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AMD "Summit Ridge" Die Pictured?

At its 2016 Annual Shareholders Meeting website, AMD reportedly posted a wafer shot of its upcoming 14 nm "Summit Ridge" CPU die. The "Summit Ridge" silicon is rumored to drive a number of performance-thru-enthusiast processor SKUs for AMD. The die pictured features eight CPU cores based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 16 MB of shared L3 cache split between two blocks of four CPU cores, each.

"Summit Ridge," much like the "Bristol Ridge" APU silicon, will be a true SoC, in that it integrates the southbridge on the processor die. With "Summit Ridge," AMD is also introducing a new inter-socket interconnect replacing its ageing HyperTransport technology. The new Global Memory Interconnect (GMI) bus provides a 100 GB/s path between two sockets. The "Summit Ridge" die features two such interconnect ports.

AMD "Summit Ridge" Silicon Reserved for 8-core CPUs Initially

Sources tell Bits'n'Chips that AMD could use a common 8-core CPU die based on its upcoming "Zen" architecture over multiple CPU SKUs, at least initially. AMD will have two distinct kinds of processors, those with integrated graphics (APUs) based on the "Bristol Ridge" silicon, and those without integrated graphics (CPUs), based on the "Summit Ridge" silicon. Since products based on both the dies will use a common socket on the desktop (socket AM4), consumers looking for 2-4 CPU cores will be presented with APU options, while those looking for more powerful CPU solutions will be made to choose 8-core CPUs based on the "Summit Ridge" silicon.

More AMD Socket AM4 Technical Details Emerge

More details of AMD's upcoming common socket for both its desktop APUs and high-end CPUs emerged from a recent article by Italian tech-site Bits-n-Chips. To begin with, AM4 will be an µOPGA (pin-grid array), in which the pins will continue to be located on the processor package, and contact points on the socket. The package will be square, and 40 mm in length, making it about as big as a current socket FM2+ package. It will have a pin-count of 1,331 pins, a big increase from the 942 pins of AM3+, and 906 pins of FM2+. AMD could continue to develop LGA sockets for its multi-socket capable Opteron processors based on the "Zen" architecture.

The AM4 platform layout will be functionally closer to that of the FM2+ than the AM3+. Besides the integrated memory controller, the northbridge will be entirely located on the processor die; and so the HyperTransport main system bus will be wired internally. Besides hundreds of electrical pins, the AM4 pin-map will consist of memory I/O, integrated graphics I/O, PCI-Express, and the chipset bus; besides other low-level system I/O interfaces. The memory controller on some of the first AM4 chips, such as "Summit Ridge," will natively support DDR4-2400 MHz, and DDR4-2933 MHz through overclocking.

AMD Zen-based 8-core Desktop CPU Arrives in 2016, on Socket FM3

In what is a confirmation that AMD has killed socket AM3+ and its 3-chip platform, a leaked slide that's part of a larger press-deck addressing investors, tells us that the company is planning to launch a high-performance desktop processor targeting enthusiasts, based on its next-generation "Zen" architecture, in 2016. Our older articles detail the Zen CPU core design, and the way in which AMD will build multi-core CPUs with it. This processor will be codenamed "Summit Ridge," and will be a CPU, and not an APU as previously reported. In AMD-speak, what sets a CPU apart from an APU is its lack of integrated graphics.

AMD "Summit Ridge" will be an 8-core CPU built on the 14 nanometer silicon fab process. It will feature eight "Zen" cores, with 512 KB of L2 cache per core, 16 MB of L3 cache, with 8 MB shared between two sets of four cores, each; a dual-channel integrated memory controller that likely supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory types; and an integrated PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, with a total of 22 lanes. We can deduce this from the fact that "Summit Ridge" will be built in the same upcoming socket FM3 package, which the company's "Bristol Ridge" Zen-based APU will be built on. "Summit Ridge" will hence be more competitive with Intel's 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, such as the i7-6700K and i5-6600K, than the company's "Broadwell-E" HEDT platform.

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.
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