reality.

ASRock Releases a Teaser of Their Upcoming Phantom Gaming Graphics Cards Series

ASRock was rumored to enter the graphics card market as per a report by DigiTimes. The motherboard and soon-to-be graphics card manufacturer just released a teaser on their Japan Twitter account that confirms this rumor. The mysterious graphics card in the video belongs to their Phantom Gaming Series. Although the exact model wasn't revealed, DigiTimes's article stated that it's probably an AMD Radeon-based card. From what can be seen from the 30-second long video, the graphics card features a dual-slot design with a black and white theme. The graphics card apparently relies on two fans to provide active cooling and a single 8-pin PCIe connector for power.

AMD Project ReSX is an eSports Gamer Outreach by Making Radeon More Responsive

AMD's late-Monday release of the Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.3.1 has a big change not chronicled in its change-log, the first implementation of ReSX. Short for "Radeon eSports Experience," ReSX is the code-name of a major effort within the Radeon Software team to address some of the fundamental complaints competitive eSports gamers had been having with Radeon GPUs - click-to-response and frame-time. As an eSports gamer chasing a million-dollar price-pool, you'd want your graphics hardware to have the least frame-time (the most fluid output), the highest frame-rates, and of course the least click-to-response time (the infinitesimal amount it times for a click of your mouse to register as action, be sent to the game-server, and render on-screen, simultaneously.

AMD stated that has approached these problems from two fronts - by working with developers of the biggest eSports titles to optimize their game-engines for Radeon; as well as making under-the-hood changes to Radeon Software. The company is announcing not just marginally higher frame-rates in certain eSports titles, but also significant improvements to frame-time (99th percentile of), and lower click-to-response times. According to the performance numbers put out by AMD, while these improvements may not be double-digit percentage points difference, could still translate into a vastly improved gaming experience, according to AMD.

EK Announces Their RGB Water Block for AMD Radeon RX Vega Based Graphics Cards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium PC liquid cooling gear manufacturer is expanding its RGB portfolio by presenting a Full Cover water block for AMD Radeon Vega architecture based high-end graphics cards. Customers will be able to transform their graphics card into a beautiful, bright single slot card while the water cooling block will allow the GPU to reach higher frequencies, thus providing more performance during gaming or other demanding tasks.

EK-FC Radeon Vega RGB
This water block directly cools the GPU, HBM2 memory, and VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks. EK-FC Radeon Vega water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

Newegg Repents for Overpricing AMD APUs by Partially Refunding Customers

California-based Chinese PC hardware retailer Newegg late Tuesday, issued partial refunds to customers who bought highly marked-up AMD Ryzen 2000-series APUs with Radeon Vega graphics. At launch, Newegg marked up the Ryzen 3 2200G and the Ryzen 5 2400G by as much as US $20 above their MSRPs of $99.99 and $169.99, respectively. The 2400G was listed at $189.99, a price that greatly erodes the chip's competitiveness in the market against similarly-priced Intel chips. Newegg has since "lowered" prices of the two chips back to their MSRPs, and is writing to those who bought the chips at marked-up prices, intimating them of refunds of the mark-up back to their original mode of payment.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.2.2 Beta

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition. Version 18.2.2 Beta introduces much welcome performance uplifts for Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), with up to 5 percent gains over 17.12.1 at 1440p, and up to 7 percent gains over it at 1080p. It also includes optimization for "Kingdom Come: Deliverance" and "Fortnite." You can expect up to 3 percent performance uplift at 1440p, and up to 4 percent at 1080p with "Kingdom Come: Deliverance," and up to 3 percent at 1440 and up to 6 percent at 1080p with "Fortnite." Grab the driver from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.2.2 Beta

AMD Cancels Implicit Primitive Shader Driver Support

Primitive shaders are lightweight shaders that break the separation of vertex and geometry shaders, promising a performance gain in supporting games. Initially announced during the Radeon RX Vega launch, the feature has been delayed again and again. At one of its 2018 International CES interactions with the press, AMD reportedly announced that it had cancelled the implicit driver path for primitive shaders. Game developers will still be able to implement primitive shaders on AMD hardware, using a (yet to be released) explicit API path. The implicit driver path was the more interesting technology though, since it could have provided meaningful performance gains to existing games and help cut down a lot of developer effort for games in development. AMD didn't state the reasons behind the move.

To explain the delay, some people were speculating that the Primitive Shader feature was broken unfixable in hardware, which doesn't seem to be the case, now that we are hearing about upcoming API support for it, so this can also be interpreted as good news for Vega owners.

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX Vega 56 Spotted for the First Time

Sapphire's Pulse line of graphics cards focuses on providing aspiring gamers with the best bang for their buck. There are currently eight different models ranging from the Radeon RX 550 all the way up to the Radeon RX 580. According to German retailer Alternate.de, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX Vega 56 is the latest newborn in the Pulse family even though it isn't officially listed on Sapphire's website at the moment. The card sports a plastic shroud painted in matte black with some red accents. The Pulse Radeon RX Vega 56 occupies three PCIe slots and measures 28.2 cm x 12.5 cm, but that's mainly because of the monstrous heatsink that extends far beyond the graphic card's short PCB. Judging by the design, this model probably utilizes a similar cooling solution, consisting of 4 heatpipes and two 95 mm Dual-X cooling fans, like its RX 580 Pulse sibling. The backplate boasts a simple, yet beautiful design with red lines simulating a human pulse.

Despite the branding difference, the Pulse RX Vega 56 shares the same memory specification as the higher-end Nitro+ RX Vega 56 model. Each has 8GB of onboard HBM2 memory running at 800 MHz across a 2048-bit wide memory interface. However, the Pulse RX Vega 56 comes with a 1512 MHz boost clock, 60 MHz slower than the Nitro+ RX Vega 56. They also differ in PCIe power connectors and display outputs. The Pulse model depends on two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, while the Nitro+ model requires three of them. And lastly, the Pulse model has three Display Port 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.0b, while the Nitro+ model has two of each. Alternate.de lists the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX Vega 56 with a €789 price tag.

Intel Could Ditch AMD dGPU Die on Future Core G-series MCMs with "Arctic Sound"

Intel did the impossible in 2017, by collaborating with rival AMD after decades, on a product. The new Core i7-8000G series processors are multi-chip modules that combine quad-core "Kaby Lake" CPU dies with discrete AMD Radeon Vega GPU dies that have their own dedicated HBM2 stacks. With performance-segment notebooks and sleek AIO desktops building momentum for such products, Intel sees a future in building its own discrete GPUs, at least dies that can replace the AMD Radeon IP from its Core G-series processors.

With former AMD Graphics head Raja Koduri switching to Intel amidst rumors of the company investing in discrete GPUs of its own, details emerge of the company's future "Arctic Sound" and "Jupiter Sound" graphics IP, which point to the possibility of them being discrete GPU dies based on the Gen 12 and Gen 13 graphics architectures, respectively. According to Ashraf Eassa, a technology stock commentator with "The Motley Fool," both "Arctic Sound" and "Jupiter Sound" are discrete GPU dies that connect with Intel processor dies over EMIB, the company's proprietary high-density interconnect for multi-chip modules. It could be a long wait leading up to the two, since the company is still monetizing its Gen 9.5 architecture on 8th generation Core processors.

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.

Acer Unveils New Ryzen-Powered Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Acer today announced its new Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop, designed for casual gamers seeking great performance in an attractive laser-textured design. Powered by Windows 10, the new 15-inch laptop is targeted towards mainstream users who enjoy the thrill of gaming with friends, and building their own network of like-minded players.

"With performance to effortlessly power mainstream titles, the Acer Nitro 5 houses essential technologies that casual gamers value most," said Jerry Hou, General Manager, Consumer Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "We've developed the Nitro 5 knowing that gamers want powerful specs to enable great experiences on the go. The new Nitro 5 is designed to tackle these needs and features a striking exterior for added uniqueness."
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