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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, 3970X and 3990X Launch Dates Leaked

The folks over at Videocardz managed to snag some impressive information on AMD-s upcoming Threadripper lineup - their launch dates. According to the tech publication, a source within AMD provided information regarding previously-set dates for paper and hardware launches that stand at November 5th for the formal announcement of the next generation HEDT CPUs, followed by lifted embargos on reviews and actual product availability come November 19th. Apparently, AMD will only launch the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X come November 5th (remember remember the 5th of November), with a product announcement for the Threadripper 3990X which will only be launched in January 2020.

AMD will also formally unveil their next-gen Threadripper TRX40 platformon November 5th (which won't be compatible with previous-gen Threadrippers). This makes sense - CPUs without a platform to pin them onto doesn't seem like a conscientious business decision. No information was available on clockspeeds and core counts at this time, though the Threadripper 3960X, the base of the new lineup, is expected to sport 24 cores and 48 threads of Zen 2 goodness.

Intel Scraps 10nm for Desktop, Brazen it Out with 14nm Skylake Till 2022?

In a shocking piece of news, Intel has reportedly scrapped plans to launch its 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture on the client desktop platform. The company will confine its 10 nm microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Tiger Lake" to only the mobile platform, while the desktop platform will see derivatives of "Skylake" hold Intel's fort under the year 2022! Intel gambles that with HyperThreading enabled across the board and increased clock-speeds, it can restore competitiveness with AMD's 7 nm "Zen 2" Ryzen processors with its "Comet Lake" silicon that offers core-counts of up to 10.

"Comet Lake" will be succeeded in 2021 by the 14 nm "Rocket Lake" silicon, which somehow combines a Gen12 iGPU with "Skylake" derived CPU cores, and possibly increased core-counts and clock speeds over "Comet Lake." It's only 2022 that Intel will ship out a truly new microarchitecture on the desktop platform, with "Meteor Lake." This chip will be built on Intel's swanky 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication node, and possibly integrate CPU cores more advanced than even "Willow Cove," possibly "Golden Cove."

MSI Confirms Upcoming TRX40 Platform, Lists Creator TRX40 Motherboard

MSI today inadvertently confirmed preparations for the release of TRX40-based motherboards, which will allow for AMD's next-gen, Zen 2-based Threadripper CPUs to slot in quite nicely in a bed of silicon. Via a promo page for new motherboard purchases, where MSI listed the eligible motherboards for a $25 Steam rebate after purchase, the company listed a number of their already-known motherboard quantities... And the new Creator TRX40. This is a new series of motherboards from MSI, first populated by the X299 motherboards, which caters to expandability and storage capabilities so as to accelerate content creation and production.

The reference to the Creator TRX40 has already been silently deleted in MSI's page.

AMD Zen 3 Could Bid the CCX Farewell, Feature Updated SMT

With its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture designed for the 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication process, AMD could bid the "Zen" compute complex or CCX farewell, heralding chiplets with monolithic last-level caches (L3 caches) that are shared across all cores on the chiplet. AMD embraced a quad-core compute complex approach to building multi-core processors with "Zen." At the time, the 8-core "Zeppelin" die featured two CCX with four cores, each. With "Zen 2," AMD reduced the CPU chiplet to only containing CPU cores, L3 cache, and an Infinity Fabric interface, talking to an I/O controller die elsewhere on the processor package. This reduces the economic or technical utility in retaining the CCX topology, which limits the amount of L3 cache individual cores can access.

This and more juicy details about "Zen 3" were put out by a leaked (later deleted) technical presentation by company CTO Mark Papermaster. On the EPYC side of things, AMD's design efforts will be spearheaded by the "Milan" multi-chip module, featuring up to 64 cores spread across eight 8-core chiplets. Papermaster talked about how the individual chiplets will feature "unified" 32 MB of last-level cache, which means a deprecation of the CCX topology. He also detailed an updated SMT implementation that doubles the number of logical processors per physical core. The I/O interface of "Milan" will retain PCI-Express gen 4.0 and eight-channel DDR4 memory interface.

AMD Announces Availability of the Ryzen PRO 3000 Series Processors

Today, AMD announced the global availability of its new AMD Ryzen PRO 3000 Series desktop processor lineup, along with new AMD Ryzen PRO processors with Radeon Vega Graphics and AMD Athlon PRO processors with Radeon Vega Graphics. The AMD Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO desktop processors combine powerful performance, built-in security features, and commercial-grade reliability to get the job done. Starting in Q4 2019, robust enterprise desktops from HP and Lenovo powered by AMD Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO desktop processors are slated to be available.

"The launch of the Ryzen PRO 3000 Series processors for commercial and small business users is the latest demonstration of our commitment to technology leadership in 2019," said Saied Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Client Compute. "Designed specifically to efficiently data-crunch, design, compose, and create - AMD Ryzen PRO and Athlon PRO processors accelerate enhanced business productivity while offering protection safeguards with built-in security features, such as full system memory encryption and a dedicated, on-die security processor."

BIOSTAR Lists unannounced AMD Ryzen 9 3900 Processor

AMD released their Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processors in July this year, and they instantly became a smash hit with gamers, due to their solid performance, and good pricing. The company's flagship processor at this time is the Ryzen 9 3900X, priced at $500, featuring 12-cores/24-threads, with clocks reaching up to 4.6 GHz. Now BIOSTAR has posted an update to their motherboard CPU support list, which mentions a previously unannounced "Ryzen 9 3900", without the "X", running at 3.1 GHz base clock and having a TDP of 65 W (the 3900X has 105 W TDP).

It looks like the Ryzen 9 3900 non-X is a more power-efficient version of the 3900X with lower clocks. It's possible that it is made from chips that failed the clock-frequency certification for the 4.6 GHz boost clock of the 3900X, but that work fine otherwise. By dialing down the TDP of their chip, AMD could also build an interesting SKU for OEMs, that want to market the high core counts, but aren't willing to drive up the cost of their power and cooling setup.

Fortune Names AMD Lisa Su "One of the Most Powerful Women in Business"

AMD's resurgence is a well threaded story already. Missteps with their Bulldozer architecture, spinning-off of their manufacturing division off to a separate entity (Global Foundries), the investment in semi-custom solutions and the launch of Zen are well documented throughout numerous articles on this publication. As such, and considering AMD's current market position - one-upping Intel in all but the lightest-threaded tasks in both consumer and enterprise markets - the fact that Fortune named her "one of the most powerful women in business" should come as a surprise to, well, almost no-one.

The nomination is headed by comments on AMD's 23% revenue increase YoY, as well as the 66% increase in stock value after the launch of Zen 2-based products. The fact that Lisa Su is the only female leader in the semiconductor industry also doesn't go by unnoticed in the nomination.

Radeon RX 5300 XT and AMD B550 Chipset Coming to OEM Systems in October

HP has listed new desktop consumer prebuilts that use previously unannounced hardware from AMD, namely the Radeon RX 5300 XT graphics card and the B550 chipset. B550 has been expected for a while — it's a lower-cost chipset for Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" processors with reduced feature set. HP calls the chipset "AMD Promontory B550A" in their sheets which seems to be designed and produced by ASMedia (unlike X570, which is a fully AMD in-house design). One of the major differences between X570 and B550 is that the latter has no support for PCI-Express 4.0, which won't matter one bit in its target segment. This move not only reduces chipset cost, it also drives down the cost of motherboards significantly, as the more stringent signal integrity requirements for PCIe 4.0 won't apply here.

While we have heard rumors that AMD is working on a smaller chip for their "Navi" architecture (Navi 12 and Navi 14), it's uncertain whether RX 5300 XT is really based on Navi, or whether it will be yet another rebrand — we wouldn't be surprised if Polaris is making a comeback yet again. Both systems are listed for € 699 and € 899, with shelf availability expected for October 8th.

AMD Readies the Low-Power "Dali" APU for Thin-and-Light Notebooks

AMD is expected to bring back its low-power APU family in 2020 with the new "Dali" silicon. Updated company roadmap slides see the inclusion of "Dali" as a "value mobile APU," positioned under "Renoir," a performance APU targeting both the mainstream notebook and desktop (socket AM4) platforms. AMD looks keen to branch out its APU business in two directions.

"Renoir" is expected to be a "Zen 2" based APU with CPU performance matching at least the Ryzen 5 3600 or 3700X, and a faster "Vega" based iGPU. It wouldn't surprise us if "Dali" is a monolithic 7 nm die with two "Zen 2" CPU cores and a tiny iGPU with 3-4 compute units. "Renoir," on the other hand, could be an MCM with an 8-core "Zen 2" chiplet and an enlarged I/O controller die that has the iGPU. "Dali" could see the light of the day only in 2020, by which time TSMC could substantially increase its 7 nm volumes and clear the decks for its new 7 nm EUV mass-production.

AMD Issues Statement on Low Ryzen 3000 Boost Clocks, BIOS Update Soon

After AMD's Ryzen 3rd generation launch many users have reported that they are not seeing the advertised boost clocks that AMD promises in their specifications. This has been an ongoing issue, with various tweaks tried, with limited success. This lead to serious allegations about "false advertising", and all AMD had to say up to this point was that these clocks are "up to".

AMD has now issued a statement regarding these lower than expected clock frequencies on Zen 2 processors, and it looks like there is indeed an underlying BIOS issue that's responsible. Let's hope that this new firmware gets released quickly and is able to restore faith in AMD's otherwise excellent track-record.

AMD "Renoir" APU to Support LPDDR4X Memory and New Display Engine

AMD's next-generation "Renoir" APU, which succeeds the company's 12 nm "Picasso," will be the company's truly next-generation chip to feature an integrated graphics solution. It's unclear as of now, if the chip will be based on a monolithic die, or if it will be a multi-chip module of a 7 nm "Zen 2" chiplet paired with an enlarged I/O controller die that has the iGPU. We're getting confirmation on two key specs - one, that the iGPU will be based on the older "Vega" graphics architecture, albeit with an updated display engine to support the latest display standards; and two, that the processor's memory controller will support the latest LPDDR4X memory standard, at speeds of up to 4266 MHz DDR. In comparison, Intel's "Ice Lake-U" chip supports LPDDX4X up to 3733 MHz.

Code-lines pointing toward "Vega" graphics with an updated display controller mention the new DCN 2.1, found in AMD's new "Navi 10" GPU. This controller supports resolutions of up to 8K, DSC 1.2a, and new resolutions of 4K up to 240 Hz and 8K 60 Hz over a single cable, along with 30 bits per pixel color. The multimedia engine is also suitably updated to VCN 2.1 standard, and provides hardware-accelerated decoding for some of the newer video formats, such as VP9 and H.265 at up to 90 fps at 4K, and 8K up to 24 fps, and H.264 up to 150 fps at 4K. There's no word on when "Renoir" comes out, but a 2020 International CES unveil is likely.

AMD Ryzen 5 3500 to Lack SMT, Takes on Core i5-9400

As AMD's Ryzen 5 3500 processor is inching closer to launch, we learn more possible specifications of the chip AMD is designing to take on Intel's popular Core i5-9400/9400F processor. Late July, we learned that the chip will be a 6-core model, breaking away from convention set by past generations, of the x500 Ryzen SKU being 4-core/8-thread. Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK, who has a fairly high hit-rate on unreleased products, predicts that the 3500 will be six-core, but lack SMT (it will be 6-core/6-thread).

The Ryzen 5 3500 will be clocked at 3.60 GHz nominal, with a boost frequency of 4.10 GHz. There's no word on other specs, such as L3 cache amount. A single "Zen 2" chiplet normally has 32 MB of it (16 MB per CCX). The main competitor from the Intel stable is the Core i5-9400 / i5-9400F, which ticks at 2.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz boost. The i5-9400F in particular has had a big impact in the sub-$200 segment, as it's been aggressively priced under promotions by various DIY retailers. The chip lacks an iGPU, but has the specs to pull a fairly powerful gaming PC. With the Ryzen 5 3600 at $199, AMD could price the new chip around $169-179.

AMD "Sharkstooth" Shows Up on Geekbench: Possible Zen 2 Threadripper

AMD is possibly testing its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors, with an interesting entry showing up on the Geekbench online database. The entry speaks of an "AMD Sharkstooth" processor with 32 cores and 64 threads, with a nominal clock speed of 3.60 GHz, and the long-form model number "AuthenticAMD Family 23 Model 49 Stepping 0." None of the 2nd generation EPYC processors correspond with these specs, and so we're almost certain this is a client-segment Ryzen Threadripper part.

The prototyping platform, which is a motherboard designed in-house by AMD to test the processor's various components and I/O capabilities, is codenamed "WhiteHavenOC-CP." In this Geekbench submission, the processor is paired with around 128 GB of memory, and tested on 64-bit Linux. The platform yields a multi-threaded score of 94,772 points, which is about 18.5 percent higher than what a Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX typically manages when tested on Linux. It is also within 5% of what the Xeon W-3175X manages (around 99,000 points). The production model could be clocked higher. AMD will also use the opportunity to launch a new motherboard chipset while maintaining backwards-compatibility with the AMD X399. This new chipset will enable PCI-Express gen 4.0 and come with stiffer CPU VRM and memory/PCIe wiring specifications to enable higher memory clocks and PCIe link stability. AMD is expected to launch its 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper this October, to preempt Intel's next HEDT processor series.

Samsung PM1733 SSD and High-Density DIMMs Support AMD EPYC 7002 Series Processors

Samsung Electronics, Ltd., has taken its leadership position in the memory market a step further today by announcing support of the Samsung PM1733 PCIe Gen4 Solid State Drive (SSD) and high density RDIMM and LRDIMM dynamic random access memory (DRAM) for the AMD EPYC 7002 Generation Processors. AMD launched the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor in San Francisco yesterday.

"AMD has listened to the needs of its customers in developing the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors and has worked closely with us to integrate the best of our cutting-edge memory and storage products," said Jinman Han, senior VP of Memory Product Planning, Samsung Electronics. "With these new datacenter processors, AMD is providing customers with a processor that enables a new standard for the modern datacenter."

AMD Designing Zen 4 for 2021, Zen 3 Completes Design Phase, out in 2020

AMD in its 2nd generation EPYC processor launch event announced that it has completed the design phase of its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture, and is currently working on its successor, the "Zen 4." AMD debuted its "Zen 2" microarchitecture with the client-segment 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family, it made its enterprise debut with the 2nd generation EPYC. This is the first x86 CPU microarchitecture designed for the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and is being built on a 7 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node at TSMC. It brings about double-digit percentage IPC improvements over "Zen+."

The "Zen 3" microarchitecture is designed for the next big process technology change within 7 nm, EUV (extreme ultraviolet), which allows significant increases in transistor densities, and could facilitate big improvements in energy-efficiency that could be leveraged to increase clock-speeds and performance. It could also feature new ISA instruction-sets. With "Zen 3" passing design phase, AMD will work on prototyping and testing it. The first "Zen 3" products could debut in 2020. "Zen 4" is being designed for a different era.

SK Hynix Named as Memory & Storage Solutions Partner to Support Latest AMD EPYC 7002 Series

SK Hynix Inc. announced today that its DRAM and Enterprise SSD (eSSD) solutions, including the up-to-date 1Y nm 8 Gb DDR4 DRAM, have been fully tested and validated with the new AMD EPYC 7002 Generation Processors, which were unveiled during AMD's launch event on August 7. The Company has worked closely with AMD to provide memory solutions fully compatible with the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors, targeting high performance data centers.

The SK Hynix DDR4 DRAM supports the maximum speed of 3200 Mbps of the 2nd Gen EPYC Processors[i], which will increase memory performance more than 20% compared to the 1st Gen AMD EPYC Processors. The Company's various DDR4 DRAM solutions, based on the 1Xnm and 1Y nm technology with density of 8 Gb and 16 Gb, have been fully tested and validated with the 2nd Gen EPYC Processors. SK Hynix provides high-density DIMMs with density over 64 GB to support up to 64 cores per socket in the 2nd Gen EPYC.

SK Hynix also provides a full line-up of SATA and PCIe from 480 GB to 8 TB, which have also been validated and tested with the 2nd Gen EPYC. SK Hynix's eSSD solutions are optimized for the latest data center's read-intensive and mixed workload environment.

2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors Set New Standard for the Modern Datacenter

At a launch event today, AMD was joined by an expansive ecosystem of datacenter partners and customers to introduce the 2nd Generation AMD EPYC family of processors that deliver performance leadership across a broad number of enterprise, cloud and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors feature up to 64 "Zen 2" cores in leading-edge 7 nm process technology to deliver record-setting performance while helping reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 50% across numerous workloads. At the event, Google and Twitter announced new 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor deployments and HPE and Lenovo announced immediate availability of new platforms.

"Today, we set a new standard for the modern datacenter with the launch of our 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors that deliver record-setting performance and significantly lower total cost of ownership across a broad set of workloads," said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD. "Adoption of our new leadership server processors is accelerating with multiple new enterprise, cloud and HPC customers choosing EPYC processors to meet their most demanding server computing needs."

AMD Zen 2 EPYC "Rome" Launch Event Live Blog

AMD invited TechPowerUp to their launch event and editor's day coverage of Zen 2 EPYC processors based on the 7 nm process. The event was a day-long affair which included product demos and tours, and capped off with an official launch presentation which we are able to share with you live as the event goes on. Zen 2 with the Ryzen 3000-series processors ushered in a lot of excitement, and for good reason too as our own reviews show, but questions remained on how the platform would scale to the other end of the market. We already knew, for example, that AMD secured many contracts based on their first-generation EPYC processors, and no doubt the IPC increase and expected increased core count would cause similar, if not higher, interest here. We also expect to know shortly about the various SKUs and pricing involved, and also if AMD wants to shed more light on the future of the Threadripper processor family. Read below, and continue past the break, for our live coverage.
21:00 UTC: Lisa Su is on the stage at the Palace of Fine Arts events venue in San Francisco to present AMD's latest developments on EPYC for datacenters, using the Zen 2 microarchitecture.

21:10 UTC: AMD focuses not just on delivering a single chip, but it's goal is to deliver a complete solution for the enterprise.

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2019 of $1.53 billion, operating income of $59 million, net income of $35 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.03. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $111 million, net income was $92 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.08.

"I am pleased with our financial performance and execution in the quarter as we ramped production of three leadership 7nm product families," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We have reached a significant inflection point for the company as our new Ryzen, Radeon and EPYC processors form the most competitive product portfolio in our history and are well positioned to drive significant growth in the second half of the year."

New DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1 Adds Full Ryzen 3000 and X570 Support

Our resident AMD Ryzen memory tuning guru Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy released DRAM Calculator for Ryzen version 1.6.0.1, which comes loaded with support for 3rd generation Ryzen processors based on the "Zen 2" architecture, motherboards based on AMD X570 chipset, and an exhaustive list of new features, and bug-fixes. AMD made major changes to the memory controllers of its Ryzen "Matisse" processors over past generations, including changing the various clock-domains and their interdependence, broader support for overclock across various memory vendors, and more, with the intention of improving memory overclocking. These also mean additional settings to be made in the UEFI BIOS setup programs. DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1 greatly simplifies that, to help you simply key in the values it calculates based the system configuration it detects or you specify.

DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0 also introduces presets for AMD X399 platform and Threadripper processors, helping out the HEDT crowd. Among the key changes are VDDG and FCLK for Zen 2, Vref (CHA / CHB) recommendations; PMU training recommendations that greatly stabilize the overclock; updated presets for Samsung b-die, Hynix CJR and Micron e-die memory modules; support for "Zen 2" processors on older-generations of motherboards (AMD 300-series and 400-series chipsets); improved tWRRD prediction for Dual Rank memory setups; an in-app shortcut to Internet overclocking statistics generation Zen 2; two new settings for MEMBench, the internal stability benchmark; and the overall stability of the program. Grab it from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.6.0.1

The change-log follows.

AMD 3rd Gen Threadripper Coming This October to Take on Intel's New HEDT Lineup?

AMD is planning to surprise Intel by unveiling its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (high-end desktop) processor lineup around the same time Intel launches its 10th generation Core "Cascade Lake-X" processor and the "Glacial Falls" HEDT platform, according to sources in the motherboard industry, speaking with DigiTimes. We're fairly sure the sources aren't referring to AMD's 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor, because it has already been announced and will be available in September.

The 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper will likely be a derivative of the company's "Rome" multi-chip module, and compatible with existing socket TR4 motherboards with a BIOS update, although a new chipset could also be launched to enable PCI-Express gen 4.0. AMD has the option to deploy up to 64 CPU cores across eight 7 nm "Zen 2" chiplets, while the 12 nm I/O controller die will be likely reconfigured for the HEDT platform with a monolithic 4-channel DDR4 memory interface and 64 PCIe gen 4.0 lanes. It's capable of 8 memory channels on the 2nd generation EPYC.

MSI Scampers to Launch New AMD 400-series Motherboards with 256Mb BIOS Chips

Our Monday story chronicled how MSI inadvertently erred in giving many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards 128 Mbit (16-megabyte) SPI flash ROM chips instead of larger 256 Mbit (32-megabyte) ones, which nearly jeopardized the company's "Zen 2" support deployment, forcing it to greatly thin its motherboard firmware feature-set, and break SATA RAID support on many of its boards. To be fair to MSI, the company may not have anticipated the AGESA microcode growing tremendously in size with its latest ComboAM4 1.0.0.3-series. We are now hearing from Polish tech publication PurePC that MSI has scrambled to remedy this by re-releasing many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards with larger 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chips.

The PurePC report states that MSI will brand the revised motherboards "MAX" in the product name (eg: B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC MAX, B450M Bazooka MAX, etc.), although we don't know if the new model names will have the company's latest MEG/MPG/MAG prefixes. The 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chip allows MSI to cram in AGESA 1.0.0.3a, which lets you use 3rd generation Ryzen processors to their full capabilities (barring PCIe gen 4.0 on these motherboards of course). More importantly, the larger ROM chip allows MSI to have AGESA 1.0.0.3a without sacrificing on its feature-rich Click BIOS 5 UEFI setup program, SATA RAID module, or losing support for any of the socket AM4 processors.

Intel to Cut Prices of its Desktop Processors by 15% in Response to Ryzen 3000

Intel is embattled in the client-segment desktop processor business, with AMD's imminent launch of its 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors. Intel's 9th generation Core processors may lose their competitiveness to AMD's offerings, and are expected to get relieved by the company's "Ice Lake" desktop processors only in 2020. Until then, Intel will market its processors through price-cuts, promotions, bundles, and focusing on their gaming prowess. The company will refresh its HEDT (high-end desktop) processor lineup some time in Q3-2019. According to Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes citing sources in the motherboard industry, Intel's immediate response to 3rd generation Ryzen will be a series of price-cuts to products in its client-segment DIY retail channel.

According to these sources, prices of 9th generation Core processors could be cut by a minimum of 10 percent, and a maximum of 15 percent, varying by SKUs. This could see prices of popular gaming/enthusiast SKUs such as the Core i9-9900K, the i7-9700K, and the i5-9600K, drop by anywhere between $25 to $75. AMD is launching the Ryzen 9 3900X to compete with the i9-9900K, the Ryzen 7 3800X to compete with the i7-9700K, and the Ryzen 5 3600X to take on the i5-9600K. The three SKUs, according to AMD's internal testing, match the Intel chips at gaming, and beat them at content-creation tasks. At the heart of 3rd generation Ryzen processors is AMD's new Zen 2 microarchitecture, which brings significant IPC gains. AMD is also increasing core-counts on its mainstream desktop platform with the introduction of the Ryzen 9 family of 12-core and 16-core processors in the AM4 package.

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" I/O Controller Die 12nm, Not 14nm

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors are multi-chip modules of two kinds of dies - one or two 7 nm 8-core "Zen 2" CPU chiplets, and an I/O controller die that packs the processor's dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complex, and an integrated southbridge that puts out some SoC I/O, such as two SATA 6 Gbps ports, four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, LPCIO (ISA), and SPI (for the UEFI BIOS ROM chip). It was earlier reported that while the Zen 2 CPU core chiplets are built on 7 nm process, the I/O controller is 14 nm. We have confirmation now that the I/O controller die is built on the more advanced 12 nm process, likely GlobalFoundries 12LP. This is the same process on which AMD builds its "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30" chips. The 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU chiplets are made at TSMC.

AMD also provided a fascinating technical insight to the making of the "Matisse" MCM, particularly getting three highly complex dies under the IHS of a mainstream-desktop processor package, and perfectly aligning the three for pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen AM4 processors that use monolithic dies, such as "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Raven Ridge." AMD innovated new copper-pillar 50µ bumps for the 8-core CPU chiplets, while leaving the I/O controller die with normal 75µ solder bumps. Unlike with its GPUs that need high-density wiring between the GPU die and HBM stacks, AMD could make do without a silicon interposer or TSVs (through-silicon-vias) to connect the three dies on "Matisse." The fiberglass substrate is now "fattened" up to 12 layers, to facilitate the inter-die wiring, as well as making sure every connection reaches the correct pin on the µPGA.

AMD Zen 2 has Hardware Mitigation for Spectre V4

AMD in its technical brief revealed that its Zen 2 microarchitecture has hardware mitigation against the Spectre V4 speculative store bypass vulnerability. The current generation "Zen" and "Zen+" microarchitectures have OS-level mitigation. A hardware mitigation typically has less of a performance overhead than a software mitigation deployed at the OS or firmware level. In addition, just like older generations of "Zen," the new "Zen 2" microarchitecture is inherently immune to Meltdown, Foreshadow, Spectre V3a, Lazy FPU, Spoiler, and the recently discovered MDS vulnerability. In comparison, the 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" processors still rely on software or microcode-level mitigation for Spectre V4, Spectre V3a, MDS, and RIDL.
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