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AMD "Mero" Semi-custom SoC Powers Next-Gen Magic Leap AR Headset

Magic Leap's next-generation augmented reality (AR) headset could be AMD-powered according to a Basemark benchmark listing seen by _Rogame. The chip driving this headset is codenamed "Mero," and is a semi-custom SoC made by AMD. The SoC combines a CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, with an iGPU based on RDNA2. Basemark reads this as 8 CPU cores, although it's possible this is 4-core/8-thread.

At this point, the RDNA2 compute unit (CU) count is unknown. Magic Leap uses an Android 10-derived OS for the x86-64 machine architecture, and the system name reads as "Magic Leap Demophon" to Basemark (which could just be the prototype's network machine name). The AR display-head is 720 x 920 pixels, and the memory available to the OS is 1 GB (not counting the memory shared to the iGPU).

Several New AMD Ryzen 5000 and Ryzen 4000 Processor Models from Spring'22 Update Go on Sale

AMD's Spring 2022 desktop processor product-stack went live (for the most part). AMD had announced as many as seven new Socket AM4 processor models on March 15. Six of these go on sale today, while the Ryzen 7 5800X3D hits the shelves on April 20. Among the models going on sale today are the Ryzen 7 5700X, an 8-core/16-thread part positioned a notch below the 5800X, and priced at $299; the Ryzen 5 5600 (non-X), a 6-core/12-thread part that's slightly a down-clocked 5600X priced at $199; the Ryzen 5 5500, which is essentially a 5600G "Cezanne" 6-core/12-thread APU with its iGPU disabled and clocked lower; at $159; and a trio of cost-effective Ryzen 4000 series parts based on the Renoir silicon and "Zen 2" architecture, priced under the $150-mark. As of this writing, we see most of these SKUs on sale with US retailer Newegg.

MSI AMD 500, 400, 300-series Motherboards Ready to Support Ryzen 5000/4000 Series

AMD recently announced the latest "Zen 3" and "Zen 2" new processors are coming to the market very soon for DIY users, which includes the ground-breaking AMD 3D V-Cache technology processor, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. Moreover, the mainstream Ryzen 7 5700X, Ryzen 5 5600, Ryzen 5 5500, Ryzen 5 4600G, Ryzen 5 4500, and Ryzen 3 4100 are all here for different levels of system builds.

MSI is committed to deliver gamers and creators the best experiences. This is why BIOS update is always great for most users. The latest AMD AGESA COMBO PI V2 1.2.0.6c BIOS was released for some MSI 500- and 400-series motherboards. The purpose of AGESA 1.2.0.6c is not only for better compatibility but also for maximizing AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D performance. For the older 300-series motherboards, we will release the AGESA COMBO PI V2 1.2.0.6c beta BIOS by the end of April. Please refer to the following chart for more information.

AMD Spring 2022 Ryzen Desktop Processor Update Includes Six New Models Besides 5800X3D

In addition to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, which AMD claims to be the world's fastest gaming processor, AMD gave its desktop processor product-stack a major update, with as many as six other processor models spanning a wide range of price-points that help the company better compete with the bulk of the 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" processor lineup. The new lineup sees the introduction of the Ryzen 7 5700X (not to be confused with the Ryzen 7 5700G). The 5700X is based on the same "Vermeer" multi-chip module (MCM) as the Ryzen 7 5800X, unlike the 5700G, which is a desktop APU based on the "Cezanne" monolithic silicon. Both "Vermeer" and "Cezanne" are based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

The Ryzen 7 5700X is an 8-core/16-thread processor clocked at 3.40 GHz base and 4.60 GHz boost, compared to the 3.80 GHz base and 4.80 GHz boost frequency of the 5800X. Another key difference is its 65 W TDP, compared to 105 W of the 5800X, which could differentiate its boosting behavior and overclocking headroom compared to the 5800X. AMD is pricing the 5700X at USD $299 (MSRP), making it a competitor to the Intel Core i5-12600KF. Interestingly, the retail PIB (processor-in-box) package of the 5700X does not include a stock cooler despite its 65 W TDP. A 95 W-capable Wraith Spire wouldn't have hurt.

AMD Brings Official Ryzen 5000 Support to 300-series Chipset Motherboards Circa 2016

AMD announced that it is bringing official Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" desktop processor support to the oldest of Socket AM4 motherboards out there, which are based on AMD 300-series chipset models—the X370, B350, and A320. The company is working with motherboard and pre-built gaming desktop OEMs to push UEFI firmware updates with support. In addition to Ryzen 5000, this would also add Ryzen 3000 and Ryzen 4000 "Zen 2" support across the board. Motherboard firmware updates that add Ryzen 5000 support will encapsulate AGESA V2 PI 1.2.0.7 microcode, so look for this AGESA version in the change-log of the firmware update. AMD expects that motherboard and pre-built vendors will start pushing these updates from May 2022.

AMD Readies Even More Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop SKUs for April

Earlier this week, we learned about AMD making several additions to its Ryzen 5000 Socket AM4 desktop processor lineup, to better compete against the bulk of the 12th Gen Intel Core "Alder Lake" processors. It turns out that there are three more additions to the lineup that we missed, because they're slated for a slightly later availability from the other chips (later by weeks).

The first of these three is the Ryzen 7 5700 (non-X). This chip is uniquely different from the Ryzen 7 5700X and the Ryzen 7 5600G. It is an 8-core/16-thread processor that's based on the 7 nm "Cezanne" silicon, with its iGPU disabled. This means you still get eight "Zen 3" CPU cores, but no iGPU, just 16 MB of L3 cache, and the PCI-Express interface of the chip is limited Gen 3. The Ryzen 3 5100 is the spiritual successor to the very interesting Ryzen 3 3100. It is a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the same "Cezanne" silicon with "Zen 3" cores, but with only 8 MB of L3 cache, and the iGPU remaining disabled. The third chip on the anvil is the Ryzen 7 4700, an interesting 8-core/16-thread offering based on the older "Renoir" silicon with "Zen 2" CPU cores.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D Priced at $450, Mid-April Launch Pricing of Other New Chips Surface

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D, the company's ambitious new 8-core/16-thread Socket AM4 processor that claims to match the Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake" in gaming performance, will launch at an MSRP of USD $449, according to prices of several upcoming AMD Ryzen processors leaked to the web. The 5800X3D is clocked lower than the 5800X, with 3.40 GHz base and 4.50 GHz boost frequencies, but the large 96 MB L3 cache from the 3D Vertical Cache memory, overcomes this.

The Ryzen 7 5700X is an interesting new 8-core/16-thread part. It's based on the "Vermeer" MCM just like the 5800X, and unlike the 5700G that's based on the "Cezanne" monolithic silicon. The 5700X is clocked at 3.40 GHz base, with 4.60 GHz boost, compared to the 3.80 GHz base and 4.70 GHz boost frequency of the 5800X. The Ryzen 7 5700X is launching at $299 MSRP, which implies that the company is cutting the MSRP of the Ryzen 5 5600X that originally occupied this price-point.

Update Mar 9th: Correction: the Ryzen 5 5500 is a 6-core/12-thread part.

Steam Deck Officially Arrives on February 25th to First Customers

Valve's highly anticipated handheld gaming console, Steam Deck, officially arrives on February 25th. According to the newest information from Valve, the company plans to start sending our Steam Deck units to customers who first pre-ordered their units on February 25th, and the arrival time should be three days. That means that on February 28th, customers will have Steam Deck in their hands. Regarding press units for reviewers, the company has already started shipping review units to select media partners. The review embargo for Steam Deck is also set to February 25th, so that marks the date when we can see the full potential of AMD's custom Van Gogh SoC.

As a general reminder, the Van Gogh SoC features four Zen 2 cores with eight threads, running at a 3.5 GHz frequency. The graphics side is powered by eight RDNA2 CUs clocked at 1.6 GHz, meaning that the chip can support some decent handheld gaming. The base model starts at $399, while the top-end configuration costs up to $649, carrying more extensive memory/storage options.

Gigabyte Launches the BRIX Extreme Powered by AMD Ryzen 5000U

Since the introduction of the NUC by Intel some years ago, the mini PC space has taken off and one of the more popular NUC alternatives has been the BRIX series from Gigabyte and the company has just announced the BRIX Extreme. This is Gigabyte's first BRIX series based on the AMD Ryzen 5000U series of APUs and three different options will be available, in the shape of the R3-5300U, R5-5500U and the R7-5700U. This translates to four, six and eight core CPUs with a 15 W TDP, although these are all Zen 2 based, rather than Zen 3, which is slightly disappointing.

This is also one of the first device we've seen that uses the new AMD RZ608 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 module which was announced a little while back. Other features include 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, an M.2 PCIe 3.0 NVMe slot for an SSD, two HDMI 2.0a ports, a mini DP port port and a USB-C port with DP Alt mode, both supporting DP 1.4 and all display outputs can be used concurrently with four 4K displays. Gigabyte will offer the BRIX Extreme in a low profile chassis as well as a slightly bigger chassis that can either house a 2.5-inch SATA drive, or an optional expansion module.

AMD 4800S Desktop Kit Launching 2022 Supporting Radeon RX 6600

The AMD 4800S desktop kit appears to be a successor to the 4700S which featured a repurposed Ariel SoC from the PlayStation 5 with the integrated RDNA2 graphics disabled. The 4700S Mini-ITX kit featured a single PCIe x4 Gen 2.0 slot which limited compatibility to lower-end graphics cards and restricted the availability of high-speed storage or connectivity. The upcoming 4800S Micro-ATX kit appears to remedy these issues by upgrading to a different Zen 2 chip possibly the one used by Microsoft in the Xbox Series X/S consoles with a PCIe Gen 4.0 link. The desktop system will support AM4 coolers and includes an M.2 slot for SSD storage or WiFi connectivity. AMD is planning to release the 4800S desktop kit in Q1 2022 with the board being manufactured by MSI and bundled with a TUL (PowerColor) Radeon RX 6600 graphics card.

Valve Unveils Steam Deck Final Packaging & Carry Case

Valve has recently completed the final Design Validation (DV) prototype for the Steam Deck incorporating improvements from the previous EV2 builds. This latest design revision also sees the confirmation of retail packaging for the device which consists of a simple cardboard box with a region-specific power supply, Steam Deck, carry case, and setup instructions. The portable carrying case for the 64 GB and 256 GB models was also shown with the 512 GB version set to receive a unique version. The Valve Steam Deck features an AMD Zen 2 processor with integrated RDNA 2 graphics and is available to pre-order at 399 USD for the 64 GB base model with new orders not expected to ship until Q2 2022. Valve will begin shipping these DV kits to game developers shortly allowing them to optimize their titles for the device before it begins shipping in February 2022.

Intel's Entry-level Core i3-12100 "Alder Lake" Beats Ryzen 3 3300X Comfortably

Intel's next entry-level processor for the Socket LGA1700 platform is the Core i3-12100. Carved out of the "Alder Lake-S" H0 silicon, this processor features 4 "Golden Cove" performance cores with HyperThreading enabling 8 logical processors, and no E-cores. The processor ticks at 3.30 GHz, with 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost 2.0 frequency. Each of the four cores has 1.25 MB of L2 cache, and they share 12 MB of L3 cache. The i3-12100 gets a Gen12 Xe LP-based iGPU, while a variant of the processor, the i3-12100F, lacks integrated graphics. Intel is rating the processor base power value at 60 W, with 77 W maximum turbo power.

XFastest scored an i3-12100 engineering sample, and wasted no time in comparing it with the Ryzen 3 3300X. The i3-12100 was tested on an ASRock Z690 Steel Legend motherboard that has DDR4 memory slots. 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3600 memory and RTX 3060 Ti were used on both the Intel and AMD test-beds. A Ryzen 3 3100 was also used on the AMD side. Right off the bat, we see the i3-12100 take a significant lead over the AMD chips at PCMark, posting a roughly 15% performance lead. Cinebench R23 is another test where the little "Alder Lake" scores big, posting a roughly 26% performance lead in the multi-threaded test, and 27% in the single-threaded test. This is mainly because the 3300X is based on "Zen 2" while the i3-12100 uses the cutting-edge "Golden Cove" cores. AMD hasn't bothered with "Zen 3" based Ryzen 3 desktop processors in the retail market.

AMD Prepares 7nm "Renoir X" Processors Lacking Integrated Graphics, and "Vermeer S"

AMD apparently finds itself with quite a bit of undigested 7 nm "Renoir" silicon, which it plans to repackage as Socket AM4 processors, reports VideoCardz, citing sources on ChipHell forums. The most interesting aspect of this leak is that the silicon variant, codenamed "Renoir X," comes with a disabled iGPU. This is hence a case of AMD harvesting enough "Renoir" dies with faulty iGPU components, to sell them off as desktop processors. It is also learned that these chips don't feature all of the 8 "Zen 2" CPU cores present on the silicon, but rather AMD is looking to carve out entry-level SKUs, such as the Ryzen 3 or Athlon. The company lacks Athlon desktop SKUs based on "Zen 2" or later, although traditionally the company sought to include some basic iGPU solution with its Athlon SKUs.

In related news, the source reports that AMD will refresh its Ryzen desktop processor family with the new "Vermeer S" Ryzen processors. Built on the existing Socket AM4 package, these use AMD's "Zen 3" CCDs that feature 3D Vertical Cache (3DV Cache), much like the recently announced EPYC "Milan X" server processors. AMD claimed that the 3DV Cache technology has a significant performance uplift on performance akin to a generational update. These could be the company's first response to Intel Core "Alder Lake," although since they're based on the older AM4 platform, could only feature DDR4 and PCIe Gen 4. Much like the Ryzen 3000XT series, these appear to be a stopgap product lineup, with AMD targeting late-Q2/early-Q3 for next-generation "Raphael" Socket AM5 processors based on the "Zen 4" architecture, with DDR5 and PCIe Gen 5.

AMD Celebrates 5 Years of Ryzen...and Insomnia at Intel

AMD disrupted a decade of $350 quad-core from Intel with its path-breaking Ryzen processor and the "Zen" microarchitecture, which enters 5th year in the market (5 years since tapeout). AMD went into the Ryzen processor launch as a company that had been written off in the CPU space by PC enthusiasts, and "Zen" was at best expected to give AMD another round of processors to sell around $250. Boy was everyone wrong. The Ryzen 7 1800X eight-core processor brought HEDT-levels of performance to the mainstream desktop form-factor, and its HEDT counterpart, the Threadripper, dominated Intel's Core X series ever since.

Intel's first response to the 1800X was a 50% increase in CPU core counts calculating that AMD would only see marginal IPC increases going forward, and the superior IPC of "Skylake" cores, along with a 6-core/12-thread setup in the Core i7-8700K would see things through. This is roughly when Intel faced severe supply shortages that spiraled prices out of control, giving AMD space to come out with the Ryzen 7 2700X with a 4% IPC increase, and improved multi-threaded performance, but more importantly, predictable pricing at around $330. Months later, Intel refreshed its lineup with the 9th Gen, and finally attained parity with AMD in core counts, with the Core i9-9900K.

Meltdown-like Vulnerability Affects AMD Zen+ and Zen2 Processors

Cybersecurity researchers Saidgani Musaev and Christof Fetzer with the Dresden Technology University discovered a novel method of forcing illegal data-flow between microarchitectural elements on AMD processors based on the "Zen+" and "Zen 2" microarchitectures, titled "Transient Execution of Non-canonical Accesses." The method was discovered in October 2020, but the researchers followed responsible-disclosure norms, giving AMD time to address the vulnerability and develop a mitigation. The vulnerability is chronicled under CVE-2020-12965 and AMD Security Bulletin ID "AMD-SB-1010."

The one-line summary of this vulnerability from AMD reads: "When combined with specific software sequences, AMD CPUs may transiently execute non-canonical loads and store using only the lower 48 address bits, potentially resulting in data leakage." The researchers studied this vulnerability on three processors, namely the EPYC 7262 based on "Zen 2," and Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX, based on "Zen+." They mention that all Intel processors that are vulnerable to MDS attacks "inherently have the same flaw." AMD is the subject of the paper as AMD "Zen+" (and later) processors are immune to MDS as demonstrated on Intel processors. AMD developed a mitigation for the vulnerability, which includes ways of patching vulnerable software.

Find the security research paper here (PDF), and the AMD security bulletin here. AMD's mitigation blueprint can be accessed here.

Scalpers Already "Offering" the Steam Deck for $5,000 on eBay

Valve's Steam Deck announcement took the gaming world by storm last week, as the announcement of a Valve-designed portable gaming console packing an AMD Zen 2 CPU with RDNA2 cores set collective imaginations on fire. However, as is the case for any recent gaming hardware launches, expect the Steam Deck to be hard to come by - demand for a mainstream portable, Switch-like console that promises to enable AAA-gaming on the go is apparently sky-high, despite the fact that some portable devices exploring the same concept have been available for a while now, such as the AYA Neo (which even packs two extra Zen 2 cores) and the Intel-based One XPlayer.

As is the case for any recent hardware launch that garners enough mainstream attention (looking at you, current-gen GPUs and consoles), a lopsided demand-supply ratio is a playground for unscrupulous types looking to make a profit at the expense of other people's impatience. And it sure is happening already - eBay listings for "pre-order confirmed" Steam Deck variants are already being set at €4,324 (roughly $4,989) - though we'd say they're tentatively set at that ludicrous pricing. It seems that the current median asking price sits around the $900 mark for the 512 GB SSD-equipped variant. Tentative or not, this just goes to show that the new normal is for launched products to be actively gauged for scalping practices - more now than ever before.

Valve Steam Deck SoC Detailed: AMD Brings Zen2 and RDNA2 to the Table

Valve today announced its first big splash into the console market with Steam Deck, a device out to eat the Nintendo Switch's lunch. The announcement comes as yet another feather in AMD's cap for its semi-custom SoC business, benefiting from being the only company with an x86-64 CPU license and having a cutting-edge graphics hardware IP. Built on the 7 nm node at TSMC, the semi-custom chip at the heart of the Steam Deck is designed for extended gameplay on battery, and is a monolithic silicon that combines CPU, GPU, and core-logic.

The yet-unnamed semi-custom chip features a 4-core/8-thread CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, with a nominal clock speed of 2.40 GHz, and up to 3.50 GHz boost. The CPU component offers an FP32 throughput of 448 GFLOP/s. The GPU is based on AMD's latest RDNA2 graphics architecture—the same one powering the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and Radeon RX 6900 XT—and is comprised of 8 RDNA2 compute units (512 stream processors). The GPU operates at an engine clock speed of 1.10 GHz to 1.60 GHz, with peak compute power of 1.6 TFLOP/s. The silicon uses a unified memory interface, and a cutting-edge LPDDR5 memory controller.

Prebuilts with AMD 4700S Desktop Kits Sell for $600 in India

Indian PC components retailer PrimeABGB started listing pre-built desktops based on the AMD 4700S Desktop Kit, a PC motherboard based on harvested PlayStation 5 SoCs with their iGPUs disabled. These are semi-custom SoCs originally bound for Sony, which didn't make the cut, as their iGPUs were found defective.

It appears like the desktop PrimeABGB is selling for the equivalent of $600, is integrated in-house by the retailer, and the other parts that make up the build are certainly of a comparable quality to the ones large OEMs cram in their $600 desktops. These include a SilverStone Sugo 13 Mesh case, an Antec Atom 450 W PSU, a 120 GB SATA 6 Gbps SSD, and a GeForce GT 710 handling graphics on par with basic iGPU solutions. What you're getting, though, is an 8-core/8-thread "Zen 2" CPU that's highly capable for productivity tasks, and hardwired 16 GB memory.

AMD 4700S 8-core Processor Desktop Kit Listed as an Official AMD Product

Back in May, pictures surfaced of a curious-looking Micro-ATX motherboard featuring a so-called "AMD 4700S" SoC. At the heart of these boards were an SoC not unlike the one that powers the Xbox Series X, except that the integrated GPU is completely disabled, with no onboard display outputs. The board is very likely a means for AMD to harvest Xbox Series X/S SoCs with broken iGPUs. It now turns out that the board is an official AMD product, named "AMD 4700S 8-core Processor Desktop Kit."

The board provides an 8-core/8-thread CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, no iGPU, but a PCI-Express x16 slot that's electrically PCI-Express 2.0 x4, a handful USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, two SATA 6 Gbps ports, onboard 1 GbE LAN and 6-channel HD audio. The SoC comes with its own unspecified amount of onboard memory in the form of hardwired DDR4 memory chips surrounding it; there are no additional memory slots. The Xbox Series X SoC features a 256-bit wide memory bus, so it will be interesting to see if AMD has maximized it. AMD didn't reveal pricing or availability information, although they way this is marketed, the board will very likely be available in the retail channel.

AMD 4700S Processor Could be Repurposed Xbox Series X/S APU

The AMD 4700S is a new processor being advertised by Chinese manufactures as a complete ITX compatible solution. The processor is soldered to a custom "Cardinal" motherboard produced by AMD which lacks memory slots and instead features 16 GB of GDDR6 memory located around the processor. These specifications seem to closely reflect those of the Xbox Series X APU. The 4700S is an 8-core 16-thread 7 nm Zen 2 CPU with 12 MB cache and a boost clock of 4.0 GHz which is actually higher than that of the Xbox Series X/S at 3.8 GHz and 3.6 GHz respectively. This higher boost clock is likely due to the exclusion of an integrated GPU which increases the power available for the processor.

The seller also provided benchmarks for the processor in various Cinebench configurations where it outperformed the Intel Core i7-9700 and performed just below the AMD Ryzen 7 4750G. The processor paired with an RX 550 GPU also outperformed the Intel Core i7-9750H paired with an RTX 2060 and 32 GB memory in Cinebench and x264/x265 video encoding. The seller has a picture of the Xbox Series X APU in their advertising material for the new processor lending weight to the theory that these are reused processors which failed qualification.

AMD Outs 32 MB Infinity Cache on Navi 23, No Cache on Upcoming Van Gogh APUs

AMD has revealed the Infinity Cache size for the upcoming Navi 23 GPU, as well as its absence in the next-generation Van Gogh APU, which features Zen 2 cores and an RDNA GPU. The reveal comes via a new patch done by AMD to the AMKFD, a Linux kernel HSA driver for AMD APUs. The patch file doesn't list Infinity Cache per se, but does clarify the last-level cache for AMD's GPUs - L3, which is essentially the same.

The patch reveals L3 size for Sienna Cichlid (Navi 21), Navy Flounder (Navi 22), and Dimgrey Cavefish (Navi 23). Navi 21 features 128*1024 (128 MB) of Infinity Cache, the just-released Navi 22 has 96 MB, as we know, and according to the file, Navi 23 is bound to feature 32 MB of it. Considering that Van Gogh lacks an infinity Cache, it would seem that it's making use of previous-gen Navi graphics, and won't leverage RDNA2, of which the Infinity Cache is a big part of. It remains to be seen if Van Gogh will materialize in an APU product lineup or if it's a specific part for a customer. It also remains to be seen which RX product will Navi 23 power - if an AMD RX 66000 series, or 6500 series.

AMD's Next-Generation Van Gogh APU Shows Up with Quad-Channel DDR5 Memory Support

AMD is slowly preparing to launch its next-generation client-oriented accelerated processing unit (APU), which is AMD's way of denoting a CPU+GPU combination. The future design is codenamed after Van Gogh, showing AMD's continuous use of historic names for their products. The APU is believed to be a design similar to the one found in the SoC of the latest PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. That means that there are Zen 2 cores present along with the latest RDNA 2 graphics, side by side in the same processor. Today, one of AMD's engineers posted a boot log of the quad-core Van Gogh APU engineering sample, showing some very interesting information.

The boot log contains information about the memory type used in the APU. In the logs, we see a part that says "[drm] RAM width 256bits DDR5", which means that the APU has an interface for the DDR5 memory and it is 256-bit wide, which represents a quad-channel memory configuration. Such a wide memory bus is typically used for applications that need lots of bandwidth. Given that Van Gogh uses RDNA 2 graphics, the company needs a sufficient memory bandwidth to keep the GPU from starving for data. While we don't have much more information about it, we can expect to hear greater details soon.

AMD Brings Smart Access Memory (Resizable BAR) Support to Ryzen 3000 Series

AMD in its "Where Gaming Begins Episode 3" online event, announced that it is introducing Smart Access Memory (resizable base address register) support to Ryzen 3000 series "Matisse" processors, based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. These exclude the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G. The PCI-SIG innovated feature was, until now, restricted to the Ryzen 5000 series on the AMD platform, although is heavily proliferated across the Intel platform. Resizable BAR enables the CPU to see the graphics card's entire dedicated memory as one addressable block, rather than through 256-megabyte apertures. For game engines that are able to take advantage of the feature, this could translate to a performance boost of up to 16 percent. Be on the lookout for BIOS updates from your motherboard manufacturer.

Sony Playstation 5 SoC Die Has Been Pictured

When AMD and Sony collaborated on making the next generation console chip, AMD has internally codenamed it Flute, while Sony codenamed it Oberon or Ariel. This PlayStation 5 SoC die has today been pictured thanks to the Fritzchens Fritz and we get to see a closer look at the die internals. Featuring eight of AMD's Zen2 cores that can reach frequencies of up to 3.5 GHz, the CPU is paired with 36 CU GPU based on the RDNA 2 technology. The GPU is capable of running at speed of up to 2.23 GHz. The SoC has been made to accommodate all of that hardware, and bring IO to connect it all.

When tearing down the console, the heatsink and the SoC are connected by liquid metal, which is used to achieve the best possible heat transfer between two surfaces. Surrounding the die there is a small amount of material used to prevent liquid metal (a conductive material) from possibly spilling and shorting some components. Using a special short wave infrared light (SWIR) microscope, we can take a look at what is happening under the hood without destroying the chip. And really, there are a few distinct areas that are highlighted by the Twitter user @Locuza. As you can see, the die has special sectors with the CPU complex and a GPU matrix with plenty of workgroups and additional components for raytracing.

AMD Talks Zen 4 and RDNA 3, Promises to Offer Extremely Competitive Products

AMD is always in development mode and just when they launch a new product, the company is always gearing up for the next-generation of devices. Just a few months ago, back in November, AMD has launched its Zen 3 core, and today we get to hear about the next steps that the company is taking to stay competitive and grow its product portfolio. In the AnandTech interview with Dr. Lisa Su, and The Street interview with Rick Bergman, the EVP of AMD's Computing and Graphics Business Group, we have gathered information about AMD's plans for Zen 4 core development and RDNA 3 performance target.

Starting with Zen 4, AMD plans to migrate to the AM5 platform, bringing the new DDR5 and USB 4.0 protocols. The current aim of Zen 4 is to be extremely competitive among competing products and to bring many IPC improvements. Just like Zen 3 used many small advances in cache structures, branch prediction, and pipelines, Zen 4 is aiming to achieve a similar thing with its debut. The state of x86 architecture offers little room for improvement, however, when the advancement is done in many places it adds up quite well, as we could see with 19% IPC improvement of Zen 3 over the previous generation Zen 2 core. As the new core will use TSMC's advanced 5 nm process, there is a possibility to have even more cores found inside CCX/CCD complexes. We are expecting to see Zen 4 sometime close to the end of 2021.
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