Subject: Processors | March 15, 2017 - 05:51 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: ryzen, Infinity Fabric, hwbot, FMA3, Control Fabric, bug, amd, AM4
Last week a thread was started at the HWBOT forum and discussed a certain workload that resulted in a hard lock every time it was run. This was tested with a variety of motherboards and Ryzen processors from the 1700 to the 1800X. In no circumstance at default power and clock settings did the processor not lock from the samples that they have worked on, as well as products that contributors have been able to test themselves.
This is quite reminiscent of the Coppermine based Pentium III 1133 MHz processor from Intel which failed in one specific workload (compiling). Intel had shipped a limited number of these CPUs at that time, and it was Kyle from HardOCP and Tom from Tom’s Hardware that were the first to show this behavior in a repeatable environment. Intel stopped shipping these models and had to wait til the Tualatin version of the Pentium III to be released to achieve that speed (and above) and be stable in all workloads.
The interesting thing about this FMA3 finding is that it is seen to not be present in some overclocked Ryzen chips. To me this indicates that it could be a power delivery issue with the chip. A particular workload that heavily leans upon the FPU could require more power than the chip’s Control Fabric can deliver, therefore causing a hard lock. Several tested overclocked chips with much more power being pushed to them seems as though enough power is being applied to the specific area of the chip to allow the operation to be completed successfully.
This particular fact implies to me that AMD does not necessarily have a bug such as what Intel had with the infamous F-Div issue with the original Pentium, or AMD’s issue with the B2 stepping of Phenom. AMD has a very complex voltage control system that is controlled by the Control Fabric portion of the Infinity Fabric. With a potential firmware or microcode update this could be a fixable problem. If this is the case, then AMD would simply increase power being supplied to the FPU/SIMD/SSE portion of the Ryzen cores. This may come at a cost through lower burst speeds to keep TDP within their stated envelope.
A source at AMD has confirmed this issue and that a fix will be provided via motherboard firmware update. More than likely this comes in the form of an updated AGESA protocol.
Subject: Memory | March 8, 2017 - 12:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, overclocking, gskill, ddr4, AM4
G.Skill recently announced two new series of DDR4 memory geared towards AMD’s new AM4 platform and Ryzen CPUs. The FORTIS series comes in kits up to 64 GB at 2400 MHz while the Flare X series features kits up to 32 GB at 3466 MHz.
The FORTIS series come in black with graphics on the sides. At launch, there will be kits in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities clocked at 2,133 and 2,400 MHz. These kits run at 1.2V.
Flare X reportedly uses “carefully selected” IC chips that have been tested and validated for the AM4 platform and Ryzen processors. These kits run at 1.35V out of the box and come in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB at 3200 MHz with 14-14-14-34 timings or in a 16 GB (2x8GB) kit clocked at 3466 MHz with 16-16-16-36 timings.
It is worth noting that Ryzen officially supports memory up to 3200 MHz without needing to overclock the bus speed using one of eight memory straps/dividers (this is apparently a limitation of the UEFI and not Ryzen's memory controllers). In order to take advantage of DDR4 with higher clocks, you will need to overclock the base clock (which is made easier/possible on motherboards with external clock generators). G.Skill showed two examples using a Ryzen 7 1700 and an Asus Crosshair VI Hero motherboard where they got a 4x16GB kit clocked at 3467MHz (16-16-16-36 CR1) by setting a 25.4 x multiplier and 118.16 MHz bus speed. The other example was DDR4 at 3200 MHz with a multiplier of 28.4 and 119.99 MHz bus speed. It is interesting that they were able to push the bus speed that high while maintaining stability. G.Skill posted two CPU-Z validation screen shots on its news announcement.
G.Skill did not announce pricing, but it did state the new memory kits would be available later this month. Looking around on Newegg, it seems some of the lower speed kits with 4GB DIMMs are available right now but the new kits with higher clocks and 8GB and 16GB DIMMs are not available yet. The less exciting Fortis series does appear to be available though with a 2x8GB 16GB DDR4-2400 priced at $124.99. Even the Fortis series isn’t fully launched yet though since the 2x16GB and 4x16GB kits aren’t listed.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 7, 2017 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen, CRYORIG, amd, AM4
If you own a CRYORIG cooler, apart from the M9i, you can head to this page to request a free upgrade kit to support AM4 motherboards. Depending on the cooler you purchased you will need to choose from one of four different kits and CRYORIG will send it off to you for free, no shipping or other fees required.
You will need to produce either a product registration number or proof of purchase of your CRYORIG product as well as proof of purchase of an AMD Ryzen or AM4 motherboard. The upgrade kits will ship out later this month and sometime in the latter half of the year CRYORIG will release four new coolers which natively support AM4, as well as previous AM3(+) boards.
07.03.17 Taipei, Taiwan – With the much-anticipated release of the AMD Ryzen, CRYORIG prepares to launch a full line of AMD Ryzen dedicated coolers as well as simple upgrade kits for existing AMD compatible CRYORIG cooling products. Beginning from Type A to Type D, there will be a total of 4 different AM4 upgrade kits depending on the corresponding CRYORIG product. Natively supporting Ryzen dedicated version models will begin to release later in Q2 2017 and will consist of the full CRYORIG cooling portfolio.
CRYORIG’s four AM4 upgrade kits will be released beginning in late March and will be completely free of charge (including shipping) for existing users to apply for. Users will only need to provide a proof of purchase of the CRYORIG product (or product registration number), and a proof of purchase of an AMD Ryzen or AM4 CPU or Motherboard. Just fill out and supply all necessary info at www.cryorig.com/getam4.php, the kit will be sent directly to the provided address. Distributors and select channels will also have these kits available.
Beginning in Q2 2017, CRYORIG will start shipping dedicated Ryzen ready versions of CRYORIG’s full product line. Exact release dates will vary from model to model. The Ryzen Supported sticker will be found on all dedicated Ryzen ready coolers for easy identification, and indicates that no additional kits are required for Ryzen support.
Subject: Motherboards | March 4, 2017 - 11:32 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X370GTN, x370, small form factor, SFF, ryzen, racing, motherboard, mITX, mini-itx, B350GTN, b350, amd, AM4
The first images of a mini-ITX AM4 motherboard are here, courtesy of BIOSTAR (via ComputerBase). Part of their second-generation RACING-series of gaming motherboards, BIOSTAR is now the first company to show an AMD Ryzen-capable mini-ITX option with their X370GTN.
Image credit: ComputerBase
There had been mention of an upcoming mITX board for AMD Ryzen CPUs from BIOSTAR, with a (rather low-key) mention of such a product in a recent company press release (“the exciting new RACING X370GTN in the mini-ITX form factor will also be available”), and these images from the company's RACING event are now circulating along with the specs of two different mITX offerings.
Image credit: ComputerBase
There will in fact be two mini-ITX motherboards, with both X370 (shown) and the lower-end B350 chipsets (with the RACING B350GTN). ComputerBase provided slides with specifications (via Zolkorn, Thai language) who covered the BIOSTAR event:
BIOSTAR has not announced availability or pricing of their mini-ITX Ryzen boards yet, but given the pent-up demand for mini-ITX solutions for enthusiast AMD processors (with AM3 conspicuously absent from mITX), this is great news for small form-factor enthusiasts.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling | March 2, 2017 - 02:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AM4, ryzen, nzxt, fractal design, scythe
We have some good news from several companies about compatibility with that AM4 board you are hoping to set up. NXZT have announced a program in which you can request a free AM4 mounting kit for your Kraken X62, X52, X42, X61, X41 or Kraken X31. Just follow this link to apply for one, they will ship world wide starting on the 15th of March. You will need to provide proof of purchase of both your AM4 motherboard and Kraken cooler.
Fractal Design have a similar offer for owners of of their Kelvin series of coolers. You can email their Support team for a bracket for your Kelvin T12, S24 or S36, make sure to attach proof of purchase of either a Ryzen processor or AM4 board.
Scythe is doing things a litle differently. If you reside in Europe, they are offering free mounting kits to owners of their Mugen 5 cooler, simply reach out them via this link, again attaching a receipt for the cooler and either a Ryzen CPU or AM4 motherboard. Owners of a Katana 3 or 4, Kabuto 3, Shuriken Rev. B, Tatsumi “A”, Byakko, or Iori cooler need not even go through that process, your coolers mount is already compatible. For owners of other coolers you can reach out to Scythe via the previous link to order a bracket for 3,99€, to ship out sometime in May or later. We will let you know when we hear from the NA branch.
"Coinciding with the new AMD Zen-based Ryzen CPUs, and the new AM4 socket, NZXT will be providing a free retention bracket for all current Kraken users. NZXT believes in providing high-quality components to our customers, in addition to exceptional customer service no matter where they reside and we will continue that support alongside the launch of Ryzen."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Netflix Uses AI in Its New Codec To Compress Video Scene By Scene @ Slashdot
- IBM inexplicably granted patent for 'Out of Office' because FFS @ The Inquirer
- The day after 'S3izure', does anyone feel like moving to the cloud? @ The Register
- Nintendo Switch Game Cartridges Taste Awful @ [H]ard|OCP
- Online shops plundered by bank card-stealing malware after bungling backend Aptos hacked @ The Register
- TSMC seeking stake in Toshiba chip business to expand into 3D NAND sector @ DigiTimes
- SSD push for Seagate to complement its HDD business @ DigiTimes
- Some hateful human has brought Microsoft Clippy to Google Chrome for no reason @ The Inquirer
- Business Foxconn 'very confident' of buying Toshiba's NAND business @ The Register
What Makes Ryzen Tick
We have been exposed to details about the Zen architecture for the past several Hot Chips conventions as well as other points of information directly from AMD. Zen was a clean sheet design that borrowed some of the best features from the Bulldozer and Jaguar architectures, as well as integrating many new ideas that had not been executed in AMD processors before. The fusion of ideas from higher performance cores, lower power cores, and experience gained in APU/GPU design have all come together in a very impressive package that is the Ryzen CPU.
It is well known that AMD brought back Jim Keller to head the CPU group after the slow downward spiral that AMD entered in CPU design. While the Athlon 64 was a tremendous part for the time, the subsequent CPUs being offered by the company did not retain that leadership position. The original Phenom had problems right off the bat and could not compete well with Intel’s latest dual and quad cores. The Phenom II shored up their position a bit, but in the end could not keep pace with the products that Intel continued to introduce with their newly minted “tic-toc” cycle. Bulldozer had issues out of the gate and did not have performance numbers that were significantly greater than the previous generation “Thuban” 6 core Phenom II product, much less the latest Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge products that it would compete with.
AMD attempted to stop the bleeding by iterating and evolving the Bulldozer architecture with Piledriver, Steamroller, and Excavator. The final products based on this design arc seemed to do fine for the markets they were aimed at, but certainly did not regain any marketshare with AMD’s shrinking desktop numbers. No matter what AMD did, the base architecture just could not overcome some of the basic properties that impeded strong IPC performance.
The primary goal of this new architecture is to increase IPC to a level consistent to what Intel has to offer. AMD aimed to increase IPC per clock by at least 40% over the previous Excavator core. This is a pretty aggressive goal considering where AMD was with the Bulldozer architecture that was focused on good multi-threaded performance and high clock speeds. AMD claims that it has in fact increased IPC by an impressive 54% from the previous Excavator based core. Not only has AMD seemingly hit its performance goals, but it exceeded them. AMD also plans on using the Zen architecture to power products from mobile products to the highest TDP parts offered.
The Zen Core
The basis for Ryzen are the CCX modules. These modules contain four Zen cores along with 8 MB of shared L3 cache. Each core has 64 KB of L1 I-cache and 32 KB of D-cache. There is a total of 512 KB of L2 cache. These caches are inclusive. The L3 cache acts as a victim cache which partially copies what is in L1 and L2 caches. AMD has improved the performance of their caches to a very large degree as compared to previous architectures. The arrangement here allows the individual cores to quickly snoop any changes in the caches of the others for shared workloads. So if a cache line is changed on one core, other cores requiring that data can quickly snoop into the shared L3 and read it. Doing this allows the CPU doing the actual work to not be interrupted by cache read requests from other cores.
Each core can handle two threads, but unlike Bulldozer has a single integer core. Bulldozer modules featured two integer units and a shared FPU/SIMD. Zen gets rid of CMT for good and we have a single integer and FPU units for each core. The core can address two threads by utilizing AMD’s version of SMT (symmetric multi-threading). There is a primary thread that gets higher priority while the second thread has to wait until resources are freed up. This works far better in the real world than in how I explained it as resources are constantly being shuffled about and the primary thread will not monopolize all resources within the core.
Zen vs. 40 Years of CPU Development
Zen is nearly upon us. AMD is releasing its next generation CPU architecture to the world this week and we saw CPU demonstrations and upcoming AM4 motherboards at CES in early January. We have been shown tantalizing glimpses of the performance and capabilities of the “Ryzen” products that will presumably fill the desktop markets from $150 to $499. I have yet to be briefed on the product stack that AMD will be offering, but we know enough to start to think how positioning and placement will be addressed by these new products.
To get a better understanding of how Ryzen will stack up, we should probably take a look back at what AMD has accomplished in the past and how Intel has responded to some of the stronger products. AMD has been in business for 47 years now and has been a major player in semiconductors for most of that time. It really has only been since the 90s where AMD started to battle Intel head to head that people have become passionate about the company and their products.
The industry is a complex and ever-shifting one. AMD and Intel have been two stalwarts over the years. Even though AMD has had more than a few challenging years over the past decade, it still moves forward and expects to compete at the highest level with its much larger and better funded competitor. 2017 could very well be a breakout year for the company with a return to solid profitability in both CPU and GPU markets. I am not the only one who thinks this considering that AMD shares that traded around the $2 mark ten months ago are now sitting around $14.
AMD Through 1996
AMD became a force in the CPU industry due to IBM’s requirement to have a second source for its PC business. Intel originally entered into a cross licensing agreement with AMD to allow it to produce x86 chips based on Intel designs. AMD eventually started to produce their own versions of these parts and became a favorite in the PC clone market. Eventually Intel tightened down on this agreement and then cancelled it, but through near endless litigation AMD ended up with a x86 license deal with Intel.
AMD produced their own Am286 chip that was the first real break from the second sourcing agreement with Intel. Intel balked at sharing their 386 design with AMD and eventually forced the company to develop its own clean room version. The Am386 was released in the early 90s, well after Intel had been producing those chips for years. AMD then developed their own version of the Am486 which then morphed into the Am5x86. The company made some good inroads with these speedy parts and typically clocked them faster than their Intel counterparts (eg. Am486 40 MHz and 80 MHz vs. the Intel 486 DX33 and DX66). AMD priced these points lower so users could achieve better performance per dollar using the same chipsets and motherboards.
Intel released their first Pentium chips in 1993. The initial version was hot and featured the infamous FDIV bug. AMD made some inroads against these parts by introducing the faster Am486 and Am5x86 parts that would achieve clockspeeds from 133 MHz to 150 MHz at the very top end. The 150 MHz part was very comparable in overall performance to the Pentium 75 MHz chip and we saw the introduction of the dreaded “P-rating” on processors.
There is no denying that Intel continued their dominance throughout this time by being the gold standard in x86 manufacturing and design. AMD slowly chipped away at its larger rival and continued to profit off of the lucrative x86 market. William Sanders III set the bar higher about where he wanted the company to go and he started on a much more aggressive path than many expected the company to take.
Subject: Motherboards | February 21, 2017 - 05:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, M.2, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4
The X370GT7 is part of Biostar's racing series and features a black PCB with checkered flag artwork and LED-backlit "armor" over the rear IO edge. The motherboard surrounds the AMD AM4 socket with two large heat spreaders cooling a 8+4 Digital Power+ power phase (PowIRstage IC), four DDR4 slots (up to 64GB at 2667 MHz), and a M.2 (32 Gbps) slot with bundled SSD heat spreader that matches the racing and carbon fiber aesthetic.
The bottom half of the AM4 Motherboard houses the X370 chipset, six SATA 3 ports, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (running 1 at x16 or both at x8 with Ryzen, Bristol Ridge is limited to one x8 slot), one PCI-E 2.0 x16 (electrically x4) slot, and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots. Biostar also highlights the inclusion of 5050 LED headers and a USB 3.1 front panel header with "Lightning Charger" which supports Quick Charge 2.0 (12V@1.5A) as well as Apple devices (5V@2.4A).
Around back, the X370GT7 has the following rear IO ports:
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0)
- 3 x Video Outputs:
- 1 x DisplayPort (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x DVI-D (1200p@60Hz)
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8118AS)
- Audio (Realtek ALC1220, 8 channel Blu Ray Audio, "Biostar Hi-FI")
- 5 x Analog out
- 1 x S/PDIF
While an Intel NIC would have been nice to see, the Biostar board looks to offer up a decent package of connections and the Realtek audio codec has been around for a while and should be fairly well developed at this point though we will have to see how well Biostar's Hi-Fi implementation fares. Further, Biostar also offers a small touch panel on the board called GT Touch that lets users switch UEFI profiles between performance and eco-friendly modes as well as power and reset buttons for testing outside of a case. For LED fans Biostar bundles software called "LED DJ" that lets you configure an LED light show that responds to music being played on the PC. (Yes, this is a thing now hehe.)
It is nice to see Biostar rising to the occasion and offering up more options for Ryzen CPUs. Unfortunately as is the case with more things there is no word on pricing or availability yet though rumors would suggest an early march release to coincide with Ryzen processors hitting store shelves.
- CES 2017: Gigabyte Teases New AM4 Platform Motherboards
- AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards
- Dissecting AMD Zen Architecture - Interview with David Kanter
Subject: Processors | February 8, 2017 - 09:38 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Zen, Skylake, Samsung, ryzen, kaby lake, ISSCC, Intel, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, amd, AM4, 14 nm FinFET
Yesterday EE Times posted some interesting information that they had gleaned at ISSCC. AMD released a paper describing the design process and advances they were able to achieve with the Zen architecture manufactured on Samsung’s/GF’s 14nm FinFETT process. AMD went over some of the basic measurements at the transistor scale and how it compares to what Intel currently has on their latest 14nm process.
The first thing that jumps out is that AMD claimes that their 4 core/8 thread x86 core is about 10% smaller than what Intel has with one of their latest CPUs. We assume it is either Kaby Lake or Skylake. AMD did not exactly go over exactly what they were counting when looking at the cores because there are some significant differences between the two architectures. We are not sure if that 44mm sq. figure includes the L3 cache or the L2 caches. My guess is that it probably includes L2 cache but not L3. I could be easily wrong here.
Going down the table we see that AMD and Samsung/GF are able to get their SRAM sizes down smaller than what Intel is able to do. AMD has double the amount of L2 cache per core, but it is only about 60% larger than Intel’s 256 KB L2. AMD also has a much smaller L3 cache as well than Intel. Both are 8 MB units but AMD comes in at 16 mm sq. while Intel is at 19.1 mm sq. There will be differences in how AMD and Intel set up these caches, and until we see L3 performance comparisons we cannot assume too much.
(Image courtesy of ISSCC)
In some of the basic measurements of the different processes we see that Intel has advantages throughout. This is not surprising as Intel has been well known to push process technology beyond what others are able to do. In theory their products will have denser logic throughout, including the SRAM cells. When looking at this information we wonder how AMD has been able to make their cores and caches smaller. Part of that is due to the likely setup of cache control and access.
One of the most likely culprits of this smaller size is that the less advanced FPU/SSE/AVX units that AMD has in Zen. They support AVX-256, but it has to be done in double the cycles. They can do single cycle AVX-128, but Intel’s throughput is much higher than what AMD can achieve. AVX is not the end-all, be-all but it is gaining in importance in high performance computing and editing applications. David Kanter in his article covering the architecture explicitly said that AMD made this decision to lower the die size and power constraints for this product.
Ryzen will undoubtedly be a pretty large chip overall once both modules and 16 MB of L3 cache are put together. My guess would be in the 220 mm sq. range, but again that is only a guess once all is said and done (northbridge, southbridge, PCI-E controllers, etc.). What is perhaps most interesting of it all is that AMD has a part that on the surface is very close to the Broadwell-E based Intel i7 chips. The i7-6900K runs at 3.2 to 3.7 GHz, features 8 cores and 16 threads, and around 20 MB of L2/L3 cache. AMD’s top end looks to run at 3.6 GHz, features the same number of cores and threads, and has 20 MB of L2/L3 cache. The Intel part is rated at 140 watts TDP while the AMD part will have a max of 95 watts TDP.
If Ryzen is truly competitive in this top end space (with a price to undercut Intel, yet not destroy their own margins) then AMD is going to be in a good position for the rest of this year. We will find out exactly what is coming our way next month, but all indications point to Ryzen being competitive in overall performance while being able to undercut Intel in TDPs for comparable cores/threads. We are counting down the days...
Subject: Editorial | January 31, 2017 - 11:14 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, quarterly results, Q4 2016, Q4, FY 2016, amd, AM4
Today AMD announced their latest quarterly earnings. There was much speculation as to how well or how poorly the company did, especially in light of Intel’s outstanding quarter and their record year. Intel has shown that the market continues to be strong, even with the popular opinion that we are in a post-PC world. Would AMD see a strong quarter, or would Intel take further bites out of the company?
The results for AMD are somewhere in between. It was not an overly strong quarter, but it was not weak either. AMD saw strength in the GPU market with their latest RX series of GPUs for both desktop and mobile applications. Their CPU sales seemingly were flat with limited new products in their CPU/APU stack. AMD is still primarily shipping 32nm and 28nm products and will not introduce 14nm products until Ryzen in late Q1 of this year. While AMD has improved their APU offerings at both mobile and desktop TDPs, they still rely on Carrizo and the Bristol Ridge derivative to provide new growth. The company’s aging Piledriver based Vishera CPUs still comprise a significant portion of sales for the budget and midrange enthusiast markets.
The company had revenues of $1.11B US for Q4 with a $51M net loss. Q3 featured revenues of $1.31B, but had a much larger loss of $293M. The primary factor for that loss was the $340M charge for the adjusted wafer start agreement that AMD has with GLOBALFOUNDRIES. AMD did make less this past quarter, but they were able to winnow their loss down to the $51M figure.
While AMD stayed steady with the CPU/APU and GPU markets, their biggest decline came in the semi-custom products. This is understandable due to the longer lead times on these products as compared to AMD’s CPUs/APUs and GPUs. The console manufacturers purchase these designs and then pay out royalties as the chips are produced. Sony and Microsoft each had new console revisions for this holiday season that feature new SoC designs from AMD for each. To hit the holiday rush these companies made significant orders in Q2 and Q3 of this year to allow delivery in Q4. Once those deliveries are made then Sony and Microsoft dramatically cut orders to allow good sell-through in Q4 and not have massive unsold quantities in Q1 2017. With royalties down with fewer chips being delivered, AMD obviously suffers at the hand of seasonality typically one quarter sooner than Intel or NVIDIA does.
For the year AMD had nearly $300M more in revenue as compared to 2015. 2016 ended at $4.27B as compared to 2015’s $3.99B. This is generally where AMD has been for the past decade, but is lower than they have seen in years past with successful parts like Athlon and their Athlon 64 parts. In 2005 AMD had $5.8B in revenue. We see that AMD still has a way to go before matching some of their best years as a company.
One of the more interesting aspects is that even through these quarterly losses AMD has been able to increase their cash on hand. AMD was approaching some $700M a few years back and with the losses they were taking it would not be all many years before liquidity was non-existent. AMD has been able to build that up to $1.26B at the end of this quarter, giving them more of a cushion to rely upon in tight times.
AMD’s year on year improvement is tangible, but made more impressive when considering how big of an impact the $340M charge that the WSA incurred. This shows that AMD has been very serious about cutting expenses and monetizing their products to the best of their ability.
This coming year should show further improvement for AMD due to a more competitive product stack in CPUs, APUs, and GPUs. AMD announced that Ryzen will be launching sometimes this March, hitting the Q1 expectations that the company had in the second half of 2016. Previous to that AMD thought they could push out limited amounts of Ryzen chips in late Q4 2016, but that did not turn out to be the case. AMD has shown off multiple Ryzen samples running anywhere from 3.2 GHz base with a potential engineering sample with a boosted speed up to 4 GHz. Ryzen looks far more competitive against Intel’s current and upcoming products than AMD has in years.
The GPU side will also be getting a boost in the first half of 2017. It looks like the high end GPU Vega will be launching in Q2 2017. AMD has addressed the midrange and budget markets with the Polaris based chips but has been absent at the high end with 14nm chips. AMD still produces and sells Fury and Nano based offerings that somewhat address the area above the midrange, but they do not adequately compete with the NVIDIA GTX 1070 and 1080 products. Vega looks to be competitive with what NVIDIA has at the high end, and there is certainly a pent up demand for an AMD card in that market.
AMD had a solid 2016 that showed that the current management team could successfully lead the company through some very challenging times. The company continues to move forward and we shall see new products with CPUs, GPUs, and motherboards that should all materially contribute to and expand AMD’s bottom line.