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AMD Confirms Raven Ridge APUs Boast of Mobile XFR Technology

It's been confirmed by AMD that the company's XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) tech that has made its way to the company's desktop Ryzen CPUs has seen its way i to the company's APUs as well, in the form of mXFR. This much was to be expected - mobile form factors arguably represent the best platform for dynamic frequency changes, marrying best performance and power consumption whenever one or the other is required. Speaking to TechReport, an AMD representative confirmed that Raven Ridge chips will feature mXFR capabilities depending on the platform they're implemented in, and spoke in particular of the Ryzen 5 2500U + HP ENVY x360 capabilities on that particular front.

"Not all notebooks with the AMD Ryzen mobile APU will offer the necessary thermal solution to enable the performance upside of mXFR," the AMD representative said, "but the HP ENVY x360 featuring the AMD Ryzen Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics is the first solution to do so. Users will look for "amplified mXFR performance" in the marketplace should they desire a laptop that offers this capability." This means that while typical TDP for Raven Ridge solutions should stand at the 15 W value, power consumption of the CPU + GPU combo can increase its TDP up to 25 W given particular workload, battery state and temperature conditions, which should increase performance in detriment of battery life.

Source: TechReport

AMD Second-generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Confirmed to Support AM4

AMD, in an interview with Overclockers UK (OCUK), confirmed that its second-generation Ryzen desktop processors will support the existing AM4 socket, so current Ryzen platform users can seamlessly upgrade to the new processors, with a BIOS update. Most current AM4 socket motherboards will require BIOS updates to support Ryzen "Raven Ridge" desktop APUs, and Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs, as the two require an update to the latest AGESA 1.0.0.7 version. In the interview, AMD representative James Prior confirmed that the company plans to keep AM4 its mainstream-desktop processor socket all the way up to 2020, which means at least another two to three generations of processors for it.

The next generation is "Pinnacle Ridge," which is rumored to be an optical-shrink of the "Summit Ridge" silicon to the 12 nm process, enabling higher clock speeds. The decision to keep AM4 doesn't mean the company's 300-series chipset will be made to stretch over 3 years. The company could release newer chipsets, particularly to address 300-series chipset's main shortcoming, just 6-8 older PCI-Express gen 2.0 general purpose lanes (while Intel chipsets put out up to 24 gen 3.0 lanes).

Source: OCUK (Facebook)

ASUS BIOS Change-log Reveals New Ryzen Processors Incoming

ASUS recently released BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD X370 and B350 chipsets, which implement AGESA 1.0.0.7, which as you'll recall, paves the way for implementing support for upcoming processors, based on AMD's Vega-infused "Raven Ridge" APU silicon, and the 12 nm refreshed Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon due for February 2018. ASUS published, and later withdrew the BIOS updates as the media got whiff of them.

The next parts for AMD's mainstream-desktop socket AM4 platform will be Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, which let you finally use the HDMI and DisplayPorts on your motherboards. "Raven Ridge" combines a quad-core "Zen" CPU with a 640-stream processor integrated graphics based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The "late-2017 or early-2018" time-line for these chips still appears to stand. RedGamingTech suggests that AMD's answer to Intel "Coffee Lake" processors, the 12 nm Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, could be out by as early (or late) as February 2018. These chips could be previewed or teased at the company's events held on the sidelines of the 2018 International CES.

Source: RedGamingTech (YouTube)

AMD "Raven Ridge" Silicon Detailed

The "Zen" CPU micro-architecture seems to be turning AMD's fortunes as it reported its first black quarter in years. The 14 nm "Zeppelin" or "Summit Ridge" die is at the heart of this change. This 8-core CPU die is implemented on everything from performance mobile packages, to single-die mainstream-desktop socket AM4 under the Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, and Ryzen 7-series, 2-die high-end desktop (HEDT) multi-chip modules under Ryzen Threadripper, and the 4-die enterprise multi-chip modules under the EPYC brand. The next logical step for AMD with its new "Zen" CPU IP was to fuse it with the "Vega" graphics architecture, and give its APU lineup a much needed overhaul. At the heart of this move is the new 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon.

While "Summit Ridge" is the combination of two "Zen" CCX (quad-core CPU complex) units making up an 8-core CPU die that lacks integrated graphics, the "Raven Ridge" silicon combines one "Zen" CCX with an integrated graphics core based on the "Vega" architecture. AMD's new Infinity Fabric interconnect ferries data between the CCX and the iGPU, and not an internal PCIe link. The CCX houses four "Zen" CPU cores with 64 KB of L1I cache, 32 KB of L1D cache, 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache, and 4 MB of L3 cache shared between the four cores.

HP ENVY x360 15-bq101na Could be First "Raven Ridge" Implementation

HP posted the datasheet of its upcoming 2-in-1 notebook PC, the ENVY x360 15-bq101na, which could be the world's first implementation of AMD's upcoming 14 nm "Raven Ridge" APU. The silicon combines a quad-core "Zen" CPU with an integrated graphics core based on the "Vega" GPU architecture. The datasheet speaks of an "AMD Ryzen 5 2500U" processor powering the machine.

The Ryzen 5 2500U is being described as featuring a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.00 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost frequency, and 6 MB of cache. This could very well be total-cache, since that's how AMD likes OEMs to advertise cache on its chips, which works out to 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 4 MB of shared L3 cache. The graphics core features the branding "AMD Radeon Vega M," confirming that this chip is indeed a derivation of "Raven Ridge."

AMD Readies AGESA 1.0.0.7 Update Enabling "Raven Ridge" APUs

AMD is readying an update to its AGESA micro-code. AGESA is an essential component of AMD platform motherboard BIOSes responsible for starting the processor at system start-up. Updates to it improve the motherboards' memory and CPU compatibility. Following its all-important AGESA 1.0.0.6 update that vastly improves memory compatibility of AMD Ryzen processors, the company is readying an even newer version. The new AGESA 1.0.0.7 update prompts significant changes to the structure of motherboard BIOSes, making it easy to implement support for upcoming socket AM4 chips, such as the "Raven Ridge" APUs, and the 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs.

Professional overclocker elmor, who is currently associated with ASUS ROG, responding to an Overclockers.net forums question about the Crosshair VI series motherboard, mentioned that AGESA 1.0.0.7 significantly changes the BIOS structure of AMD motherboards, which will make it easier implement support for future processors. "AGESA 1007 comes with support for Raven Ridge APUs. AMD has also changed the entire BIOS base structure so we have to do a lot of work to port everything to the new version, which may result in further bugs. The advantage is that it makes it easier to support future CPUs (Raven Ridge, Pinnacle Ridge)," he said. Updates to AGESA are distributed by motherboard manufacturers as BIOS updates.

Source: Overclock.net Forums

AMD Zen 2 Architecture: Socket AM4, 2019, Code-named "Matisse"

AMD's Zen-based Ryzen and Threadripper have been said by the company as representing the "worst case scenario" of performance for their architecture. This is based on the fact that there are clear areas for improvement that AMD's engineers were keenly aware of even at the moment of Zen's tapping-out; inadvertently, some features or improvements were left on the chopping block due to time and budget constraints. As unfortunate as this is - who wouldn't love to have even more performance on their AMD processors - this also means AMD has a clear starting point in terms of improving performance of their Zen micro-architecture.

Spanish website Informatica Cero have gotten their hands on what they say is an exclusive, real piece of information from inside AMD, which shows the company's CPU roadmap until 2019, bringing some new details with it. On the desktop side, there's mention of AMD's "Pinacle Ridge" as succeeding the current Zen-based "Summit Ridge" Ryzen CPUs in 2018. These leverage the same Summit Ridge architecture, but with a performance uplift; this plays well into those reports of 12 nm being used to manufacture the second-generation Ryzen: it's an AMD tick, so to say. As such, the performance uplift likely comes from increased frequencies at the same power envelope, due to 12 nm's denser manufacturing design.

AMD Raven Ridge Ryzen 5 2500U with Vega Graphics APU Geekbench Scores Surface

A Geekbench page has just surfaced for AMD's upcoming Raven Ridge APUs, which bring both Vega graphics and Ryzen CPU cores to AMD's old "the future is Fusion" mantra. The APU in question is being tagged as AMD's Raven Ridge-based Ryzen 5 2500U, which leverages 4 Zen cores and 8 threads (via SMT) running at 2.0 GHz with AMD's Vega graphics.

According to Geekbench, the Ryzen APU scores 3,561 points in the single-core score, and 9,421 points in the multi-core score. Compared to AMD's A12-9800, which also leverages 4 cores (albeit being limited to 4 threads) running at almost double the frequency of this Ryzen 5 2500U (3.8 GHz vs the Ryzen's 2 GHz), that's 36% better single-core performance and 48% better multi-core performance. These results are really fantastic, and just show how much AMD has managed to improve their CPU (and in this case, APU) design over their Bulldozer-based iterations.

Source: Guru3D

AMD Defends MCM Approach for Building 32-core EPYC: Huge Cost Savings of ~41%

AMD, presenting at a HotChips talk, packed with VLSI gurus, defended its decision to make AMD EPYC enterprise processors in the socket SP3r2 package a multi-chip module (MCM) of four 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies, rather than building a monolithic 32-core die. For starters, it stressed on the benefits of a single kind of silicon, which it can use across its performance-desktop, high-end desktop, and enterprise product-stacks; which translates into higher yields. "Summit Ridge" is the only CPU silicon based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, with the company giving finishing touches to the second silicon, codenamed "Raven Ridge," which will power mobile and desktop APUs. AMD has to pick the best-performing dies out of a common bin. The top 5% dies go into powering the company's Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors, and a higher percentile go into making EPYC.

The relatively smaller 8-core common die has an inherently higher yield than a larger chip due to the rule of inverse-exponential reduction in yield with increasing die-size. This, coupled with the R&D costs that would have gone into developing the hypothetical monolithic 32-core "Zen" based silicon, works out to a significant cost saving for the company. A 4-die/32-core MCM is 0.59X the cost of a hypothetical monolithic 32-core die, according to the company, which is a cost-saving that enables the company to aggressively price its products. The slide AMD used in its presentation also confirms that each 8-core "Summit Ridge" die features four external Infinity Fabric links, besides the one that connects the two CCX units with each other. On a 4-die EPYC MCM, three out of four of those external IF links wire out to the neighboring dies, and one link per die probably wires out to a neighboring socket on 2P machines.

Zen Meeting Vega in AMD "Raven Ridge" APU Confirmed

It looks like AMD will combine its two latest intellectual properties, the "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, and the "Vega" graphics architecture into a single silicon after all, as reports citing leaked OpenCL tables confirm that the company's upcoming Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU will feature graphics compute units (CUs) based on the "Vega" architecture. It's becoming increasingly clear, that "Raven Ridge" features a "Zen" CCX unit, and a "Vega" based graphics core with up to 12 NGCUs, making up 768 stream processors. The "Zen" CCX talks to the "Vega" graphics core using Infinity Fabric, the same interconnect used between two CCX units on the "Summit Ridge" silicon, and between two "Summit Ridge" dies on the Ryzen Threadripper MCM.

The "Raven Ridge" silicon will hence feature up to 4 CPU cores, with SMT enabling up to 8 threads, up to 8 MB of L3 cache, a "Vega" based graphics core with up to 12 NGCUs making 768 stream processors, a dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, and the same integrated southbridge as "Summit Ridge," featuring two SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and USB 3.0 ports directly from the SoC. In addition, you get a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 interface for graphics, which can be split into two x8 for 2-way multi-GPU. The OpenCL listings speak about two distinct variants, one with 11 NGCUs, and another with 8. AMD plans to roll out the first "Raven Ridge" based products as Ryzen 5 series and Ryzen 7 series mobile APUs, with a desktop debut a little later.

Source: Guru3D

ZOTAC Shows Off ZBOX MA551 SFF Desktop with AMD Ryzen APU Support

ZOTAC, at its Computex 2017 booth, showed off the ZBOX MA551 compact desktop with an AMD socket AM4 motherboard inside. Currently, this desktop is being displayed with a 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APU, but the board is ready for upcoming Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs up to 65W TDP, which combine a "Zen" CCX (quad-core complex) with a "Vega" based integrated GPU.

We took a peek under its hood, which reveals a custom-design motherboard, with an air cooling solution over the APU. The board also features a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA back-plane, a 32 Gb/s M.2-2280 slot, an M.2-2240, an additional mPCIe slot (probably for the WLAN card). Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots hold on to up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory. Other connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (including a type-C), an SD/micro-SD card reader, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2 WLAN, and display outputs that include HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 outputs.

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.

AMD Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual 2016 Financial Results

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 of $1.11 billion, operating loss of $3 million and net loss of $51 million, or $0.06 per share. Non-GAAP(1) operating income was $26 million, non-GAAP(1) net loss was $8 million and non-GAAP(1) loss per share was $0.01.

"We met our strategic objectives in 2016, successfully executing our product roadmaps, regaining share in key markets, strengthening our financial foundation, and delivering annual revenue growth," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "As we enter 2017, we are well positioned and on-track to deliver our strongest set of high-performance computing and graphics products in more than a decade."

FinalWire Announces AIDA64 v5.60

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 5.60 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 5.60 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 5.60 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 5.60 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The new AIDA64 release introduces advanced SMART disk health monitoring, implements enhanced support for Samsung NVMe SSDs and various power supply units, and supports the latest graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and NVIDIA.
DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 v5.60

AMD Readying "Godavari" APUs for May Launch, 14 nm APUs in 2016

AMD is readying its next-gen APUs, codenamed "Godavari" for launch in May 2015, according to industry sources in Taiwan. A successor to "Kaveri," Godavari will feature updated "Excavator" architecture based CPU cores, and the latest Graphics CoreNext 1.2 based stream processors on the integrated GPU. The APU will feature PCI-Express gen 3.0 and high-speed DDR3 integrated memory controllers, just like its predecessor "Kaveri," and could be based on the existing FM2+ platform. These chips will compete against some of the entry/mainstream variants of Intel's Core "Broadwell" processors. It's likely that these chips could be built on existing 28 nm process.

It's also being reported that AMD will launch its first APUs based on the 14 nanometer fab process, codenamed "Summit Ridge," in 2016. These will be succeeded by "Raven Ridge" APUs in 2017. AMD could use Samsung and GlobalFoundries to make its 14 nm chips. Lastly, AMD is reportedly in talks with ASMedia to integrate its USB 3.1 controller logic into its new motherboard chipset, which it plans to launch in September 2015.Source: DigiTimes
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