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AMD Updates Ryzen 3 1200 CPU with Zen+ Architecture

AMD has reportedly updated its Ryzen 3 1200 CPU with Zen+ architecture and is now offering it to consumers. Featuring a configuration of 4 cores with 4 threads, this CPU can operate anywhere from 3.1 GHz (base) to 3.4 GHz in boost frequency. Having originally launched in July of 2017, just under three years ago, AMD decided to refresh this CPU with Zen+ architecture, which brought improvements like a tiny IPC increase, better turbo boost speeds, faster caches and better memory controller for better support of faster DDR4 modules.

The new "Zen+" revision has the same specifications as the older model, however, the only difference is the newer 12 nm manufacturing process and some of the architecture changes of Zen+. The rest of the specifications like clock speeds are the same. The CPU is listed by a German supplier for €54.73 or about $60. This revision carries a different part number, under the code "YD1200BBM4KAFBOX", where the older 14 nm model was "YD1200BBM4KAEBOX".
AMD Ryzen 3 1200 12nm Zen+ Edition

AMD Processors Since 2011 Hit with Cache Attack Vulnerabilities: Take A Way

Cybersecurity researcher Moritz Lipp and his colleagues from the Graz University of Technology and the University of Rennes uncovered two new security vulnerabilities affecting all AMD CPU microarchitectures going back to 2011, detailed in a research paper titled "Take A Way." These include "Bulldozer" and its derivatives ("Piledriver," "Excavator," etc.,) and the newer "Zen," "Zen+," and "Zen 2" microarchitectures. The vulnerabilities are specific to AMD's proprietary L1D cache way predictor component. It is described in the security paper's abstract as a means for the processor to "predict in which cache way a certain address is located, so that consequently only that way is accessed, reducing the processor's power consumption."

By reverse engineering the L1D cache way predictor in AMD microarchitectures dating from 2011 to 2019, Lipp, et al, discovered two new attack vectors with which an attacker can monitor the victim's memory accesses. These vectors are named "Collide+Probe," and "Load+Reload." The paper describes the first vector as follows: "With Collide+Probe, an attacker can monitor a victim's memory accesses without knowledge of physical addresses or shared memory when time-sharing a logical core." The second vector is described as "With Load+Reload, we exploit the way predictor to obtain highly-accurate memory-access traces of victims on the same physical core." The two vulnerabilities have not been assigned CVE entries at the time of this writing. The research paper, however, describes the L1D cache way predictor in AMD processors as being vulnerable to attacks that can reveal contents of memory or even keys to a vulnerable AES implementation. For now there is no mitigation to these attacks, but the company is reportedly working on firmware and driver updates. Access the research paper here.
AMD L1D cache way predictor logic found vulnerable in Take A Way attack classes.

AMD Announces Ryzen 9 3950X, Details 3rd Gen Ryzen Threadripper, unlocked Athlon 3000G

AMD today announced four new desktop processors across three very diverse markets. To begin with, the company crowned its socket AM4 mainstream desktop platform with the mighty new Ryzen 9 3950X processor. Next up, it released its new baseline entry-level APU, the Athlon 3000G. Lastly, it detailed the 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor family with two initial models, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X and the flagship Ryzen Threadripper 3970X. The company also formally released its AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode, and with it, introduced a killer new feature for all "Zen 2" based Ryzen processors, called ECO Mode.

The Ryzen 9 3950X is a 16-core/32-thread processor in the AM4 package, compatible with all socket AM4 motherboards, provided they have the latest BIOS update with AGESA Combo PI 1.0.0.4B microcode. The processor comes with clock-speeds of 3.50 GHz base, with 4.70 GHz maximum boost frequency, and the same 105 W TDP as the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X. With 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 64 MB of shared L3 cache, the chip has a mammoth 72 MB of "total cache."

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.

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.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G Detailed: New Slide Leak

At the bottom end of AMD's rather tall new Ryzen 3000 desktop processor product-stack are the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G APUs. Unlike the rest of the Ryzen 3000 series, these two are based on the monolithic 12 nm "Picasso" silicon, which is essentially "Raven Ridge" redesigned for 12 nm with the "Zen+" microarchitecture. For the quad-core CPU, this means an improved Precision Boost algorithm that scales better across multiple cores, and faster on-die caches. For the iGPU based on the "Vega" architecture, this is a minor speed-bump.

The 3200G is configured with a 4-core/4-thread CPU and 8 out of 11 NGCUs of the iGPU enabled, yielding 512 stream processors. The maximum CPU clock speeds have been dialed up by 300 MHz over that of the 2200G, to now attain 4.00 GHz boost frequency, while the iGPU engine frequency is increased by 150 MHz, to 1250 MHz. The 3400G maxes out the silicon with a 4-core/8-thread CPU, and all 11 NGCUs enabled on the iGPU (704 stream processors). The CPU spools up to 4.20 GHz, and the iGPU up to 1400 MHz. AMD is including a bigger Wraith Spire cooling solution with the 3400G. Prices remain unchanged over the previous generation, with the 3200G being priced at USD $99, and the 3400G at $149, when the processors likely go on sale this July.

AMD Ryzen "Picasso" APU Clock Speeds Revealed

AMD is giving finishing touches to its Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" family of APUs, and Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK has details on their CPU clock speeds. The Ryzen 3 3200G comes with 3.60 GHz nominal clock-speed and 4.00 GHz maximum Precision Boost frequency; while the Ryzen 5(?) 3400G ships with 3.70 GHz clock speeds along with 4.20 GHz max Precision Boost. The "Picasso" silicon is an optical shrink of the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon to the 12 nm FinFET process at GlobalFoundries, the same one on which AMD builds "Pinnacle Ridge" and "Polaris 30."

Besides the shrink to 12 nm, "Picasso" features upgraded "Zen+" CPU cores that have improved Precision Boost algorithm and faster on-die caches, which contribute to a roughly 3% increase in IPC on "Pinnacle Ridge," but significantly improved multi-threaded performance compared to 1st generation Ryzen. Clock speeds of both the CPU cores and the integrated "Vega" iGPU are expected to increase. Both the 3200G and 3400G see a 100 MHz increase in nominal clock-speed, and 300 MHz increase in boost clocks, over the chips they succeed, the 2200G and 2400G, respectively. The iGPU is rumored to receive a similar 100-200 MHz increase in engine clock.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Pictured and De-lidded

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G is an upcoming processor featuring integrated graphics, forming the tail-end of the company's 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family. A Chinese PC enthusiast with access to an early sample pictured and de-lidded the processor. We know from older posts that while the "Matisse" MCM will form the bulk of AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen lineup, with core counts ranging all the way from 6 to 12, and possibly 16 later, the APU lineup is rumored to be based on older "Zen+" architecture.

The Ryzen 3 3200G and possibly the Ryzen 5 3400G, will be based on a derivative of the "Raven Ridge" silicon built on the 12 nm process at GlobalFoundries, and comes with a handful innovations AMD introduced with "Pinnacle Ridge," such as an improved Precision Boost algorithm and faster on-die caches. The 12 nm shrink also allows AMD to dial up CPU and iGPU engine clock speeds, and improve DDR4 memory support to work with higher DRAM clock speeds. AMD has used thermal paste as the sub-IHS interface material instead of solder for its "Raven Ridge" chips, and the story repeats with the 3200G.

AMD Readies 50th Anniversary Special Edition Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a new commemorative special edition package of the Ryzen 7 2700X eight-core desktop processor. This package carries the PIB SKU number "YD270XBGAFA50." American online retailer ShopBLT had it listed for USD $340.95 before pulling the listing down and marking it "out of stock." The listing doesn't come with any pictures or details about the SKU, except mentioning that a Wraith Prism RGB CPU cooler is included (as it normally is for the 2700X PIB package).

Given that AMD hasn't changed the model number, we expect these processors to have the same specifications as regular Ryzen 7 2700X, but with some special packaging material, and perhaps some special laser engraving on the processor's IHS. AMD has used tin boxes in the past for its first FX-series processors, so the possibility of something similar cannot be ruled out. Since pricing of this SKU isn't significantly higher, we don't expect it to be of a higher bin (better overclockers) than regular 2700X chips. Based on the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon, the 2700X is an 8-core/16-thread processor derived from the "Zen+" architecture, with 3.70 GHz clock-speed, 4.30 GHz maximum Precision Boost, XFR, L2 cache of 512 KB per core, and 16 MB of shared L3 cache.

Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

Intel today unveiled its first clean-slate CPU core micro-architecture since "Nehalem," codenamed "Sunny Cove." Over the past decade, the 9-odd generations of Core processors were based on incrementally refined descendants of "Nehalem," running all the way down to "Coffee Lake." Intel now wants a clean-slate core design, much like AMD "Zen" is a clean-slate compared to "Stars" or to a large extent even "Bulldozer." This allows Intel to introduce significant gains in IPC (single-thread performance) over the current generation. Intel's IPC growth curve over the past three micro-architectures has remained flat, and only grew single-digit percentages over the generations prior.

It's important to note here, that "Sunny Cove" is the codename for the core design. Intel's earlier codenaming was all-encompassing, covering not just cores, but also uncore, and entire dies. It's up to Intel's future chip-designers to design dies with many of these cores, a future-generation iGPU such as Gen11, and a next-generation uncore that probably integrates PCIe gen 4.0 and DDR5 memory. Intel details "Sunny Cove" as far as mentioning IPC gains, a new ISA (new instruction sets and hardware capabilities, including AVX-512), and improved scalability (ability to increase core-counts without running into latency problems).

AMD 3rd Generation Ryzen Probable SKUs, Specs, Pricing Leaked?

One of our readers tipped us off with a very plausible looking image that drops a motherlode of information about what AMD's 2nd generation Ryzen (aka Ryzen 3000 series) processor lineup could look like. This includes a vast selection of SKUs, their CPU and iGPU core configurations, clock-speeds, and OEM channel pricing. The list speaks of a reentry for 7th generation A-series "Excavator" as Duron X4 series, followed by Duron 300GE-series based on a highly cut down "Raven Ridge," Athlon 300GE 2-core/4-thread based on an implausible "Zen+ 12 nm" APU die, followed by quad-core Ryzen 3 3000 series processors with and without iGPUs, making up the company's entry-level product lineup.

The core counts seem to jump from 4-core straight to 8-core, with no 6-core in between, for the Ryzen 5 series. This is also where AMD's new IP, the 7 nm "Zen 2" architecture, begins. There appears to be a large APU die (or a 3-chip MCM) with an 8-core CPU and 20-CU iGPU, which makes up certain Ryzen 5 SKUs. These chips are either 8-core/8-thread or 8-core/16-thread. The Ryzen 7 series is made up of 12-core/24-thread processors that are devoid of iGPU. The new Ryzen 9 series extension caps off the lineup with 16-core/32-thread SKUs. And these are just socket AM4.

Samsung AMD's Second Foundry Partner for "Polaris 30"

AMD's "Polaris 30" silicon at the heart of Radeon RX 590 graphics card is the company's first 12 nm GPU. Unlike NVIDIA, which is exclusively sourcing its "Turing" family of GPUs from TSMC, the "Polaris 30" is coming from not one, but two sources. This, according to AMD in response to a question by TechPowerUp. The two foundries manufacturing "Polaris 30" are GlobalFoundries and Samsung. AMD did not provide us with visual cues on how to tell chips made from either foundries apart (such as serial numbering schemes). Packaging of dies sourced from both foundries is done in China, and the national-origin marking for the chip is on the package, rather than printed on the die.

GlobalFoundries' 12 nanometer FinFET node, called GloFo 12LP, shares a lot of similarities with Samsung's 11LPP, because both are "nodelets" that are derived from an original 14 nm FinFET process blueprint Samsung licensed to GloFo, deployed in its facility in upstate New York, where AMD's "Zen" processors are made. GloFo's 12 nanometer process is a refinement of its 14 nm node, in which 12 nm transistors are etched onto silicon using the same lithography meant for 14 nm. It doesn't improve transistor densities, but provides dividends in power, which explains why "Polaris 30" and "Pinnacle Ridge" have the same die sizes as "Polaris 20" and "Summit Ridge," respectively. This WikiChip article provides a good explanation of how GloFo 12LP is a nodelet.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Shows Up With Lots of Maybes, Could Feature Zen 2

AMD's low-power Ryzen 3700U APU has been leaked. Codenamed ZM370SC4T4MFG_38/22_Y, this latest AMD processor features 4 cores and 8 threads with a base clock of 2.2 GHz and a boost clock of 3.8 GHz, making it very similar to the current generation 2700U. The GPU, which is recognized as Picasso by UserBenchmark, is like just another codename for now, as other applications are listing it as a Radeon RX Vega 10 GPU. Considering the 3000U Series is supposed to be similar to the 2000U offerings it could very well feature the same Vega 10 GPU and still be based on the Zen+ or the Zen 2 architectures. That said, nothing is confirmed, but some slides leaked from Informatica Cero suggest that the Ryzen 7 3700U could indeed feature the Zen 2 architecture. That would be fairly interesting given that the Ryzen family for laptops/convertibles have been a step behind the desktop solutions for a quite some time.

Picasso which we've been hearing about since the codename first appeared in September of 2017, looks to be nothing more than Raven Ridge manufactured on the 12nm node. This is of course based on the information that is available. Some people suggest this new APU could be on the 7 nm node, but this is difficult to believe as AMD is likely to devote 7 nm manufacturing to their EPYC server solutions and Ryzen desktop products first. Therefore Zen 2 APUs for notebooks are likely still far off.

AMD "Zen 2" IPC 29 Percent Higher than "Zen"

AMD reportedly put out its IPC (instructions per clock) performance guidance for its upcoming "Zen 2" micro-architecture in a version of its Next Horizon investor meeting, and the numbers are staggering. The next-generation CPU architecture provides a massive 29 percent IPC uplift over the original "Zen" architecture. While not developed for the enterprise segment, the stopgap "Zen+" architecture brought about 3-5 percent IPC uplifts over "Zen" on the backs of faster on-die caches and improved Precision Boost algorithms. "Zen 2" is being developed for the 7 nm silicon fabrication process, and on the "Rome" MCM, is part of the 8-core chiplets that aren't subdivided into CCX (8 cores per CCX).

According to Expreview, AMD conducted DKERN + RSA test for integer and floating point units, to arrive at a performance index of 4.53, compared to 3.5 of first-generation Zen, which is a 29.4 percent IPC uplift (loosely interchangeable with single-core performance). "Zen 2" goes a step beyond "Zen+," with its designers turning their attention to critical components that contribute significantly toward IPC - the core's front-end, and the number-crunching machinery, FPU. The front-end of "Zen" and "Zen+" cores are believed to be refinements of previous-generation architectures such as "Excavator." Zen 2 gets a brand-new front-end that's better optimized to distribute and collect workloads between the various on-die components of the core. The number-crunching machinery gets bolstered by 256-bit FPUs, and generally wider execution pipelines and windows. These come together yielding the IPC uplift. "Zen 2" will get its first commercial outing with AMD's 2nd generation EPYC "Rome" 64-core enterprise processors.

Update Nov 14: AMD has issued the following statement regarding these claims.
As we demonstrated at our Next Horizon event last week, our next-generation AMD EPYC server processor based on the new 'Zen 2' core delivers significant performance improvements as a result of both architectural advances and 7nm process technology. Some news media interpreted a 'Zen 2' comment in the press release footnotes to be a specific IPC uplift claim. The data in the footnote represented the performance improvement in a microbenchmark for a specific financial services workload which benefits from both integer and floating point performance improvements and is not intended to quantify the IPC increase a user should expect to see across a wide range of applications. We will provide additional details on 'Zen 2' IPC improvements, and more importantly how the combination of our next-generation architecture and advanced 7nm process technology deliver more performance per socket, when the products launch.

AMD Unveils "Zen 2" CPU Architecture and 7 nm Vega Radeon Instinct MI60 at New Horizon

AMD today held its "New Horizon" event for investors, offering guidance and "color" on what the company's near-future could look like. At the event, the company formally launched its Radeon Instinct MI60 GPU-based compute accelerator; and disclosed a few interesting tidbits on its next-generation "Zen 2" mircroarchitecture. The Instinct MI60 is the world's first GPU built on the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and among the first commercially available products built on 7 nm. "Rome" is on track to becoming the first 7 nm processor, and is based on the Zen 2 architecture.

The Radeon Instinct MI60 is based on a 7 nm rendition of the "Vega" architecture. It is not an optical shrink of "Vega 10," and could have more number-crunching machinery, and an HBM2 memory interface that's twice as wide that can hold double the memory. It also features on-die logic that gives it hardware virtualization, which could be a boon for cloud-computing providers.

AMD Zen 2 Offers a 13% IPC Gain over Zen+, 16% over Zen 1

AMD "Zen" CPU architecture brought the company back to competitive relevance in the processor market. It got an incremental update in the form of "Zen+" which saw the implementation of an improved 12 nm process, and improved multi-core boosting algorithm, along with improvements to the cache subsystem. AMD is banking on Zen 2 to not only add IPC (instructions per clock) improvements; but also a new round of core-count increases. Bits n Chips has information that Zen 2 is making significant IPC gains.

According to the Italian tech publication, we could expect Zen 2 IPC gains of 13 percent over Zen+, which in turn posted 2-5% IPC gains over the original Zen. Bits n Chips notes that these IPC gains were tested in scientific tasks, and not in gaming. There is no gaming performance data at the moment. AMD is expected to debut Zen 2 with its 2nd generation EPYC enterprise processors by the end of the year, built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. This roughly 16 percent IPC gain versus the original Zen, coupled with higher clocks, and possibly more cores, could complete the value proposition of 2nd gen EPYC. Zen 2-based client-segment products can be expected only in 2019.

AMD Readying a 10-core AM4 Processor to Thwart Core i9-9900K?

To sustain its meteoric rise at the stock markets, AMD needs to keep investors convinced it has a competitive edge over Intel, even if it means investing heavily on short-term roadmap changes. According to an Elchapuzas Informatico article, AMD could be working on a new 10-core/20-thread processor for the AM4 platform, to compete with the upcoming Core i9-9900K 8-core/16-thread processor from Intel. The said processor is being labeled "Ryzen 7 2800X" and plastered over CineBench nT screenshots, where due to the sheer weight of its 10 cores, it tops the nT test in comparison to Intel's mainstream-desktop processors, including the 2P Xeon X5650 12-core/24-thread.

The Forbes article that cites the Elchapuzas Informatico, however, is skeptical that AMD could make such a short-sighted product investment. It believes that development of a 10-core die on existing "Zen+" architecture could warrant a massive redesign of the CCX (Zen Compute Complex), and AMD would only get an opportunity to do so when working on "Zen 2," which AMD still expects to debut by late-2018 on its EPYC product line. We, however, don't discount the possibility of a 10-core "Zen+" silicon just yet. GlobalFoundries, AMD's principal foundry partner for CPUs, has given up on 7 nm, making the company fall back to TSMC to meet its 7 nm roadmap commitments. TSMC already has a long list of clientele for 7 nm, including high-volume contracts from Apple, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA. This could force AMD to bolster its existing lineup as a contingency for delays in 7 nm volume production.

AMD Launches World's Most Powerful Desktop Processor: 2nd Generation Threadripper

AMD today announced the availability of world's most powerful desktop processor, the 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX processor with 32 cores and 64 threads. Designed to power the ultimate computing experiences, 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors are built using 12 nm "Zen+" x86 processor architecture and offer the most threads on any desktop processor with the flagship model delivering up to 53% greater performance than the competition's flagship model. Second Gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors support the most I/O, and are compatible with existing AMD X399 chipset motherboards via a simple BIOS update, offering builders a broad choice for designing the ultimate high-end desktop or workstation PC.

"We created Ryzen Threadripper processors because we saw an opportunity to deliver unheard-of levels of multithreaded computing for the demanding needs of creators, gamers, and PC enthusiasts in the HEDT market," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With the 2nd Gen processor family we took that challenge to a whole new level - delivering the biggest, most powerful desktop processor the world has ever seen."

First Benchmarks, Photo of AMD's Ryzen 3 2300X Surface

As AMD is moving closer towards completing its staggered Ryzen 2000 series' launch, first benchmarks and silicon photos have surfaced. AMD's Ryzen 3 2300X is a quad-core solution that leverages the Zen+ architecture on the 12 nm process, improving performance and power consumption over the original Ryzen 3 1300X. Alongside the new CPU line, AMD is also expected to refresh its chipset offerings, with a revised B450 superseding the B350 chipset - though users can drop in their Ryzen 2000 series processors on 300-series chipsets, provided they have the adequate BIOS already installed.

The Ryzen 3 2300X, paired with a BIOSTAR X370 motherboard, was put through its paces under CPU-Z (where it scored 509 and 2020 points in the single and multi-thread benchmarks respectively), as well as in Cinebench (where it scored 690 points). The 2300X can seemingly boost up to 4.2 GHz without any manual overclocking from its 3.5 GHz base clock - an improvement of around 500 MHz in the XFR-enabled boost over its predecessor, which only hit 3.7 GHz.

AMD Vega 20 GPU Could Implement PCI-Express gen 4.0

The "Vega 20" silicon will be significantly different from the "Vega 10" which powers the company's current Radeon RX Vega series. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su unveiled the "Vega 20" silicon at the company's 2018 Computex event, revealing that the multi-chip module's 7 nm GPU die is surrounded by not two, but four HBM2 memory stacks, making up to 32 GB of memory. Another key specification is emerging thanks to the sharp eyes at ComputerBase.de - system bus.

A close inspection of the latest AMDGPU Linux driver includes PCI-Express link speed definitions for PCI-Express gen 4.0, which offers 256 Gbps of bandwidth per direction at x16 bus width, double that of PCI-Express gen 3.0. "Vega 20" got its first PCIe gen 4.0 support confirmation from a leak slide that surfaced around CES 2018. AMD "Vega" architecture slides from last year hinted at a Q3/Q4 launch of the first "Vega 20" based product. The same slide also hinted that the next-generation EPYC processor, which we know are "Zen 2" based and not "Zen+," could feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complexes. Since EPYC chips are multi-chip modules, it could also hint at the likelihood of PCIe gen 4.0 on "Zen 2" based 3rd generation Ryzen processor family.

Prices of First-gen AMD Threadrippers Drop Like a Rock

Intel's strategy against AMD's unexpected doubling in core-counts of its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors has been that of a headless chicken in a room painted Vantablack. It announced a 28-core processor that would require you to buy a new motherboard; and is frantically working on a 22-core processor for the existing LGA2066 platform. It's looking like AMD isn't in a mood to walk into Intel's core-count trap, and could hit Intel where it hurts the most - pricing. The top-dog 32-core part has already reared its head on German web-stores, seeking a little over 1,500€, just 500€ more than the price its previous-generation 16-core flagship, the Threadripper 1950X launched at. At 1,500€-ish, AMD could end up disrupting Intel's entire >10-core lineup that's priced between $1199 to $1999, currently occupied by 12-core, 14-core, 16-core, and 18-core SKUs.

AMD may not spare Intel's sub-$1000 Core X lineup, either. Prices of first-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors are seeing a dramatic drop, with the flagship Threadripper 1950X being priced under 650€. Prices of the 12-core Threadripper 1920X have slipped to just under 550€. The Core i9-7900X, meanwhile, continues to command a touch over 880€. The drop in prices of first-gen Threadrippers is likely retailers trying to clear out inventories to make room for 2nd generation Threadrippers. It could also be a prelude to AMD announcing more affordable 12-core and 16-core Threadrippers based on the 2nd generation "Zen+" architecture.

AMD to Polevault Zen+, Head Straight to 7nm Zen2 for EPYC

AMD in its Computex 2018 address earlier today, mention that its second-generation EPYC enterprise processors will be based on its 7 nanometer "Zen 2" architecture, and not 12 nm "Zen+." The company has the 7 nm silicon ready in its labs, and will begin sampling within the second half of 2018. The first products could launch in 2019, after validations. Besides improved energy-efficiency, the 12 nm "Zen+" architecture features a minor 3-5 percent IPC uplift thanks to improved multi-core clock-speed boosting, and faster caches. "Zen 2," on the other hand, presents AMD with the opportunity to make major design changes to its silicon to achieve higher IPC uplifts. The 7 nm process introduces significant transistor density uplifts over the current process. AMD is in the process of building 4-die multi-chip modules using the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon for its 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT client processor family.

AMD Announces 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper with 32 Cores

AMD at its Computex 2018 presser unveiled the 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. These processors are multi-chip modules of four 12 nm 8-core "Pinnacle Ridge" dies, with up to 32 cores, and SMT enabling up to 64 threads. Much like the first-generation Threadripper family, there could be 16-core, 12-core, and 8-core SKUs; in addition to 24-core, 28-core, and 32-core ones. AMD did mention that these chips are backwards compatible with X399 motherboards, although it remains to be seen how AMD wires out the memory of two extra dies on the X399 platform. In all likelihood, there could be a new wave of motherboards that retain the TR4 socket with backwards-compatibility with 1st generation Threadripper proccessors, but having 8-channel memory slots.

The 2nd generation chips feature higher clock-speeds, and all of the "Zen+" features introduced by "Pinnacle Ridge," including Precision Boost II and XFR 2.0. AMD put up a demo of the chip challenging Intel's top-dog Core i9-7980XE, which has two more cores than it. This probably explains why Intel revealed a 28-core HEDT SKU yesterday. AMD stated that the lineup is en route Q3-2018 launch.

AMD to Begin Sampling 7nm "Zen 2" Processors Within 2018 for a 2019 Launch

It looks like AMD's processor product launch cycle is on steroids, and keeping up (or even ahead) of Intel. After launching the first 12 nm processor architecture with "Zen+," the company is giving final touches to what it hopes to be the world's first 7 nanometer processor architecture, with "Zen 2." The company will reportedly begin sampling the chip within 2018, to enable volume production and market launch in 2019. Speaking at an investors conference call following the company's Q1-2018 Results release, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su confirmed the 7 nm roll-out strategy of her company.

"We have a 7nm GPU based on Vega that we'll sample later this year. We have a 7nm server CPU that we'll sample later this year. And then, obviously, we have a number of products that are planned for 2019 as well. So it's a very, very busy product season for us. But we're pleased with the sort of the execution on the product roadmap," Dr. Su said. Unlike Zen+, Zen 2 is a major update to the company's processor micro-architecture, and presents the company with opportunities to improve several silicon-level specifications, such as the number of cores per CCX, the IPC of each core, the core-count of the die, the cache hierarchy, and the overall energy-efficiency.

AMD Announces Availability of 2nd Generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Processors

AMD today announced the global availability of its 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop processors, starting with four models optimized for gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts: Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600 processors. Using the world's first 12 nm process technology, these 2nd Gen Ryzen processors can offer up to 15% higher gaming performance than 1st Gen Ryzen processors, while delivering the highest multiprocessing performance you can get on a mainstream desktop PC, and enhanced capabilities including Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR 2), an included Wraith Cooler, unlocked performance accessed with the new Ryzen Master Utility, and more.

"Last year we started changing the PC industry with the introduction of our first wave of Ryzen processors - delivering more performance, features, and choice to our customers than before. Our 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs continue this pursuit by raising the standards for enthusiast gamers and creators," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With this launch we're also demonstrating that we are just getting started, that we are committed to delivering a multi-generational roadmap of leadership high-performance processors that will drive innovation and competition into the industry for years to come."
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