News Posts matching "ZEN"

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Of New Horizons and Zen: The Story of the Name "Ryzen" for AMD's New Processors

AMD's Ryzen CPU has been a hot topic as of late, and certainly looks set to shake up the CPU world as we know it; however, it wasn't that long ago that we weren't calling it "Ryzen" at all, but merely referring to it by its codename, "Zen." What happened to that?

The "Zen" name was quite popular, and AMD claims to have made the name choice to emphasize the balance it struck between various design principles. It resonated with many enthusiasts to be sure. It was a far cry more popular than the line of "construction equipment" themed code-names that preceded it (though whether that had to do with actual performance of those products or their naming scheme itself is certainly up for debate).

Regardless, there is no denying the "Zen" name was well entrenched and already had its own level of pride built up around itself, so why dump it?

BIOSTAR RACING Series Motherboard Lineup for AMD RYZEN Announced

BIOSTAR is proud to announce the newest entry in its RACING Series family of high-performance motherboard with its debut entry for AMD with the BIOSTAR RACING X370 and B350 motherboard line up. Featuring the latest 2nd-generation RACING Series technology, the race to the future has just become more intense with support for the new AMD RYZEN processors.

True to the legacy of the BIOSTAR RACING series, the new motherboards for the Super 5 concept as well as the BIOSTAR's revolutionary VIVID LED Armor and 5050 LED Fun Zone. In conjunction with this are BIOSTAR's new improvement to component stability and performance with its new feature of Digital Power+ for overclocking and M.2 Cooling Protection. Also debuting with this model is the FLY.NET network performance software that works in tandem with the new DRAGON gaming LAN solution designed for gamers that want absolute network performance without lag when every second counts.

EVGA Introduces its iCX Technology Suite - 9 Sensors on the Card

Featuring a total of 11 global patents (pending and granted), iCX from EVGA is efficiency perfected. With 9 additional sensors embedded on the PCB, a newly designed diecast baseplate and backplate, purposefully directed airflow chambers, and full control using EVGA Precision XOC, EVGA's iCX is the very definition of Interactive Cooling.

Why was iCX Technology Created?
With PC gaming growing, it is important to provide "Peace of Mind Gaming" to the user. With EVGA's new iCX technology, users can have a better understanding of their cards operation. This includes temperature monitoring on key components (not just GPU), interaction with other devices and better cooling with asynchronous fan control providing better overclocking capabilities.

With EVGA iCX technology, a new era of PC gaming is coming.

AMD's "X" Nomenclature on Upcoming Ryzen Chips Related To XFR Feature

A Reddit user has used some good, old-fashioned thinking and inference (along with a good memory for details and investigative spirit) to try and shed some light on AMD's upcoming Ryzen chips - particularly, on the "X" part of their nomenclature.

As we've previously reported, upcoming AMD Ryzen chips will slot in two versions for each model: for example, there will be a R7 1700X, 8-core, 16-thread processor (with 95 W TDP), and expected to retail for $381.72, and a R7 1700 (sans "X"), also 8-core, 16-thread, with a rated TDP at 65 W, expected to retail at $316.59, almost $70 cheaper than the 1700X. Now, with AMD's promise of all Ryzen processors being multiplier unlocked (and thus user - or even through an automatic BIOS - overclockable), this would mean that acquiring the 1700X chip would somehow feel like bad business - after all, if the only difference between the two models were to be base and boost clocks (thus higher pricing and TDP), that would fall irrelevant to most power users, since the ability to overclock their Ryzen processors to those levels would be there anyway.

AMD's Ryzen Chips 10% Smaller Than Comparable Intel Skylake Dies

At the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), AMD presented a whitepaper in which they demonstrated how its upcoming Zen x86 core fits into a 10 percent smaller die area than Intel's currently shipping second-generation 14nm processor. According to reports, analysts and Intel engineers in the session said the Zen core is clearly competitive, though many as-of-yet unknown variables will determine whether the die advantage translates into lower costs for AMD. That said, one thing is clear: the chip will have to perform in addition to being smaller, if AMD wants to ever capitalize on the potentially higher margins a smaller die could grant them.

One of the ways AMD improved upon its ZEN core in comparison to its previous products has been on switching capacitance for their new chips, with a reported overall 15% improvement. In addition, AMD has apparently moved on to a metal-insulator-metal capacitor design, thus achieving lower operating voltages as well as as more fine-grained per-core voltage and frequency control (on to become part of their SenseMI technology suite). Looking at the image, which pits an AMD ZEN chip to a comparable Intel solution, we see that AMD saves additional die space by making do with only 12 metal layers as well as overall lower L2 and L3 cache footprints.

Source: EETimes

AMD Ryzen Processor Models Revealed

Unlike Intel, which has had a predictable processor model number scheme over the past decade, those of AMD's new Ryzen processor family have been shrouded in mystery. Come March 2nd, and the company will launch some of 17, that's right, seventeen processor models. These include 5 eight-core SKUs, 4 six-core SKUs, and a whopping 8 quad-core SKUs. The lineup is led by the AMD Ryzen R7 1800X, followed by the R7 1800 Pro, the R7 1700X, the R7 1700 Pro, and the R7 1700. At this point we don't know the clock speeds of these SKUs, or what "Pro" designates. We know from AMD's application of the "Pro" moniker to some of its A-series APUs that it could designate certain business-desktop centric features.

The six-core lineup is led by the Ryzen R5 1600X, followed by the R5 1600 Pro, the R5 1500, and the R5 1500 Pro. The clock speeds of these SKUs range between 3.20-3.60 GHz, all SKUs feature SMT, enabling 12 logical CPUs for the OS to deal with. Lastly, AMD has an exhaustive range of quad-core chips, the ones with SMT are slotted in the Ryzen R5 extension, and the ones without SMT are Ryzen R3. The SMT-enabled quad-core lineup includes the R5 1400X, R5 1400 Pro, R5 1300, and R5 1300 Pro. The entry-level R3 lineup includes the R3 1200X, R3 1200 Pro, R3 1100, and R3 1100 Pro. A number of these SKUs will launch on the 2nd of March, 2017.

Source: Coolaler

AMD ZEN CPU Complexes Indivisible, Don't Expect 6-core Ryzen: Report

In what could be a blow to budget-conscious PC builders, reports are emerging that the quad-core CCX (CPU complex) units that make up Ryzen processors (and upcoming APUs that use them), are indivisible. This means that the "Summit Ridge" silicon can either be configured as full-fledged eight-core parts, or quad-core parts (one CCX) disabled. The likelihood of cost-effective 6-core parts seems slim.

AMD will continue to sell the Ryzen-branded "Summit Ridge" silicon in three grades - SR7 (top), SR5 (mid), and SR3 (entry-level), but the SR5 may not designate the previously rumored 6-core configuration. Instead, SR7 could indicate eight cores and SMT (multi-threading), which works out to 16 logical CPUs; SR5 could indicate eight cores minus SMT (eight cores, eight threads), and SR3 could designate quad-core with SMT (four cores, eight threads). SR7 and SR5 feature the full 16 MB of L3 cache, while SR3 features 8 MB. All three grades are "unlocked," in that they feature unlocked base-clock multipliers, making overclocking easy.
Sources: PCGH, Zolkorn

AMD Says "ZEN" CPU Architecture is Expected to Last 4 Years

After spending almost 4 years developing and perfecting (as much as can be perfected in such an amount of time) it's ZEN CPU architecture, AMD is looking to extract some mileage out of it. Mark Papermaster, AMD's chief technology officer, confirmed the four-year lifespan in a conversation with PC World at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, though he declined to discuss specifics. When asked how long ZEN would last (especially comparing to Intel's now-failing two-year tick-tock cadence, Papermaster confirmed the four-year lifespan: "We're not going tick-tock," he said. "ZEN is going to be tock, tock, tock."

Motherboard Vendors Optimistic about High Price-Performance Ratio of AMD Ryzen

AMD Ryzen, the high performance processor based on the company's "Zen" micro-architecture, will increase the company's market-share of the desktop CPU market in Q2-2017, according to sources from motherboard manufacturers, in a report by Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes. The report states that motherboard manufacturers are "optimistic about [Ryzen's] high price/performance ratio," prompting them to ramp up orders of motherboards for the new platform, from their suppliers.

According to the report, the new platform built around the AMD Ryzen processor will be officially released by the end of February 2017, and will enter global mass-shipments in March. It will help increase AMD's desktop processor market share in the following quarter. The sources point out that motherboard vendors are sourcing high-end X370, mid-range B350, and entry-level A320 chipsets from AMD, and their new product designs are now in the final stage of related testing. The B350 and A320 chipsets are already launched, to support the 7th generation A-Series "Bristol Ridge" APUs.

Source: DigiTimes

AMD RYZEN Brand Name of First Enthusiast "ZEN" CPUs

AMD has apparently chosen RYZEN (pronounced "risen") as the marketing name for the first consumer enthusiast processors based on the "ZEN" micro-architecture. Slated for market availability in Q1-2017, the first RYZEN part will feature 8 cores, 16 threads, 20 MB of total cache (8x 512 KB L2 + 2x 8 MB L3), and a clock speed of over 3.40 GHz. The chips will be built in the socket AM4 package, and will be launched alongside a new wave of motherboards with AMD X370 chipset.

Given the relatively modest clock speeds by AMD's standards, it's safe to say that AMD has made big IPC gains, and is now tapping into those gains. Intel, on the other hand, is clocking its upcoming Core i7-7700K at 4.00-4.40 GHz. AMD is also introducing enthusiast-segment features with RYZEN, including XFR (eXtended frequency range), Smart Prefetch, a tightly tuned power-management system built from the ground up, called AMD Pure Power, and its related feature, AMD Precision Boost.
More slides follow.

AMD's VEGA Alive and Well - Announced MI25 VEGA as Deep Learning Accelerator

The team at Videocardz has published a story with some interesting slides regarding AMD's push towards the highly-lucrative deep learning market with their INSTINCT line-up of graphics cards - and VEGA being announced as a full-fledged solution means we are perhaps (hopefully) closer to seeing a solution based on it for the consumer market as well.

Alongside the VEGA-based MI25, AMD also announced the MI6 (5.7 TFLOPS in FP32 operations, with 224 GB/s of memory bandwidth and <150 W of board power), looking suspiciously like a Polaris 10 card in disguise; and the MI8 (which appropriately delivers 8.2 TFLOPS in FP32 computations, as well as 512 GB/s memory bandwidth and <175 W typical board power), with the memory bandwidth numbers being the most telling, and putting the MI8 closely along a Fiji architecture-based solution.

AMD's ZEN-Supporting X370 Motherboards to be Shown at "New Horizon" Event

AMD's December 13th "New Horizon" event is supposedly (and expectedly) a pivotal moment for the company - a celebration of sorts for the impending launch of their ZEN-based microprocessors. The event, which will be presented mainly by Gametrailers TV-based journalist Geoff Keighley, is now turning up to be a Summit Ridge celebration of sorts as well.

According to recent reports, a small number of motherboard manufacturers should also be in attendance at the event, showing-off their AM4-compatible motherboards based on the top-of-the-line X370 chipset. The X370 is the most advanced version of the Zen-compatible chipsets and is expected to provide extensive overclocking features and up to two third-generation PCIe x16 lanes for multi-GPU systems. Below the X370, the B350 and A320 take over the role of the mid-range and entry-level chipsets respectively. The new chipsets are expected to bring native M.2 NVMe & SATA Express connectivity, PCIe gen 3, DDR4 memory compatibility and USB 3.1 Gen2 to the company's high-end desktop platform for the very first time.

AMD "New Horizon" Event to Preview ZEN Processor Mid-December

AMD's next-generation ZEN processor family is bound for a grand entrance this December, with the company planning a special media event that will be live-streamed to the public. Called "New Horizon," AMD is designing the event to be an "exclusive advanced preview" of the processor ahead of its Q1-2017 scheduled launch. The preview will see eSports and Evil Geniuses legend PPD put "Zen" through its paces, according to its announcement. With this AMD appears to be showing off the chip's advanced gaming capabilities. " If you're serious about gaming, this is an event you do not want to miss," AMD's announcement signs off. The event stream goes live on the 13th of December, at 15:00 CST (21:00 hrs UTC).

Netflix has Some Pretty Steep System Requirements for 4K on PC

So everyone wants to crash at your place to watch the latest shows on your 4K Ultra HD TV, you can even "chill" with that special someone, if you can take your eyes off 4K content; and it turns out you even spent $500 on buying a new 4K monitor for your PC, because you demand no less than 3840 x 2160 pixels in front of your face; and among the first things you do (besides heading over to Interfacelift for some great wallpapers), is Netflix. Only Netflix has other ideas.

Apparently, you need a 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processor (or possibly AMD's upcoming "ZEN" processor), Windows 10 operating system, and Microsoft Edge web-browser to get 4K to work right on your PC, according to a Tom's Hardware report. Two factors could be pushing these steep-requirements - HEVC CODEC hardware acceleration, and hardware-level DRM features being introduced with "Kaby Lake." HEVC could prove crucial for Netflix as streaming 4K in existing H.264 format could quadruple bandwidth consumption over Full HD. HEVC encoding lets Netflix minimize the bitrate greatly. For Netflix's DRM component to access the CPU's hardware DRM features, it needs Windows 10, older versions of Windows won't work. If these requirements aren't met, Netflix will simply play your content in Full HD. No soup for you.

Source: Tom's Hardware

AMD's Internal ZEN SR7, SR5, SR3 Priced Above A12-9800

AMD's first desktop processors based on the "ZEN" micro-architecture will be priced above the fastest socket AM4 part currently in production, the A12-9800 APU. While AMD hasn't started selling the A-series socket AM4 APUs in the retail channel, the top-end A12-9800, which is faster than the A10-7870K from its previous-generation, is expected to be priced at least the same ($160) or higher. This would mean that even the cheapest ZEN part, under the ZEN SR3 series, likely quad-core; could be priced above $160.

Two key slides from a presentation AMD intended for Chinese distribution channels, was leaked to the web by ChipHell tech forum members, revealing that ZEN parts will be priced in a segment "above" RMB ¥1,500 (USD $218), assuming that that's a price inclusive of all taxes. The company also put out some performance numbers for the A8-9600 "Bristol Ridge" socket AM4 APU, keeping the "Godavari" A8-7650K as baseline, compared to the Intel Core i3-6100 "Skylake" processor. The A8-9600 was shown to be faster in most tests.

Source: ChipHell

AMD's Zen Rumored for January 17th Launch; 8 Cores With 16 Threads for $300

As we inch ever closer to AMD's Zen launch, more and more information seems to be slipping through the cracks. This time, MAXSUN, an AMD China partner (poised to provide customers with AM4 platform motherboards) is the source of the proverbial leak, with information that, if true, is sure to stir the pot of bubbling Zen excitement even more.

According to MAXSUN, Zen's initial release date is pegged for January 17th, which, if true, would probably mean a product announcement around CES 2017 (scheduled from the 5th of January through the 8th) - at the same time as Intel is expected to fully unveil their Kaby Lake parts. The company also reports a second release window at March 2017, which lends further credence to AMD's expected staggered launch of Zen-based processors, first for the High-Performance-Desktop (HEDT) market, and trickling down from there. MAXSUN also confirms the pricing scheme we reported yesterday, with regards to the companies' SR7 processors (the top-of-the-line parts in the Zen line-up, and whose naming scheme I think isn't the final one) - the company states these are expected to be priced at around 1500-2000 Yuan SKU ($250-$300).

AMD ZEN Processors to Supposedly Carry SR3, SR5 and SR7 Branding

Recent reports peg AMD's upcoming line of microprocessors based on Zen micro-architecture as being labelled SR3, SR5 and SR7 for different hardware tiers (with the SR3 being the lowest-performing, and SR7 being, naturally, the highest-performing). A recent post on Chip Hell claims that a leaked slide from an AMD presentation give us these insights, with further information on pricing: it's shown in the roadmap that all Zen SR (Summit Ridge) processors will sell for higher than RMB 1500 ($220).

AMD is expected to offer either four-core or eight-core designs on their lineup (with eventual Simultaneous Multi Threading differentiation, like Intel does between their i5 and i7 lines) still being up in the air. And in what would mark a divergence from their recent movement in the GPU space, where AMD introduced their latest Polaris architecture at the highest-volume market of about $200, AMD's Zen efforts are expected to begin from the top, with the dubbed "SR7" enthusiast-grade products first, and trickling down the market scale eventually.

AMD's Zen Server Platform Naples' Results Appear on SiSoft Sandra Database

If AMD's plans come to fruition, the company's efforts with its Zen micro-architecture will bring it back towards competitiveness with Intel not only on consumer chips, but also on the enterprise segment. While the company's consumer efforts are, by and large, the most visible from a consumer standpoint, with great hopes being pinned on it as a means to inject some much-needed dynamism and innovation in the CPU landscape, the most important vector for AMD arguably stands with the enterprise segment - where margins are usually much greater than in the consumer market.

AMD 8-core ZEN Packs a Whallop with Multithreaded Performance

AMD's upcoming 8-core "ZEN" processors pack serious multithreaded performance muscle. The company's design focus on empowering the cores, and getting rid of the shared-resource approach to multi-core chips; appears to have paid of big dividends in multithreaded performance, as tested on the Blender benchmark. An 8-core "ZEN" engineering sample was found to be belting out performance rivaling 10-core Intel Xeon E5-2600 V2 series chips, indicating that AMD appears to have made huge gains in per-core performance over its previous generation chips.

The Blender benchmark scores of an alleged AMD ZEN "Summit Ridge" engineering sample were posted by Blender benchmark scores aggregator Blenchmark; and unearthed by this redditor. According to these scores, the "ZEN" sample cruches the Blender benchmark render in 69 seconds, the same time it takes for a 10-core Xeon E5-2650 V2 processor. The ZEN chip is also closely trailing Xeon E5-2600 V4 series chips. AMD is expected to launch its first ZEN "Summit Ridge" 8-core processors in early 2017.
Sources: Blenchmark, WCCFTech

Two GIGABYTE Socket AM4 Motherboards Pictured

Ahead of their launch later this year, to cater to the 7th generation AMD A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, with support for next-generation "ZEN" processors due in 2017, two GIGABYTE socket AM4 motherboards smiled for the camera. The two appear to be based on either AMD's entry-level A320 or mid-range B350 chipsets. Since the AM4 chips are true-blue SoCs with complete integration of chipsets, including what you'd normally call a southbridge or FCH; the "chipsets" in the AM4 platform are merely chips that add to the PCIe lane budget of the platform, and provide additional SATA and USB connectivity.

The first of the two GIGABYTE AM4 boards is built in the narrow micro-ATX form-factor; featuring a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, two DDR4 DIMM slots, four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and basic connectivity that includes 6-channel HD audio, one gigabit Ethernet connection, and 4-6 USB 3.0 ports. The second board is better endowed, and is likely a variation of the socket AM4 board that was earlier pictured this September. It features two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 ports (the second one could be electrical x4); and comes with two additional SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports compared to the other board.

Source: Guru3D

AMD's ZEN to Implement Advanced Security Features not found in Intel's solutions

Thanks to AMD's incorporation of an ARM-based "AMD Secure Processor" in their upcoming ZEN micro-architecture, the company is poised to offer something competitor Intel's microprocessors yet don't: memory encryption. This processor, and its underlying technologies, could prove to be a stepping-stone for AMD towards regaining lost server market share. Essentially, because in a market ever more steered by cloud computing considerations, it allows for the client's data to be encrypted at every moment of the work chain. Assuming all works as intended, for the first time not even cloud providers, with either hypervisor-level privileges or even physical access to the servers, will be able to carry out any malicious actions against their clients.

One only has to consider the writing on the wall: Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2018, 30% of Microsoft's revenue will stem from its cloud services; Amazon Web Services (AWS) generated $7.88B in revenue on Q4 2015, up 69% over 2014; and worldwide spending on public cloud services by itself will grow from $70B in 2015 to an estimated $141B in 2019. Cloud computing is here to stay, and with security being as important as it is for some businesses, this is an important area of investment for AMD. This "AMD Secure Processor" will work on essentially two fronts: SME (Secure Memory Encryption) and SEV (Secure Encrypted Virtualization), backed by an hardware-based SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm).

AMD Aggressively Clearing Inventory to Make Room for ZEN

AMD is reportedly "aggressively clearing" its inventories of current-generation processors, such products in the AM3+ and FM2+ packages; to make room for next-generation processors based on the "ZEN" architecture, and new 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, both of which are built in the new socket AM4 package. You should be able to find AMD FX CPUs at attractive prices, so current 4-core and 6-core users could be lured to upgrade to faster 8-core chips, including those featuring the company's Wraith silent CPU cooler.

Taiwan industry observer DigiTimes reports that AMD will launch its next-generation "ZEN" processors, and motherboards based on the high-end X370 chipset, alongside the 2017 International CES expo, in early January. 2017 promises to be a big year for the company as it's not only attempting to regain competitiveness in the performance desktop CPU space, but also high-end graphics, with its Radeon "VEGA" family.

Source: DigiTimes

AMD "ZEN" Mobile Chips En Route Q2-2017 Launch

AMD will follow up its Q1-2017 launch of socket AM4 desktop processors and APUs based on the "ZEN" microarchitecture, with single-chip mobile processors and APUs in the following quarter, according to an Expreview report. These solutions could take advantage of the fact that "ZEN" CPUs and APUs completely integrate platform core-logic (chipsets), even though on the desktop platform, AMD is launching the A320, B350, and X370 chipsets to expand connectivity given out by the SoCs.

With requirements for fewer M.2, SATA, and USB 3.0 ports on mobile platforms such as notebooks, designs that completely do away with the chipset should theoretically be possible, and the company could use this to score design wins. Intel currently offers CPU and PCH on single packages, as multi-chip modules (MCMs).

Source: Expreview

AMD Readies X370 High-end Chipset for "Summit Ridge" Processors

AMD is readying three motherboard chipsets for its next-generation socket AM4 desktop platform. With its 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs, the company launched the A320 mainstream and B350 premium motherboard chipsets, while keeping a better-endowed high-end chipset under the wraps, which makes its debut with the ZEN "Summit Ridge" processors. It turns out that this chipset is the AMD X370. The X370 chipset will debut with the first ZEN "Summit Ridge" processors along the sidelines of the 2017 International CES, next January.

AMD "Summit Ridge" desktop processors, much like the 7th generation A-series APUs they share the platform with, are SoCs, in that the chips combine the entire platform core-logic along with the CPU and its relevant uncore components. AMD is still giving this platform a sort of chipset, which adds to the number of SATA, USB, and general-purpose PCI-Express connectivity that the processor gives out. The AMD X370 should feature more 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports, SATA 6 Gb/s ports, 32 Gb/s M.2 or U.2 ports, and general-purpose PCIe lanes than what the B350 offers. This chipset should drive motherboards that are ready for multi-GPU setups.

Source: Expreview

SMT and Power Management Behind "Kaby Lake" and "ZEN" Windows 10 Restrictions

Microsoft recently sparked a stir when it was reported that the company will support upcoming CPU architectures by Intel and AMD only on Windows 10, with the keyword being "support" and not "compatibility." This means that Microsoft will offer customer-support and likely serve updates to Intel "Kaby Lake" and AMD "ZEN" machines only running Windows 10 (and its enterprise variant Windows Server 2016, based on the NT 10 kernel), and not older versions of Windows. The processors themselves are compatible with any x86 operating system, Windows or *nix, 32-bit or 64-bit. HotHardware dug out the likely causes of this decision.

Apparently, new power-management and SMT features are behind the decision. With its "Kaby Lake" microarchitecture, Intel is introducing a new power-management feature called Speed Shift Technology. This lets the processor adjust its clock-speed to match processing loads at response time of 15 ms. This likely requires OS-level hooks, so the on-die power-management components can poll for processing loads and accordingly raise or lower clock-speeds 66.66 times each second, at no CPU cost. In its ZEN microarchitecture reveal, AMD too spoke about fine-grained, multi-domain clock-gating (≠ power-gating) on its "ZEN" based processors, such as "Summit Ridge."
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