These three foundries aren't scared of a wee 7nm

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2019 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: amd, 7nm, CoWoS, TSMC, SPIL, TFME

DigiTimes today is sharing some information about just where AMD's 7nm chips will be processed and there seems to be a name missing.  TSMC, SPIL and TFME will all be producing specific products but there is no mention of GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the news post.

TSMC will handle the bulk of the EPYC and HPC versions of Vega production with their chip-on-wafer-on-substrate, as one might expect; SPIL and TFME will handle desktop Ryzen and GPUs.  One hopes that by diversifying their production sources we can avoid shortages from one line effecting the entire market as we have seen in the past. 

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"TSMC is also among the backend partners of AMD for its new 7nm computing and graphics products, according to industry sources. Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) under Taiwan's ASE Technology Holding, and China-based Tongfu Microelectronics (TFME) are other backend service providers for the chips, the sources continued."

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Source: DigiTimes

Rounding up CES

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, ces 2019, amd

The Tech Report just posted a nice assortment of updates covering their travels at CES, including their take AMD's new GPU and processors.  They also took a look at Intel's offerings, and not just the fresh splash of seemingly bottomless Coffee, this time without the picture drawn on the top.  What was far more interesting were the lineup of 10nm chips announced, Lakefield for low power applications, Ice Lake mainstream chips and Snow Ridge, an SoC designed for network applications.  Of course, it wouldn't be an Intel briefing without Optane, to which the H10 series was announced, which sports both QLC 3D NAND and 3D XPoint on a M.2 2280 gumstick.  It has a controller for both types of memory which means the bulk of the heavy lifting will be done onboard and not pushed onto your CPU. 

 

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"That title probably rests on the shoulders of four upcoming Intel products based on the company's beleaguered 10-nm fabrication process: the Lakefield low-power client processors, the Snow Ridge network SoC, and Ice Lake chips for every market segment."

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AMD's Radeon 7 and Third Gen Ryzen

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 9, 2019 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: radeon 7, ces 2019, amd

AMD is still mid-keynote but that's no reason not to start filling you in on what we know, especially since the CES gang just got a free copy of The Division 2 so we may not see them for a while. 

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The new Radeon 7 looks similar to the Vega series but offers improved performance, especially at 4K resolutions.   According to their internal benchmarks you will see a noticeable improvement from the VEGA series on a number of games.

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The new card is not just for gaming, they also showed a slide covering the increases you can expect on a variety of creative software.

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As far as the specifications go, we know the card will feature 60 CUs, or 3840 Stream Processors and an impressive 16GB of HBM2 memory with a 1.8GHz GPU at the core.  It will require a pair of 8pin PCIe power connectors to drive all of that.

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The card will be available on Feb 7th for an MSRP of $699, with a free copy of The Division 2 for as long as supplies last, you can also enjoy that deal on select Ryzen chips  That places it under the cost of NVIDIA's top GPUs, but significantly more than the new RTX 2060, but we still have to see where it sits in the benchmark charts!

3rd-Gen Ryzen CPUs Coming

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The new third generation Ryzen uses AMD's chiplet design, with a smaller core and a large IO chip. Code-named Matisse, the 7nm Zen 2 desktop parts are not yet ready for release, with final clock speeds not announced. (AnandTech was able to go a little deeper into the the matter before the announcement, and they offer some analysis of the feasability of adding another chiplet to the die and meeting the 16-core number some expected based on the rumors we saw prior to this event. Ed.)

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Dr. Su did not share much information of the new chip with us on stage, though we know it may pull less power than a Core i9, at least in Cinebench.  Owners of AM4 boards can rest assured knowing that upgrading to the new chips will be as easy as a BIOS update as the socket will indeed remain the same.

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Expect more coverage as we catch up!

Source: AMD

AMD live at CES

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: amd

If you weren't already aware, Dr. Lisa Su is presenting AMD's CES keynote right now, which you can watch here.

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Hear about the last 50 years of AMD's history and what is in store for the future.

Source: AMD

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY Laptops Powered by AMD Ryzen 3000 Series

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd

ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.

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“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”

The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.

"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.

Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."

Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.

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Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • Display:
    • 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
    • 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x RJ-45 jack
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
    • 1x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard and touchpad  : 1.8mm key travel
  • Customizable RGB or red backlighting
  • Audio: DTS Headphone: X
  • Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)

Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.

Source: ASUS

CES 2019: New Lenovo "Legion" Displays: Y44w & Y27gq

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, g-sync, freesync 2, display, ces 2019, CES, amd

Lenovo has added two monitors to their Legion line of gaming devices.

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The Lenovo Legion Y44w is a 43.4” gaming display. Most of that size is horizontal, however, because it has a 32:10 aspect ratio. If you have ever used a 1920x1200 monitor, which was the PC equivalent of 1080p while PC manufacturers believed that 16:9 was too wide so they settled on 16:10 for the Windows Vista era, then you should imagine two of them side-by-side in a single monitor. In fact, the Y44w supports two separate video inputs if you wish to split the monitor down the middle into two side-by-side 1920x1200 displays. It can also operate as a single, 3840x1200 display, of course. This resolution is a little over half of a 4K panel, so it should be easier for second-tier GPUs to feed.

Beyond the resolution, the color gamut is listed as “99% sRGB, BT.709, DCI-P3” and it is certified as VESA HDR400. If the slide deck is correct and it can do 99% DCI-P3 at HDR400, then it should have an amazing picture. It can also do 144 Hz with FreeSync 2, so you do not need to compromise refresh rate to get those beautiful colors. The also have an optional speaker from Harman Kardon that can be attached to the display.

The Lenovo Legion Y44w will be available in April 2019 for $1199.99 USD.

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Lenovo also announced the Legion Y27gq gaming monitor. This one is a standard 16:9, 1440p, TN panel that can be driven up to 240 Hz. It supports G-Sync, but not HDR. Despite not supporting HDR, it still covers 90% of DCI-P3, which is quite wide for a TN panel. Lenovo is listing it as an “eSport gaming monitor”… so you can probably guess that high refresh rate and G-Sync are the focus.

If you gotta go fast, then the Lenovo Legion Y27gq is available in April 2019 for $999.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

NVIDIA adapts to the market and frees their displays

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, g-sync, freesync, benq, asus, AOC, amd, adaptive sync, acer

G-SYNC is showing some signs of defeat as today NVIDIA announced that several Adaptive Sync monitors have been tested and rated as G-SYNC compatible.  Adaptive Sync is the official VESA technology which is present in AMD's FreeSync monitors and it offers a definitive financial advantage over NVIDIA's G-SYNC as the module required for G-SYNC can add hundreds of dollars to the price.

So far only a dozen monitors out of around 400 tests have been rated as G-SYNC compatible, so don't expect to be mixing your monitors quite yet but it does imply in some cases the extra controller is not required for variable refresh rates with either NVIDIA's or AMD's GPUs.   The results of this test give AMD bragging rights for implementing adaptive sync in the most attractive way but this change could hurt GPU sales as users can now opt for an GeForce card paired with a FreeSync display.

Even if your display is not listed in those models, you can try enabling adaptive sync over DisplayPort and see if it works, though your results may vary. Ars Technica lists the models here.

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"Besides being unexpected good news for gamers who already own one of these FreeSync monitors, this is also great news for gamers that want to add VRR to their Nvidia graphics card setup without breaking the bank."

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Source: Ars Technica

AMD Launches 2nd Gen 15W and 35W Ryzen 3000 Mobile Processors with Vega Graphics

Subject: Processors | January 6, 2019 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: Zen+, vega APU, ryzen mobile, ces2019, athlon, amd

AMD today officially announced its lineup of 2nd generation Ryzen mobile processors, designated Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors. Unlike AMD’s expected 3000-series desktop launch, which will be based on Zen 2, these new mobile variants stick with AMD’s 12nm Zen+ architecture.

Each 15- or 35-watt model features Vega graphics and core/thread counts ranging from 2 cores/4 threads to 4 cores/8 threads. AMD is touting improvements in battery life and overall performance, claiming that the top-end 15-watt part can best the Intel i7-8550U by up to 29 percent in media editing, while the mid-tier 15-watt Ryzen 5 3500U beats its Intel counterpart, the i5-8250U, by up to 14 percent in website loading speed.

Model Cores/Threads TDP Boost/Base Freq. Graphics GPU Cores Max GPU Freq.
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 4/8 35W 4.0/2.3GHz Vega 10 1400MHz
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 4/8 15W 4.0/2.3GHz Vega 10 14000MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 4/8 35W 3.7/2.1GHz Vega 8 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 4/8 15W 3.7/2.1GHz Vega 8 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 3 3300U 4/4 15W 3.5/2.1GHz Vega 5 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U 2/4 15W 3.5/2.6GHz Vega 3 1200MHz
AMD Athlon 300U 2/4 15W 3.3/2.4GHz Vega 3 1000MHz
AMD A6-9220C 2/2 6W 2.7/1.8GHz R5 3 cores
192 shaders
720MHz
AMD A4-9120C 2/2 6W 2.4/1.6GHz R4 3 cores
192 shaders
600MHz

The initial batch of laptops featuring Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors will be available in the first quarter from partners Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, and Samsung, with additional product launches coming later in the year.

In addition to its flagship Ryzen mobile lineup, AMD is launching a Zen-based Athlon mobile processor, the Athlon 300U, to target entry-level price points. The company has also announced two new 6-watt A-Series chips aimed at the Chromebook market.

Finally, on the software side, AMD announced that starting this quarter, it will provide Radeon Adrenalin driver support to any laptop with a Ryzen processor and integrated Radeon graphics. This will simplify the driver situation for both consumers and manufacturers, as well as give AMD the ability to directly update gamers’ devices for the latest features and game optimizations.

With AMD getting its arguably less-exciting mobile announcements “out of the way” to start CES, this paves the way for the company to make its big desktop-focused announcements during Dr. Lisa Su’s CES keynote on Wednesday.

Source: AMD

MSI's holiday miracle, you can now overclock the Athlon 200GE

Subject: Processors | December 26, 2018 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: overclock, 200GE, amd, msi, b350, b450, AM4

If you happen to have an MSI B450 or B350 motherboard, get out there and grab the latest UEFI BIOS which updates support for AGESA version 1.0.0.6 as it may be pulled soon.  The reason it may not last is because it will let you overclock your Athlon 200GE processor, something which is generally impossible to pull off.  TechSpot tried it out successfully on a variety of MSI boards, such as the Gaming Pro Carbon AC and managed to bump the $55 processor from 3.2GHz to 3.8GHz.  You won't see a huge increase in performance, though you will see some and it makes for an interesting experiment.

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"In an unexpected turn of events, it's now possible to overclock the otherwise-locked $55 Athlon 200GE processor. In what appears to be a slip up by MSI, the component maker has enabled Athlon overclocking with their latest BIOS release across its entire AM4 motherboard lineup."

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Source: TechSpot

AMD Announces Availability of Athlon Processors With Vega Graphics APUs

Subject: Processors | December 22, 2018 - 12:02 AM |
Tagged: Zen, ryzen, rx vega, athlon, APU, amd, 240GE, 220GE

Today AMD announced the availability of its budget Zen-based Athlon Processor with Vega Graphics APUs and released details about the Athlon 220GE and Athlon 240GE APUs that complement the Athlon 200GE it talked about back in September.

AMD Athlon Processor With Radeon Vega Graphics_APU.png

These Athlon 200-series processors are aimed at the budget and mainstream markets to fill the need for a basic processor for everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, checking email, and doing homework. The APUs utilize a 14nm manufacturing process and pair Zen CPU cores with a Vega-based GPU in a 35 watt power envelope, and are aimed at desktops utilizing the AM4 socket.

The Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE are all dual core, 4-thread processors with 4MB L3 cache and GPUs with 3 compute units (192 cores) clocked at 1 GHz. They all support dual channel DDR4 2667 MHz memory and have 35W TDPs. Where the Athlon APUs differ is in CPU clockspeeds with the higher numbered models having slightly higher base clock speeds.

APU Model Athlon 200GE Athlon 220GE Athlon 240GE
Cores/Threads 2 / 4 2 / 4 2 / 4
Base Freq 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.5 GHz
Graphics CUs 3 3 3
Graphics Freq 1 GHz 1 GHz 1 GHz
L3 Cache 4MB 4MB 4MB
TDP 35W 35W 35W
Pricing (SEP) $55 $65 $75

The Athlon 200GE starts at 3.2 GHz for $54.98 with an additional $10 buying you the 3.4 GHz 220GE and another $10 premium buying the $74.98 Athlon 240GE's 3.5 GHz CPU clocks. The Athlon 220GE seems to be the best value in that respect, because the extra $10 buys you an extra 200 MHz and the jump to the 240GE only gets an extra 100 MHz for the same extra cost. (Keep in mind that these chips are not unlocked.) Then again, if you are on a tight budget where every dollar counts, the 200GE may be what you end up going with so that you can buy better RAM or more storage.

The new chips are available now but it seems retailers aren't quite ready with their listings as while the 200GE is up for sale at Amazon, the 220GE and 240GE are not yet listed online at the time of writing.

The Athlon 200GE-series APUs introduce a new lower-end option that sits below Ryzen 3 at a lower price point for basic desktops doing typical office or home entertainment duties. With a 35W TDP they might also be useful in fanless home theater PCs and game streaming endpoints for gaming on the big screen.

I am also curious whether these chips will be used for by the DIY and enthusiast community as the base for budget (gaming) builds and if they might see the same popularity as the Athlon X4 860K (note: no built-in graphics). I would be interested in the comparison between the 4c/4t 860K ($57) and the 2c/4t 200GE ($55) to see how they stack up with the newer process node and core design. On the other hand, enthusiasts may well be better served with the overclockable Ryzen 3 2200G ($97) if they want a budget Zen-based part that also has its own GPU.

What are your thoughts on the new Athlon APUs?

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Source: AMD