The continuing shortage of high end Intel CPUs for servers has been good for AMD, or at least it could be if they could get the major vendors to help sell them. While a local shop or small business might have had a bad experience years ago which has resolved them never to use another AMD products, large scale hosts like CTL or Amazon are not going to be limited by prejudice which has an effect on their bottom line.
What better way to demonstrate the abilities of an AMD EPYC system to someone than to build one and roll it out into production? Phoronix have done just that, using ASRock's EPYCD8-2T board so they could test the performance on eight different Linux distros. Check out the results for yourself and think about the possiblity of an upgrade, before you can get your hands on that Xeon.
"If you are looking to assemble an AMD EPYC workstation, a great ATX motherboard up for the task is the ASRock Rack EPYCD8-2T that accommodates a single EPYC processor, eight SATA 3.0 ports (including SAS HD), dual M.2 PCIe slots, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports,and four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots all within ATX's 12 x 9.6-inch footprint."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Corsair ONE i160 Compact Gaming PC @ TechPowerUp
- Guru3D Winter 2019 PC Buyers Guide
- The Corsair One i140 is a nearly perfect SFF PC, but that price... @ The Tech Report
Subject: Editorial | January 30, 2019 - 09:19 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, RX, quarterly earnings, Q4, Intel, EPYC, amd, 7 nm, 2018, 10 nm
Today AMD announced their earnings for Q4 as well as the annual results of 2018. The company had revenue of $6.48 B and a net income of $337 M. This is a pretty significant improvement from 2017 with revenues of $5.25 B and a net loss of $33 M. While Intel’s quarter and annual earnings dwarf what AMD has done, the company has improved its position financially. AMD’s guidance from Q3 earnings indicated that revenue would be down for Q4 as compared to the previous quarter, and results matched those expectations. Q4 revenue came in at $1.42 B with a net income of $38 M. This fell within the range of $1.4 to $1.5 that AMD was expecting. This is compared to the relatively strong Q3 which had revenues of $1.65 B and a net of $102 M.
Annually this is probably the best overall year since 2011 for AMD. The company looks to be running quite lean and has shown that it can achieve profits even in down quarters. It also helps that AMD has been able to get much better terms from GLOBALFOUNDRIES and has successfully amended their wafer agreement so that AMD can pursue manufacturing products at other foundries at 7nm without penalty or royalty payments to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. While GF’s sub 10nm development is now shuttered, the company will still be producing 12/14nm products which will include the upcoming I/O chiplets for use with the next generation Ryzen series as well as EPYC 2. The amended agreement sets purchase targets through 2021, but the agreement itself lasts through 2024.
The primary revenue driver for the company is of course the CPU and GPU markets. Ryzen has continued to provide strong numbers for AMD and has lead to greater numbers shipped as well as higher ASPs. Years of Bulldozer based parts eroded ASPs to nearly unsustainable numbers, but the introduction of Ryzen nearly two years ago has strengthened the foundation of the company and their revenue stream. AMD has reported no inventory issues with either leftover stock of the first generation Ryzen parts or the latest Ryzen 2000 series. There is some fluidity here as EPYC processors utilize the same dies (though more heavily binned) as well as the HEDT Threadripper CPUs that have become popular in workstation applications. Multiple products at a pretty extreme price range utilizing the same basic die is a pretty good way to avoid excess inventory issues, but it is a little scary if demand picks up in one of those areas and there are not enough chips to supply these multiple product lines.
GPUs are not in as good of shape as CPUs. The crypto boom was good for the GPU market, but as soon as that dropped then AMD was left with quite a bit of inventory and a much lower demand. This is partially offset by increases in sales of datacenter GPUs, but AMD looks to be trying to get of as much of this inventory before large scale production of Navi based parts goes into full swing. Current Polaris based parts are competitive for their price points and users can expect a very solid product for the market ranges they represent.
Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2019 - 02:50 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: Ryzen 3000, radeon vii, lisa su, interview, EPYC, amd
German site PC Games Hardware today posted an interview with AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su. The interview was conducted as part of a roundtable discussion following her CES keynote last week.
Dr. Su addresses questions about the current and future role for Vega for both professionals and consumers, the outlook for Ryzen 3000 and EPYC, ray tracing and FreeSync, AMD’s 2019 product roadmap, and the future of chip design.
Check out the interview over at YouTube or via the player embedded above.
Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2018 - 01:54 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Zen 2, xeon, Vega, rome, radeon instinct, podcast, MI60, Intel, EPYC, cxl-ap, chiplet, cascade lake, amd, 7nm
PC Perspective Podcast #521 - 11/08/18
Join us this week for discussion on AMD's new Zen 2 architecture, 7nm Vega GPUs, SSD encryption vulnerabilities, and more!
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Hosts: Jim Tanous, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison, and Sebastian Peak
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Program length: 1:42:27
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Subject: Processors | November 7, 2018 - 11:00 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Zen 2, rome, PCI-e 4, Infinity Fabric, EPYC, ddr4, amd, 7nm
In addition to AMD's reveal of 7nm GPUs used in its Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 graphics cards (aimed at machine learning and other HPC acceleration), the company teased a few morsels of information on its 7nm CPUs. Specifically, AMD teased attendees of its New Horizon event with information on its 7nm "Rome" EPYC processors based on the new Zen 2 architecture.
Tom's Hardware spotted the upcoming Epyc processor at AMD's New Horizon event.
The codenamed "Rome" EPYC processors will utilize a MCM design like its EPYC and Threadripper predecessors, but increases the number of CPU dies from four to eight (with each chiplet containing eight cores with two CCXs) and adds a new 14nm I/O die that sits in the center of processor that consolidates memory and I/O channels to help even-out the latency among all the cores of the various dies. This new approach allows each chip to directly access up to eight channels of DDR4 memory (up to 4TB) and will no longer have to send requests to neighboring dies connected to memory which was the case with, for example, Threadripper 2. The I/O die is speculated by TechPowerUp to also be responsible for other I/O duties such as PCI-E 4.0 and the PCH communication duties previously integrated into each die.
"Rome" EPYC processors with up to 64 cores (128 threads) are expected to launch next year with AMD already sampling processors to its biggest enterprise clients. The new Zen 2-based processors should work with existing Naples and future Milan server platforms. EPYC will feature from four to up to eight 7nm Zen 2 dies connected via Infinity Fabric to a 14nm I/O die.
AMD CEO Lisa Su holding up "Rome" EPYC CPU during press conference earlier this year.
The new 7nm Zen 2 CPU dies are much smaller than the dies of previous generation parts (even 12nm Zen+). AMD has not provided full details on the changes it has made with the new Zen 2 architecutre, but it has apparently heavily tweaked the front end operations (branch prediction, pre-fetching) and increased cache sizes as well as doubling the size of the FPUs to 256-bit. The architectural improvements alogn with the die shrink should allow AMD to show off some respectable IPC improvements and I am interested to see details and how Zen 2 will shake out.
Subject: Processors | November 5, 2018 - 02:00 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: xeon e-2100, xeon, MCP, Intel, Infinity Fabric, EPYC, cxl-ap, cascade lake, amd, advanced performance
Ahead of the Supercomputing conference next week, Intel has announced a new market segment for Xeons called Cascade Lake Advanced Platform (CXL-AP). This represents a new, higher core count option in the Xeon Scalable family, which currently tops out at 28 cores.
Through the use of a multi-chip package (MCP), Intel will now be able to offer up to 48-cores, with 12 DDR4 memory channels per socket. Cascade Lake AP is being targeted at dual socket systems bringing the total core count up to 96-cores.
Intel's Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI), introduced in Skylake-EP for multi-socket communication, is used to connect both the MCP packages on a single processor together, as well as the two processors in a 2S configuration.
Given the relative amount of shade that Intel has thrown towards AMD's multi-die design with Epyc, calling it "glued-together," this move to an MCP for a high-end Xeon offering will garner some attention.
When asked about this, Intel says that the issues they previously pointed out with aren't inherently because it's a multi-die design, but rather the quality of the interconnect. By utilizing UPI for the interconnect, Intel claims their MCP design will provide performance consistency not found in other solutions. They were also quick to point out that this is not their first Xeon design utilizing multiple packages.
Intel provided some performance claims against the current 32-core Epyc 7601, of up to 3.4X greater performance in Linpack, and up to 1.3x in Stream Triad.
As usual, whether or not these claims are validated will come down to external testing when people have these new Cascade Lake AP processors in-hand, which is set to be in the first half of 2019.
More details on the entire Cascade Lake family, including Cascade Lake AP, are set to come at next week's Supercomputing conference, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!
Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: amd, quarterly results, Q3 2018, ryzen, EPYC, Polaris, Vega, 7nm, 12nm, Intel, nvidia
This evening AMD announced their Q3 2018 results. Things were at the lower end of the guidance scale from last quarter, but the company still had some solid results. Q3 revenue was $1.65B as compared to Q3 2017’s $1.58B. It is down from the previous quarter’s high of $1.76B. At first glance this seems troubling, but the results are not as negative as one would assume. GAAP net income was a healthy $102M. Q3 2017 was at $61M while Q2 2018 was up at $116M. Profits did not fall nearly as much as one would expect with a decrease of $110M revenue quarter over quarter.
Probably the largest factor of the decrease was the negligible sales of GPUs to the crypto market. AMD had expected such a dropoff and warned about it in their Q2 guidance. That particular drop off was sudden and dramatic. AMD looks to continue to lose marketshare in add-in graphics due to their less competitive offerings across the spectrum. GeForce RTX sales of course did not impact AMD this previous quarter, but with no new AMD offerings on the horizon users look to have been waiting to see exactly what NVIDIA would release.
Ryzen sales have been steady and strong, making up some of the shortfall from the graphics market. Desktop chips are moving briskly for the company and continues to be a strong seller historically for the company. AMD is also starting to move more mobile processors, but it seems that the majority of parts are still desktop based. AMD looks to continue moving older inventory with aggressive pricing on those and manufacturing of the new 2000 series parts has been relatively smooth sailing for the company.
Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a strong quarter, but with less growth as some analysts had been hoping for. Semi-Custom was weaker this quarter, but IP revenue is up. Console chips are weaker at the moment due to the platforms being relatively mature and not exhibiting the sales of the previous two holiday seasons. To further offset the decrease in Semi-Custom, AMD is reporting that the enterprise products (GPU and EPYC) have seen good growth. Overall this division was down 5% from Q3 2017, but up 7% from the previous quarter.
Perhaps the most interesting figure of this is Gross Margins. AMD was able to improve margins from 36% to 40%. This 4% increase quarter on quarter is a significant jump for the company. This means that AMD continues to keep costs under control for the company and is able to deliver product more efficiently than in the year before. It is still a far cry from Intel and NVIDIA, which typically have magins between 55% to 65%. AMD has a long ways to go before reaching that kind of level. Part of the margin offset was again due to IP licensing. If IP licensing was removed then we would see 38% margins rather than 40%.
So what are the overall lessons of the past quarter? EPYC sales are not as brisk as analysts had hoped for, but they are also not non-existent. It has shown solid growth for the company and has offset shortfalls in other areas of the company. Their IP and Semi-Custom areas are still very solid, even though AMD does suffer from console lifecycles and downturns. GPUs continue to sell, but not nearly at the rate they were due to the crypto market. Their Polaris based options are well suited to compete in the sub-$300 US market. The Vega based products were finally down to MSRP, but they had a harder time going against the mature and well liked GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 products. This will be further compounded with the introduction of the RTX products in those price ranges.
Ryzen continues to be a very good seller across the board. I had hoped that AMD would break down numbers between Ryzen CPUs and APUs, but I have not seen numbers that hint at what ratio they sell at. In retail the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs look to be some of the most popular products based on price/performance. However, retail is only a small portion of processor sales and Intel still holds the vast majority of marketshare here. AMD is competing, but they have not taken significant chunks from their competition over the past year. They have done enough to achieve several positive quarters in a row, but this is not the slam dunk that the original Athlon 64 was back in 2003/2004.
AMD expects further weakness in their results next quarter. Guidance is for revenue around $1.45B, plus or minus $50M. This is still higher than Q4 2017 results, but it is a significant drop from Q3 results. AMD expects strong Ryzen, EPYC, and datacenter GPU growth during this time. It is expected that consumer GPU and Semi-Custom will continue to drop. There does look to be a 7nm GPU introduction this next quarter, but it is probably the long rumored Vega refresh that will be aimed directly at datacenter rather than consumer.
2018 has so far been a year of solid growth and execution for AMD on the CPU side. Their GPU side has suffered a bit of a slide, but this is to be expected by how much belt-tightening AMD has done in the past several years to get their CPU architecture back on track. The lion’s share of development resources was shunted off to the CPU side while the GPU side had to fight for scraps. I believe this is no longer the case, but when development takes years for new GPUs the injection of new resources will not become apparent for a while.
2019 continues to look better for AMD as they are expecting an early release of 7nm EPYC parts which should compete very well with Intel’s 14nm based Xeon products. AMD is expecting a significant uptick in sales due to the thermals, pricing, and performance of these new Zen 2 based parts. The company also continues to point to the end of 1H for introduction of 7nm Ryzen parts based on Zen 2. These will be showing up quite a few months before Intel’s 10nm offerings will be available. Rumors have it that the new Zen 2 based parts exhibit a significant IPC increase that should make them far more competitive to the best that Intel has on the desktop and mobile markets. Combine these IPC improvements with the 7nm boost in power and clocks for the parts, and AMD could have a very good product on their hands. AMD also is expecting a 1H release of 7nm Navi GPUs which should prove to be more competitive with current NVIDIA products that rely on 16nm and 12nm process nodes from TSMC.
While Q3 was a drop in revenue for the company, their current cost structure has still allowed them to make a tidy profit. The company continues to move forward with new products and new developments.
Subject: General Tech | September 24, 2018 - 02:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, hoe, amd, EPYC
According to DigiTimes, HP is now recommending it's AMD based servers to customers in preference of Intel chips. The official word is that this is to ensure any shortages of new Intel silicon will not have any effect on their customers. There is another point which could be behind this; Dell recently eclipsed HPE as the largest global server brand so HPE may be trying to recover that title by reducing the cost of their servers. HPE has already demonstrated a willingness to move away from Intel based systsem as they are currently designing an ARM based supercomputer for the US Department of Energy, called Astra.
Either way this is good news for AMD.
"HP Enterprise (HPE) has recently been said to have recommended its partners adopt its server products using AMD's platforms to avoid the impact of Intel processor shortages. But Digitimes sources from the upstream supply chain have indicated that no other server players have seen issues with supply of Intel's server processors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Virus screener goes down, Intel patches more chips, Pegasus government spying code spreads across globe @ The Register
- Researchers Create 'Spray-On' 2D Antennas @ Slashdot
- macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review
- Chrome 69 secretly logs you in to Chrome Sync when you visit a Google site @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft Launches Office 2019 For Windows and Mac @ Slashdot
- HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit @ The Register
- The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is Too Damn High! @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2018 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, EPYC, Intel, market share, server
AMD is continuing to see success in the server room, grabbing a bit more market share from Intel this quarter. The estimated revenue was $57.66m in the Q2 2018 whereas Q1 was $36m, as far as actual market share, AMD has increased their slice of the pie by 1.3% versus an increase of 0.5% this time last year. AMD is hopeful they can reach 5% by the end of the year; The Register notes that 2.1% or so would be more in line with the current trend. Regardless this is great news for AMD and indicates the attractiveness of EPYC for those companies looking for server upgrades.
"Aaron Rakers, senior analyst at Wells Fargo, has seen the second 2018 quarter numbers. He told The Register: "Intel's server CPU share is estimated to have dec lined to 98.7 per cent vs 99 per cent in the prior period and 99.5 per cent a year ago."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs revealed @ The Tech Report
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX & 2950X Unboxing @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD unveils 'record breaking' Threadripper 2 CPUs with sights set on Intel @ The Inquirer
- Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX (specs and unboxing) @ Guru of 3D
- Microsoft U-turn sees Skype Classic given a reprieve (for the moment) @ The Inquirer
- Palm-branded Smartphones Could Return This Year @ Slashdot
- NAND we'll send foreign tech packing, says China of Xtacking: DRAM-speed... but light on layer-stacking @ The Register
- Don’t touch that link: Machine learning and the war on phishing @ Ars Technica
- TSMC chip fab tools hit by virus, payment biz BGP hijacked, CCleaner gets weird – and more @ The Register
- TSMC says variant of WannaCry forced factory shutdown @ The Inquirer
- 12 Windows Clipboard Managers Tested @ Techspot
- Divoom Timebox Smart Music Clock Review @ NikKTech
- 60,000 board gamers, one convention hall: Gen Con 2018 in picture @ Ars Technica
- NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Router @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Editorial | July 25, 2018 - 09:47 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, Q2 2018, Polaris, Intel, EPYC, amd, 7nm, 12nm
Today AMD has released their Q2 results for 2018 and they have fallen in line with previous estimates. The company reported revenue of $1.76B, up $110M from last quarter’s $1.65B. Their net income is $116M which is again up significantly from last quarter’s $81M. These results dwarf Q2 2017’s $1.15B in revenue and a loss of $42M. AMD has shown steady and solid growth since the release of the Ryzen processors and their continuing evolution of the RX series of graphics cards.
The computing group which includes CPUs and GPUs showed a small drop in revenue due to multiple factors. CPU ASPs are steadily dropping for AMD since the original introduction of the Ryzen processors. The top end R7 1800X was introduced at $499 and has slowly dropped in price as the year wore on. This year AMD released the successor to the 1800X in the R7 2700X, but it was released at a $329 price point. We can see that the pricing mix of these CPUs is not as rich as they were on Ryzen’s initial release. The play here seems to be AMD improving efficiency of production as well as a willingness to sacrifice ASPs to gain any kind of marketshare.
GPUs have suffered as well due to the drop off in mining based purchases due to cryptocurrency dropping in value as well as the continued introduction of specialized ASICs performing better in those particular workloads. AMD claims a fairly palatable drop of only around 4% in sales due to the decrease in mining demand. It is likely that partners are feeling more of a pinch in this instance as the selling prices of these cards are finally reaching introductory MSRP levels as well as seeing reasonable availability. We do not know the specifics of AMD’s GPU sales to partners, but it seems like that price has been stable since introduction with the partners and resellers profiting to a greater degree than AMD.
The bright spot for this quarter was that of Enterprise and Semi-Custom. AMD switched around accounting on how it handles Semi-Custom so that accounted for some of the positive gains this quarter saw. AMD also started its collaboration with the Chinese for their own version of a Zen CPU. AMD continues to provide console makers with SoCs in two of the three major product lines out there. AMD is also likely currently contracted by both Sony and Microsoft for the next generation of consoles which will be released in the next two years, though none of the parties involved in such speculation has verified that information. I have a hard time considering that both Sony and Microsoft would abandon what has been a very beneficial partnership to create cutting edge products for their marketplace.
The Enterprise group has also seen sales increase on the EPYC processors. EPYC was released last year, but it was not until this year that actual sales occured. While AMD did not provide specific numbers or guidance here, reading between the lines it looks as if EPYC is starting to gain traction and is shipping in more significant numbers. AMD was very careful in talking about this, as EPYC still has a long ways to go before it can claim to have gained significant marketshare. Lisa Su mentioned earlier that the real ramp for EPYC should occur in 2H 2018. This makes quite a bit of sense as the hardware and software environment for enterprise level products is tremendously different from when AMD was last competitive there. Validation of parts and platforms takes more time, and there are more complex software components involved that have to be updated to work effectively and efficiently on the new Zen architecture and EPYC chips. In the year since EPYC was launched a lot of work has been going on in the background by AMD, their hardware partners, and the software vendors to make sure that when EPYC hits volume production that most of the kinks will be worked out and it is truly enterprise production ready. This isn’t wishful thinking or excuse making. This is simply how a modern enterprise platform evolves and why product cycles are elongated as compared to what we see on the desktop and mobile spaces.
Guidance for next quarter will be disappointing for some investors and readers. AMD claims it will be flat between Q2 and Q3. This is not entirely surprising. Gaining desktop CPU marketshare has not been a slam dunk for AMD with Ryzen. The product stack has made it competitive with Intel and its offerings, and has in fact provided excellent value in terms of IPC and core count. Ryzen is not an Athlon 64. Ryzen was merely competitive with what Intel currently offers as compared to Athlon 64, which was head and shoulders more advanced than what Intel offered at the time with the Pentium 4. AMD is finding advances in marketshare in both desktop and mobile to be slow, but steady. Each quarter since Ryzen was released and the mobile parts being introduced earlier this year, the results have been trending in a positive direction even though ASPs on desktop parts have dropped (though mobile ASPs have increased).
AMD obviously does not expect big gains this next quarter, and are in fact a little behind the ball when it comes to graphics. NVIDIA is poised to release a new generation of products within the next few months addressing the upper midrange and high end offerings that will erode AMD’s effectiveness with their Vega parts. So while EPYC products will increase in sales, AMD looks like it will be shipping fewer GPUs, at least in the high end. We probably will see Polaris based products have price drops applied to them to keep the meat of the market satisfied with AMD product, but do not expect next generation desktop graphics from AMD until 2019.
This was a productive and solid quarter for AMD. It is hard to argue against that. Their financial house is in far greater order and a solid revenue stream heading towards the company. They are keeping costs under control while aggressively pursuing the markets they have a strong history in. They have continued to leverage their IP with the Semi-Custom group and that provides a steady income from both historical partners and new ones. AMD is not seeing a breakaway quarter or year, but they are building a much more solid foundation and executing on their primary markets while competing effectively with Intel. This is certainly not 2003/2004, but it is a new chapter for AMD as they continue to provide new and interesting products to a market that continues to expand.