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Intel Gives Memory Overclocking Ability to H570 and B560 Chipsets

With the launch of its 500 series chipsets, Intel has officially laid the groundwork for the launch of its Rocket Lake-S CPU lineup. And with the new platform, there are some new features to be expected. The surprising news today is that Intel has enabled memory overclocking on a non-Z chipset like the upcoming H570 and B560 chipsets designed for mid-range motherboards that provide a budget option compared to the Z series that is designed for overclocking. The H570 and B560 chipsets now only lack the support for CPU overclocking, however, with Intel's history of limiting any overclocking exclusively to Z chipsets, this represents good progress nonetheless. However, for any frequencies above 2666 MHz, you need to use a Core i5 processor and above. The Core i3 and Celeron models are not going to support any higher speeds than 2666 MHz.

MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE, MAG Tomahawk, and MPG Gaming Carbon Motherboards Pictured

As the launch of Intel's 500 series chipsets is getting near, we are starting to see more motherboards appear and get leaked. Today, thanks to the folks over VideoCardz, we have the first pictures of MSI's upcoming Z590 motherboards, with the latest designs and ideas from the company. Pictured below are MSI's trio of motherboards including MSI MEG Z590 GODLIKE, MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon WiFi, and MAG Z590 Tomahawk WiFi boards. The first in line is the MEG Z590 GODLIKE motherboard, a top tier, flagship design made with E-ATX standard in mind. It is supposed to bring all of the platform features to the table while being the best for overclocking due to its 20 (18+1+1) VRM phases.

Next up are the MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon WiFi and MAG Z590 Tomahawk WiFi designs, which should represent a bit cut-down GODLIKE variants. We don't have the exact specifications, so we need to wait for the official announcement.

GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Xtreme Pictured

Here's the first picture of GIGABYTE's next-generation flagship Socket LGA1200 motherboard based on Intel Z590 chipset, with out-of-the-box support for 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" desktop processors, the Z590 AORUS Xtreme. Featuring the company's most premium component selection, the board pulls power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU using a massive 21-phase VRM. The only expansion slots on this board are three PCI-Express x16, from which at least two are wired to the CPU (Gen 4.0 x16 or Gen 4.0 x8/x8 with Rocket Lake, Gen 3.0 with Comet Lake); with the third slot being wired to the PCH. Underneath the cladding are three M.2 NVMe slots, from which one is Gen 4.0 x4, and wired to the CPU, while the others are wired to the PCH.

The GIGABYTE Z590 AORUS Xtreme reportedly one-ups the current generation with new connectivity that includes Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax over 6 GHz radio band), and Thunderbolt 4. The board also features 20 Gbps USB 3.2x2 ports, and wired networking options that include 10 GbE and 2.5 GbE. The board will also be among the first to feature the latest Realtek ALC4080 audio CODEC that replaces the ALC1220 as the company's most premium CODEC. The main stereo channel on the board will still be pulled by an ESS Sabre Reference DAC. We should learn more about this board around mid-January, when Intel is expected to allow its motherboard partners to announce their Intel 500-series chipset products.

Hedge Fund Urges Intel to Outsource Chip Production: Reuters

Intel is familiar with chip manufacturing problems since the company started the development of a 10 nm silicon semiconductor node. The latest node is coming years late with many IPs getting held back thanks to the inability of the company to produce it. All of Intel's chip production was historically happening at Intel's facilities, however, given the fact that the demand for 14 nm products is exceeding production capability, the company was forced to turn to external foundries like TSMC to compensate for its lack of capacity. TSMC has a contract with Intel to produce silicon for things like chipsets, which is offloading a lot of capacity for the company. Today, thanks to the exclusive information obtained by Reuters, we have information that a certain New York hedge fund, Third Point LLC, is advising the company about the future of its manufacturing.

The hedge fund is reportedly accounting for about one billion USD worth of assets in Intel, thus making it a huge and one influencing shareholder. The Third Point Chief Executive Daniel Loeb wrote a letter to Intel Chairman Omar Ishrak to take immediate action to boost the company's state as a major provider of processors for PCs and data centers. The company has noted that Intel needs to outsource more of its chip production to satisfy the market needs, so it can stay competitive with the industry. The poor performance of Intel has reflected on the company shares, which have declined about 21% this year. This has awoken the shareholders and now we see that they are demanding more aggressiveness from the company and a plan to outsource more of the chip production to partner foundries like TSMC and Samsung. It remains to be seen how Intel responds and what changes are to take place.

Ryzen 5000 Series Processor Support Comes to ASRock X370 Motherboards in Leaked BIOS Update

When AMD announced its 5000 series Ryzen processors, the company has noted that the new CPUs will be able to operate only on the 500 and 400 series chipsets, with a simple BIOS update. That means that millions of motherboards can install the latest CPUs with no problems. Today, we get to see something that is not a usual thing. ASRock has prepared a BIOS for its X370 Taichi motherboard, and it has been leaked at jzelectronic.de. The newly leaked BIOS is said to bring support for AMD's Ryzen 5000 series of processors codenamed Vermeer. Yes, you are reading that right. ASRock has found a way to bring Vermeer to the unsupported X370 platform.

Although impressive, you must note that the BIOS is in the alpha stage of development, which means that it is enriched with possible bugs and glitches, so it is not recommended for use for now. AMD is against this, and said for Tom's Hardware that "AMD has no plans to enable or support AMD Ryzen 5000 series on AMD 300 series chipsets." That means that ASRock has produced one-off software and it is still a question will the company further develop this new "P6.61" BIOS. You can download it at the jzelectronic.de website but proceed with caution.

ASUS Brings Resizable BAR Support to Intel Z490/H470/B460 Platforms

When AMD introduced its Smart Access Memory technology, everyone was wondering will other GPU and CPU providers, namely Intel and NVIDIA, develop a similar solution to complement their offerings. The SAM technology is just AMD's way of naming PCIe resizable Base Address Register (BAR) technology, which has been present in PCI specifications for years as an optional feature. Why it's emerging now you might wonder. Well, the currently used PCIe revision has reached enough bandwidth on the bus to complement the complex data movement that GPU requires and now supports the use of the wider VRAM frame buffer.

It appears that not only AMD has this technology in its portfolio. ASUS has updated its BIOS firmware for its ROG Maximus XII Apex motherboard based on the Intel Z490 chipset, with some pretty interesting features. According to Tom's Hardware, we have information that the next release of BIOS firmware update 1003 for the ROG Maximus XII Apex motherboard will bring support for resizable BAR, making it a first on an Intel platform. For now, the beta 1002 BIOS supports it, however, a stable version will roll out in BIOS 1003. With the motherboard using PCIe 3.0 standard, a lower-bandwidth revision compared to AMD's platform, it will be interesting to see how resizable BAR is performing once the first tests come.

Update 09:45 am UTC: Chris Wefers, ASUS PR Germany, has announced that resizable BAR will be coming to all ASUS motherboards with Intel Z490/H470/B460 chipset, with alleged 13.37% performance increase in Forza Horizon 4, per ASUSes testing. You can see the test configuration in the image below.

ASRock Launches X570 and B550 Taichi Razer Edition Motherboards

ASRock announced a new partnership with Razer to develop the ASRock Taichi Razer Edition line of motherboards, the world's first motherboard that is natively integrated with Razer Chroma RGB lighting. Razer Chroma RGB is the world's largest lighting ecosystem for gaming devices which supports over 500 devices, 150 natively integrated games and over 15 million users worldwide. The integration with ASRock enables universal compatibility with thousands of addressable RGB (ARGB) components directly into the ecosystem.

"We've been so excited to make the ASRock Taichi Razer Edition debut. The sense of Razer sublimates it into a part of gamers' religion," said Chris Lee, general manager of ASRock motherboard business unit. "Razer knows well about elements gamers looking for and makes everything fall into place!"

Intel Confirms Rocket Lake-S Features Cypress Cove with Double-Digit IPC Increase

Today, Intel has decided to surprise us and give an update to its upcoming CPU lineup for desktop. With the 11th generation, Core CPUs codenamed Rocket Lake-S, Intel is preparing to launch the new lineup in the first quarter of 2021. This means that we are just a few months away from this launch. When it comes to the architecture of these new processors, they are going to be based on a special Cypress Cove design. Gone are the days of Skylake-based designs that were present from the 6th to 10th generation processors. The Cypress Cove, as Intel calls it, is an Ice Lake adaptation. Contrary to the previous rumors, it is not an adaptation of Tiger Lake Willow Cove, but rather Ice Lake Sunny Cove.

The CPU instruction per cycle (IPC) is said to grow in double-digits, meaning that the desktop users are finally going to see an improvement that is not only frequency-based. While we do not know the numbers yet, we can expect them to be better than the current 10th gen parts. For the first time on the Intel platform for desktops, we will see the adoption of PCIe 4.0 chipset, which will allow for much faster SSD speeds and support the latest GPUs, specifically, there will be 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes coming from the CPU only. The CPU will be paired with 12th generation Xe graphics, like the one found in Tiger Lake CPUs. Other technologies such as Deep Learning Boost and VNNI, Quick Sync Video, and better overclocking tuning will be present as well. Interesting thing to note here is that the 10C/20T Core i9-10900K has a PL1 headroom of 125 W, and 250 W in PL2. However, the 8C/16T Rocket Lake-S CPU also features 125 W headroom in PL1, and 250 W in PL2. This indicates that the new Cypress Cove design runs hotter than the previous generation.

Bug in HDMI 2.1 Chipset May Cause Black Screen on Your Xbox Series X Console or NVIDIA GPU

A German website, Heise.de, has discovered a bug in HDMI 2.1 chipset that causes black screen issues on specific hardware. On AV chipsets sourced by Panasonic, and used by Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha HDMI 2.1 AV receivers, the chipset experiences a specific issue of a black screen. More specifically, the bug happens once you connect Microsoft's newest console, Xbox Series X, or NVIDIA's Ampere graphics cards. When connecting these sources at resolutions like 4K/120 Hz HDR and 8K/60 Hz HDR to Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipsets, the black screen happens. This represents a major problem for every manufacturer planning to use the Panasonic HDMI 2.1 chipset in its AV receivers, meaning that the issue has to be addressed. The Audioholics website has reached out to Sound United and Yamaha to see what their responses were, and you can check them out below.

AMD Updates its Chipset Drivers, Includes Updated Power Plan for Ryzen CPUs

In the anticipation of the AMD Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs launch based on Zen 3 architecture, AMD has just released the updated drivers for its chipsets. Covering a wide selection ranging from B350, A320, X370, X399, B450, X470, X570, B550, and TRX40 Chipset, the updated chipset drivers include some bug fixes and new features. Now there is an updated power plan for AMD Ryzen CPUs that coordinate with chipsets, which means that AMD engineers have developed a new plan for Windows 10 OS which provides the best performance and power usage. You can check out the fixes listed below and you can go to the download link to install the new drivers.
Download: AMD Ryzen Chipset Driver 2.10.13.408.

ASUS Seemingly Drops Support for AMD Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs on X470 Motherboards, the Company Responds

Today there is some quite interesting information circulating the web regarding ASUS and its alleged decision. Going a few months back, AMD released a statement regarding the support for its upcoming Ryzen 5000 series CPUs and said that it should enable compatibility with the last-generation X470 and B450 chipset. That, however, has remained a bit of mystery. The update is baked-in with the BIOS, which every manufacturer, like MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. provides independently of AMD. So it is a manufacturer-dependant case, where if one vendor chooses not to provide support for 400 series chipsets, many motherboards will not support new CPU generation.

Update Oct 14th: ASUS has reached out to us and said that "ASUS will provide updated BIOS' for the X470 and B450 chipsets based on AMD's current release schedule of new AGESA code in January 2021. This original report was based on incorrect information." This means that the customer support case contained wrong information, and ASUS is going to support 5000 series Ryzen CPUs on 400 series chipsets. Please note that the information below is incorrect.

Portwell Builds Intel Xeon Motherboard with 20 USB Ports

Have you ever felt the need that your motherboard needs more ports? Different peripherals can occupy quite a lot of USB ports and almost fill up all of them quickly. That is where the Portwell PEB-9783G2AR motherboard comes into play. Being built on Intel's latest W480E/Q470E chipset designed to accommodate any 10th generation 10 core CPU with a TDP of up to 80 W, the board can run either a Xeon W CPU or regular Comet Lake-S Core CPU. However, what makes this board unique is not its chipset or anything, it is the number of USB ports present.

Portwell has put an astonishing 20 (you read that right) USB 3.1 Gen1 ports on the board, which you can run at a full 5 Gbit/s data signaling rate at the same time. The board doesn't use any splitting technology so you are getting the full bandwidth. To get that many ports to run at full capacity, Portwell has presumably re-routed chipset lanes for SATA 3 connectors and used them for USB ports, leaving only two SATA 3 ports. The board is built for the FlexATX form factor and features a sideways PCIe 3.0 port. Being built for Xeon, the board also features support for ECC memory and up to 128 GB of it. While the pricing is not yet available, you can get a quote on Portwell's website.
Portwell PEB-9783G2AR Motherboard Portwell PEB-9783G2AR Motherboard

Possible AMD Ryzen PRO 4000G Series SEP Prices Surface, Incompatible with 400-series Chipset

AMD's recent announcement of its Ryzen 4000G and Ryzen PRO 4000G series desktop processors lacked a key detail - pricing, possibly because it's irrelevant to end users as the processors are sold only in the OEM channel. momomo_us secured a slide (possibly by AMD's channel marketing), which puts out SEP (suggestive) pricing per chip in n-unit tray quantities. Apparently, the Ryzen 7 PRO 4750G, and its energy-efficient -GE variant, are priced at USD $309. The Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G/GE comes with a $209 price, and the Ryzen 3 PRO 4350G/GE at $149.

Prices of the other parts in this slide appear to be stuck at their respective launch-time SEP pricing, since all of the price-cuts AMD implemented appear to be unofficial, and specific to retailers and regions. AMD also updated its familiar-looking processor-to-chipset compatibility slide with the inclusion of the new 4000G series. Apparently the new processors only work with AMD 500-series chipsets, such as the B550, X570, and the commercial-segment exclusive PRO565 chipset. This is strange since "Renoir" is now confirmed to lack PCIe gen 4.0, and only spares gen 3.0 x8 for PEG, which means 400-series chipsets are excluded due to ROM size limitations to squeeze in AGESA microcode supporting several generations of processors and microarchitectures. Interestingly, AMD assured customers of Ryzen 4000-series compatibility with 400-series chipsets. Perhaps they were only referring to the "Zen 3" based "Vermeer" processors, as the slide shows.

MediaTek Announces Dimensity 720, its Newest 5G Chip

MediaTek today announced the Dimensity 720, its latest 5G SoC that will give consumers access to premium 5G experiences on mid-tier smartphones. The Dimensity 720, is part of MediaTek's 5G chipset family that includes range of chipsets from Dimensity 1000 for flagship 5G smartphones to the Dimensity 800 and 700 series for more accessible 5G mid-tier devices.

"The Dimensity 720 sets a new standard, delivering feature-packed 5G experiences and technology to devices that are more accessible to mass market consumers," said Dr. Yenchi Lee, Deputy General Manager, Wireless Communications Business Unit, MediaTek. "This chip is highly power-efficient, has impressive performance and advanced display and imaging technologies. All of that combined will help brands usher in differentiated 5G devices for consumers around the globe."

Samsung's 5 nm EUV Node Struggles with Yields

Semiconductor manufacturing is a difficult process. Often when a new node is being developed, there are new materials introduced that may cause some yield issues. Or perhaps with 7 nm and below nodes, they are quite difficult to manufacture due to their size, as the transistor can get damaged by the smallest impurity in silicon. So manufacturers have to be extra careful and must spend more time on the development of new nodes. According to industry sources over at DigiTimes, we have information that Samsung is struggling with its 5 nm EUV node.

This unfortunate news comes after the industry sources of DigiTimes reported that Qualcomm's next-generation 5G chipsets could be affected if Samsung doesn't improve its yields. While there are no specific pieces of information on what is the main cause of bad yields, there could be a plethora of reasons. From anything related to manufacturing equipment to silicon impurities. We don't know yet. We hope that Samsung can sort out these issues in time, so Qualcomm wouldn't need to reserve its orders at rival foundries and port the design to a new process.

ASRock Registers 10 New AMD A520 Chipset Motherboards with the EEC

ASRock sought regulatory approval for as many as ten new motherboard models based on the upcoming entry-level AMD A520 desktop chipset. The A520 has a slightly cut down feature-set from the B550, such as the lack of CPU overclocking, fewer downstream PCIe lanes, etc. Among the new motherboards registered are the A520M Pro4, A520M Pro4 R2.0, A520M Pro4 R3.0, A520M-HDVP, A520M-HDV, A520M-HDV R2.0, A520M-HDV R3.0, A520M-HVS, A520M-HVS R2.0, and A520M-HVS R3.0, which cover a wide range of SKUs differentiated by board size, display connectivity layout, legacy connectivity, etc. AMD is expected to launch its entry-level A520 desktop chipset in Q3-2020, replacing the aging A320 chipset. The regulatory filing also points out some yet-unannounced B550-based models, such as the B550M DASH, B550M DASH R2.0, which could be released in the future.

AMD B550 Motherboards to Restart AGESA with v2

Apparently, AMD will be taking a slightly confusing step with its new AGESA codes - at least for the B550 platform. A report via Hardwareluxx has AMD rebooting AGESA (the most basic firmware for your motherboard and chipset support that's a requirement for correct CPU and feature support) versions back to version 1.0.0.0, but with a catch. The new AGESA version that's supposed to allow for support for AMD's Zen 3 CPUs will be coded as ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0 - instead of the next version in the current AGESA nomenclature, 1.0.0.6. It is still unclear if this change only refers to AMD's B550 or if it will also move on to X570's next AGESA releases.

It's expected that new motherboards based on AMD's B550 chipset will start landing in June. For now, there's confirmation on at least two motherboards running with this V2 of AGESA: MSI's MAG B550 Tomahawk (ComboAM4 v2 1.0.0.0), and the Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master (ComboAM4v2 1.0.0.1). So if you're looking to use AMD's B550 motherboard (or even X570) with AMD's upcoming Zen 3 CPUs, make sure to read your motherboard manufacturers' release notes for each AGESA version, so that you install the correct one and avoid yourself a potential load of pain with a non-functioning AGESA for your shiny new Zen 3 CPU.

MediaTek Unveils 5G-Integrated Dimensity 1000+ Chip

MediaTek today announced enhancements to its Dimensity 5G chipset family with the Dimensity 1000+, an enhanced 5G-integrated chip with a number of leading technologies and upgrades for gaming, video and power-efficiency.

Dimensity 1000+ is based on the flagship performance of the Dimensity 1000 series and delivers a high-end, premium user experience. With years of accumulated experience in integrated chip technologies, MediaTek has made breakthroughs and innovations in all aspects and has become a pioneer in the 5G era.
MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC

AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

In their briefing leading up to today's Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X review embargo, AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets. The next-gen processors will not work with older 400-series or 300-series chipsets. This comes as a blow to those who bought premium X470 motherboards hoping for latest CPU compatibility running into 2020. At this time only B550 is available, but we expect more news on enthusiast chipsets as the Zen 3 launch date comes closer. AMD B550 is a fascinating new mid-range chipset by AMD. Launching today as a successor to the popular B450 chipset, B550 is a low-power silicon with roughly the same 5-7 W TDP as the older 400-series chipset. Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia. It brings a lot to the table that could draw buyers away from B450, but it also takes some away.

The AMD B550 currently only supports 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors. Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" APU are not supported. What's more, older Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge," "Raven Ridge," and first gen Ryzen 1000 "Summit Ridge" aren't supported, either. The Athlon 200 and 3000 "Zen" based chips miss out, too. AMD argues that it ran into ROM size limitations when trying to cram AGESA microcode for all the older processors. We find that hard to believe because B450 motherboards with the latest ComboAM4 AGESA support 2nd gen and 3rd gen processors, including APUs and Athlon SKUs based on the two. On the bright side, AMD assured us (within its marketing slides for the B550), that the chipset will support upcoming processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G.
AMD B550 chipset highlights AMD B550 processor support AMD B550 vs B450

Five AMD A520 Chipset Motherboards Listed by ASUS

ASUS has apparently begun listing motherboards on the as-of-yet-unreleased, as-of-yet-undetailed AMD A520 chipset. Lower in the chipset rung than AMD's X570 and B550 chipsets, the A520 is expected to not offer any dedicated PCIe 4.0 lanes by itself - at most, motherboards will support the same 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes offered by AMD's CPUs, with the rest I/O being PCIe 3.0-based in order to further cut platform and chipset costs.

All of the A520 chipset motherboards listed by ASUS seem to be in the mATX form-factor - which again makes sense, as having the most basic chipset in order to cut costs and then using the same PCB real-estate as more expensive chipset solutions doesn't seem like a wise choice. The listed motherboards are the
PRIME A520M-A; PRIME A520M-E; PRIME A520M-K; TUF GAMING A520M-A; and TUF GAMING A520M-PLUS. As you can see, these motherboards are set in the ASUS TUF and Prime product lines - there's no mention of any Strix-branded products.

AMD B550 Chipset Motherboards Priced Roughly on-par with B450 Based Ones

AMD's upcoming B550 desktop chipset, which plays second-fiddle to the premium X570, could bring relief to gaming PC builders wanting to put together 3rd gen Ryzen desktops with PCI-Express gen 4.0 graphics and M.2 SSD connectivity on the cheap. Pricing of a handful ASUS B550 motherboards was leaked to the web by Australian retailer ICIT.net.au, who listed the somewhat premium ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming for AUD $262.90, including GST (converts to USD $167 including all taxes). The retailer also lists TUF B550-Plus Gaming and Prime B550M-A at the same exact price, which could be pre-launch inflation (so we're going by the price of what could be the best-endowed SKUs among the three).

If this pricing holds up, B550 based boards could launch at prices close to those of B450 boards at launch. The B550 is AMD's mid-range desktop chipset that is expected to enable PCI-Express gen 4.0, at least where it matters the most (the main x16 slot and the M.2 slot that's wired to the AM4 SoC). Much like its predecessors, the B450 and B350, it could enable CPU- and memory overclocking. Reports dating back to Q3-2019 point to the B550 being ASMedia-sourced, and having a far lower chipset TDP than the X570 (making do with passive heatsinks like the AMD 400-series).

ASRock Enables Overclocking on Non-Z Motherboards for 10th Generation Non-K Comet Lake CPUs

Historically, Intel has separated its processors and chipsets that accompany them to overclockable and non-overclockable ones. That means that only the "K" CPUs can be overclocked. With the latest generation, only some parts of the lineup are K CPUs, like the Core i9-10900K, i7-10700K, i5-10600K, etc. Those processors could only be overclocked one put in motherboards based on "Z" chipset, like Z390 and Z490. However, it seems like ASRock has developed a new technology that will overclock non-K CPUs on non-Z motherboards, which is quite impressive.

Called the Base Frequency Boost (BFB) technology, it will allow for overclocking the non-K processors on chipsets like B460 and H470. How will that work you might wonder? Well, ASRock will take the TDP of the CPUs and make it run in the PL1 mode, which increases the processor TDP form 65 W and turns it into a 125 W TDP beast. This will, of course, be user selective and case dependent, meaning that if your cooling system can not handle that much heat coming out from the overclocked processors, it is unlikely that they will reach the peak clocks ASRock can target. You can check out the slide below:
ASRock Base Frequency Boost Technology

AMD "Matisse" and "Rome" IO Controller Dies Mapped Out

Here are the first detailed die maps of the I/O controller dies of AMD's "Matisse" and "Rome" multi-chip modules that make up the company's 3rd generation Ryzen and 2nd generation EPYC processor families, respectively, by PC enthusiast and VLSI engineer "Nemez" aka @GPUsAreMagic on Twitter, with underlying die-shots by Fitzchens Fitz. The die maps of the "Matisse" cIOD in particular give us fascinating insights to how AMD designed the die to serve both as a cIOD and as an external FCH (AMD X570 and TRX40 chipsets). At the heart of both these chips' design effort is using highly configurable SerDes (serializer/deserializers) that can work as PCIe, SATA, USB 3, or other high-bandwidth serial interfaces, using a network of fabric switches and PHYs. This is how motherboard designers are able to configure the chipsets for the I/O they want for their specific board designs.

The "Matisse" cIOD has two x16 SerDes controllers and an I/O root hub, along with two configurable x16 SerDes PHYs, while the "Rome" sIOD has four times as many SerDes controllers, along with eight times as many PHYs. The "Castle Peak" cIOD (3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper) disables half the SerDes resources on the "Rome" sIOD, along with half as many memory controllers and PHYs, limiting it to 4-channel DDR4. The "Matisse" cIOD features two IFOP (Infinity Fabric over Package) links, wiring out to the two "Zen 2" CCDs (chiplets) on the MCM, while the "Rome" sIOD features eight such IFOP interfaces for up to eight CCDs, along with IFIS (Infinity Fabric Inter-Socket) links for 2P motherboards. Infinity Fabric internally connects all components on both IOD dies. Both dies are built on the 12 nm FinFET (12LP) silicon fabrication node at GlobalFoundries.
Matisse cIOD Rome cIOD

AMD Ryzen 4000 Series "Vermeer" CPUs to be Compatible with B450 Motherboards

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 4000 series "Vermeer" lineup of CPUs based on the new Zen 3 core is slated to launch sometime in late 2020, and we have information about the chipset support of 4th generation of Ryzen CPUs. The laptop manufacturer XMG, known for its crazy Apex 15 laptop with 16 core AMD Ryzen 3950X CPU inside, has posted a Reddit thread about its new laptop. In the thread, XMG has listed specifications of the laptop, and in one point it mentions support for Ryzen 4000 series of CPUs. XMG has written that the B450 motherboards will be supporting the next generation CPUs simply by microcode updates AMD will push to OEMs. XMG uses the B450 chipset in its laptops, so they are presumably going to offer some configurations with Ryzen 4000 CPUs in the future. This information is good news for everybody who has a motherboard with a B450 chipset as they can get a bit more mileage out of it.
XMG Apex 15 Specifications

First Picture of AMD B550 Motherboard Appears

The B550 chipset has been absent for a while, meaning that mid-tier motherboard models were lacking and that space is about to be filled. So far, the only thing we got was a B550A chipset, which lacked proper support for PCIe 4.0 connection, based on the refreshed B450 chipset. The B550A supports only one PCIe 4.0 slot, the one connected directly to CPU, while the regular, non-A version is said to deliver proper PCIe 4.0 configuration. The first picture of AMD's upcoming B550 motherboard has appeared.

Thanks to the findings of VideoCardz, we have a picture of a B550 motherboard manufactured by SOYO, a Chinese motherboard manufacturer, and the brand behind Maxsun. Pictured below is a Micro-ATX format motherboard featuring two x16 PCIe 4.0 slots and one smaller, x1 slot. There are two DDR4 slots, along with M.2 PCIe 4.0 connector. Additionally, it has some interesting dragon-inspired masking as well.
AMD B550 Chipset Motherboard
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