Sony Shares Next-Gen PlayStation Details: AMD Zen2 and Navi, Ultra-Fast SSD

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: Zen2, sony, PS5, playstation 5, navi, gaming, console, amd

Sony's lead system architect Mark Cerny has shared some high-level details of the next PlayStation (only referred to as "the next-gen console" in the interview) with Wired.com, confirming that it will indeed make use of the upcoming 7nm Zen2 CPU architecture from AMD, as well as Radeon Navi GPU cores in its custom chip.

Quoting from the Wired article:

"The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments."

As if to alleviate any doubt as to the AMD architecture involved, company CEO Lisa Su took to Twitter to promote AMD's partnership with Sony, and the Wired article:

And this upcoming PlayStation won't be just offer a faster SoC with the latest generation of AMD CPU and GPU architecture, as SSD storage will be standard - and not just any SSD, apparently (quoting the Wired article again):

"At the moment, Sony won’t cop to exact details about the SSD—who makes it, whether it utilizes the new PCIe 4.0 standard—but Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs. That’s not all. “The raw read speed is important,“ Cerny says, “but so are the details of the I/O [input-output] mechanisms and the software stack that we put on top of them. I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and then I put in a SSD that cost as much as the PlayStation 4 Pro—it might be one-third faster." As opposed to 19 times faster for the next-gen console, judging from the fast-travel demo."

Check out the full article at Wired.com for more of the interview with Cerny on the next Sony console.

Source: Wired

The year is 2019A(M)D and great changes are afoot

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2019 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: amd, Zen 2, x570, rome, navi, 7nm

This promises to be an interesting year for Intel and AMD, perhaps more so for the latter according to the information DigiTimes have put together.  We still expect Zen 2 and the X570 chipset to be shown off at Computex 2019, for Rome to rise a few months later and Navi to pop up some time in Q3; all on a process Intel has yet to hit. 

Intel's chip shortages have led to HP and Lenovo placing large orders of mobile CPUs from AMD for the first time in quite a while and ASUS is now using them in some lines of gaming laptops. You will also find AMD powered Chromebooks from Acer and HP available for purchase.  In the server room, EPYC has taken AMD's market share from 1% Q4 2017 to 3.2% in Q4 2018, with more gains expected in the Q1 2019, which just wrapped up. 

The inclusion of PCIe 4.0 on the X570 chipset has attracted motherboard manufacturers and they have increased their orders from AMD, who developed the chipset in house.  DigiTimes expects ASMedia to start producing some of the lower cost PCIe 4.0 versions by the end of the year with a chance they will immediately release mainstream X570s with the current generation of PCIe. 

Dr. Lisa Su's pre-Computex press conference on May 27 is bound to be very interesting.

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"A ramp-up in CPU and GPU shipments for notebooks, motherboards and servers will buoy significantly AMD's sales performance in the second half of 2019, according to sources at PC makers."

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Source: DigiTimes

Report: AMD's Upcoming Navi GPUs Launching in August

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2019 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: report, rumor, wccftech, amd, navi, gpu, graphics, video card, 7nm, radeon

Could Navi be coming a bit sooner than we expected? I'll quote directly from the sourced report by Usman Pirzada over at WCCFtech:

"I have been told that AMD’s Navi GPU is at least one whole month behind AMD’s 7nm Ryzen launch, so if the company launches the 3000 series desktop processors at Computex like they are planning to, you should not expect the Navi GPU to land before early August. The most likely candidates for launch during this window are Gamescom and Siggraph. I would personally lean towards Gamescom simply because it is a gaming product and is the more likely candidate but anything can happen with AMD!

Some rumors previously had suggested an October launch, but as of now, AMD is telling its partners to expect the launch exactly a month after the Ryzen 7nm launch."

AMD GPU Roadmap.png

Paying particular attention to the second paragraph from the quote above, if this report is coming from board partners we will probably start seeing leaked box art and all the fixings from VideoCardz as August nears - if indeed July is the release month for the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs (and come on, how could they pass on a 7/7 launch for the 7nm CPUs?).

Source: Wccftech

AMD's new 66AF:F1 GPU, a model number inspired by the USB-IF?

Subject: General Tech | March 13, 2019 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: navi, amd, leak, AMD 66AF:F1

It's not the leak that many were hoping for, regardless it is still a peek at what Navi may offer when released.  The Inquirer spotted a mysterious AMD 66AF:F1 GPU attached to some Compubench compute results that could be a Navi GPU.  If that is indeed what it is then the new GPU will offer mid-range performance, as opposed to competing against NVIDIA's current family of high end cards.  It is rather telling that the Bitcoin Mining benchmark was not run, as we have seen in recent financial reports that bubble has pretty much burst.

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"In leaked benchmarks on CompuBench, the compute performance of the mysterious GPU suggested that it lags a little behind the Vega 56 and is more on par with the Radeon RX 580."

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Source: The Inquirer

I see rumours of red and rumours of green ...

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2019 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: tu116, ryzen 3, rumours, nvidia, navi, msi, GTX 1660 TI Gaming X, gtx 1660 ti, amd

If you blinked you would have missed a certain unboxing video, as it was posted before the NDA on the GTX 1660 Ti expired.  However, a few sites managed to get some screengrabs before the video was taken down, so we now know a bit more about the card once thought to be mythical. 

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Image from PC World Bulgaria via [H]ard|OCP

Specifically, it was an MSI GeForce GTX 1660 TI Gaming X that was revealed to the world and while there were no benchmarks, there now seems to be physical proof that this card exists.  It sports a single 8pin PCIe power connector, three DisplayPort 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0b outputs and not a bit of RTX branding.  Instead it contains 1,536 Turing Shaders and a 12 nm process "TU116" chip hidden under the Twin Frozr 7 cooler.  The outputs tell us this particular card is not compatible with VirtualLink. 

Drop by [H]ard|OCP for links as well as possible pricing and ETA.

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For AMD fans, The Inquirer is reporting that 7nm Ryzen 3 desktop CPUs and Navi GPUs should be announced on 7 July at Computex.  We should also see the new X570 chipset, though the rumour is that the current generation of motherboards will support the new Ryzen series with a BIOS update.  Sadly, Navi is likely to only be announced as it is likely the release will be delayed until October, though like everything else in this post that is purely speculation based on a variety of sources and may not be accurate.

One thing we do know is that the new flagship Ryzen 9 3800X will have two eight core Zen 2 dies, offering a total of 16 cores and 32 threads. The base clock should be 3.9GHz with a top speed of 4.7GHZ, and a TDP of 125W.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rumor: AMD Launching 7nm Ryzen 3000, X500 Motherboards, and Navi GPUs on July 7th

Subject: Processors | February 19, 2019 - 02:57 PM |
Tagged: Zen 2, x570, X500, Ryzen 3000, navi, matisse, amd, 7nm

Spotted by HardOCP, Paul from Red Gaming Tech recently shared leaked information from a source with a reputation of being reliable (from past leaks about 7nm GPUs) who claims that AMD will be announcing a plethora of products at Computex in June to setup for the launch of Zen 2-based 7nm "Matisse" Ryzen 3000 desktop processors, X500 series chipset-based motherboards, and 7nm Navi-based consumer gaming graphics cards on July 7th (The 7th for 7nm I guess).

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Image via AnandTech

As a refresher, Zen 2 is the next major architectural jump for AMD while also pushing a new smaller process node. AMD has not yet revealed all the details about Zen 2 especially about consumer chips, but the new microarchitecture is said to feature tweaks to the front end that along with clockspeed bumps from the TSMC 7nm process will allow them to realize notable IPC and single threaded performance gains. When talking about EPYC 2 "Rome" server processors (Zen 2 based) AMD hinted at changes to branch prediction and pre-fetching as well as increased cache sizes and larger FPUs (256-bit), for example. The move to 7nm allegedly allows AMD to hit similar power envelopes to Zen+ (12nm) Ryzen 2000 series processors while hitting much higher clockspeeds at up to 5.1 GHz boost on their top-end chip. While mobile chips may strike a finer balance between power usage and performance with the move to 7nm, on the desktop AMD is spending nearly all the power savings on performance (which makes sense). Note that it is still not officially official that AMD is using a scaled down EPYC setup with more than one 7nm (TSMC) CPU die and a separate IO die (14nm Global Foundries), [they only teased a chip at CES with an IO die and a single CPU die] but I am of the opinion that that particular rumor makes more sense than otherwise so am inclined to believe this is the case.

AMD Ryzen 3000 7nm CPU and 14nm IO die.png

Ryzen 3000 series processors feature an IO chiplet along with what is rumored to be up to two CPU chiplets (image credit: Tom's Hardware).

From previous leaks, Ryzen 3000 is said to cover all the bases from six core Ryzen 3 3300 series chips to midrange eight core Ryzen 5 and on up to 12 and 16 core Ryzen 9 CPUs that move beyond a single CPU die to two 7nm CPU dies that feature eight cores each. In fact, the top end Ryzen 9 3850X is supposedly a 16 core (32 thread) monster of a desktop chip that has a base frequency of 4.3 GHz and can boost up to 5.1 GHz with a 135W TDP (which when overclocked will likely draw dramatically more like we've seen with both AMD and Intel's top end consumer chips) and price tag of around $520 (400 pounds). The Ryzen 7 3700 and 3700X are 12 core (24 thread) models with TDPs of 95W and 105W respectively with the non-x SKU clocked at 3.8 to 4.6 GHz and the 3700X clocked at 4.2 GHz base and 5 GHz boost. The Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X are the top end single CPU die models (though a 2x single CCX per die chips might be a reality depending on yields) at eight cores and 16 threads. The Ryzen 3 3300 series parts represent the low end which is now interestingly six cores (oh how times have changed!). Perhaps most interesting of the leaked chips are the Ryzen 5 3600G (~$207) and the Ryzen 3 3300G (~$130) though which feature Navi 12 integrated graphics (presumably these processors combine one 7nm CPU die, one 7nm GPU die, and one 14nm IO die) with 15 and 20 CUs respectively.

As for motherboards, in general the new chips will use the AM4 socket and will be compatible with older 300 and 400 series motherboards with a BIOS update though the top end chips may well necessitate a new X570 or other X500 series motherboard with better power delivery especially for enthusiasts planning to attempt stable overclocks.

Unfortunately, on Navi details are still a bit scarce but the new architecture should bring performance enhancements even beyond Radeon VII (Vega on 7nm). Allegedly due to issues with TSMC, Red Gaming Tech's source believes that Navi might be delayed or pushed back beyond the planned mid-summer release date, but we will have to wait and see. As TSMC ramps up its partial EUV enhanced 7nm node it may free up needed production line space of the current 7nm node for AMD (to fight with others over heh) to meet its intended deadline but we will just have to wait and see!

Take these rumors with a grain of salt as usual but it certainly sounds like it is hoing to be an exciting summer for PC hardware! Hopefully more details about Ryzen 3000 and Navi emerge before then though as that's quite a while yet to wait. Of course, Zen 2 APUs are not coming until at least next year and AMD is still not talking Zen 2 Threadripper which may not see release until the fall at the very earliest. I am very interested to see how AMDs chiplet based design fares and how well they are able to scale it across their product stack(s) as well as what Intel's response will be as it presses on with a fine tuned 14nm++ and a less ambitious 10nm node.

Related reading:

Rumor: AMD Gonzalo APU for Next-Gen Game Consoles Leaks

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2019 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: Playstation, Navi 10 Lite, navi, leak, Gonzalo, APU, amd, PS5, rumor, xbox, Zen 2, Zen+

What's in a name? Depending on how much you read into it, quite a bit, depending on what you infer from product code 2G16002CE8JA2_32/10/10_13E9. There are some very interesting rumours floating around the net today which suggest AMD might have another big win on their hands.  They provided much of the hardware for the release of the two major consoles way back in 2013 and there have been recent statements they will be inside the next generation of XBox.  Now that NVIDIA is working on supporting Active Sync that benefit is a little less clear in the long term but at least for now they are a little late to the game.

TUM_APISAK_APU_Image.jpg

Image credit: Twitter user @TUM_APISAK

The image, from from a source that has a rather impressive track record, demonstrates the decoding process - and pay close attention to the letter "G", the second character in the string, which presumably indicates that this intended for a game console. The source also suggests that this new chip will be a Zen 2 and Navi based APU called Gonzolo, with eight cores clocking between 1GHz to 3.2GHz with 4MB of L2 cache and 16 MB of L3 cache.  There is less information on the "Navi 10 Lite" GPU, apart from a belief that it's core will be running at a frequency of at least 1GHz.

TWITTER_APU_IMAGE.PNG

Image via Twitter user @KOMACHI_ENSAKA

This is great news for AMD, who have been enjoying the royalties from the sales of consoles and could use the fresh injection of cash as gamers upgrade once the consoles launch.

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Source: The Inquirer

A break from your regular Intel briefing

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2018 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: RTX 2060, nvidia, navi, amd

The majority of today's news will cover Intel's wide range of announcements from their architecture day, with new Optane DIMMs seeking to reduce latency to come close to matching that of DRAM to Foveros chiplets and hints of coming in off the Lake to spend some time in a Sunny Cove.  Indeed there are more links below the fold offering more coverage as yesterdays announcements  were very dense.

That might overshadow a rumour which dedicated discrete GPUs lovers would be interested in, the fact that NVIDIA might be able to get the RTX 2060 to market before AMD can launch a Navi based card.  The Inquirer has seen rumours that NVIDIA might be able to release the card in the first half of 2019, while the 7nm Navi isn't expected until the second half of year.  The early supply of mid-range NVIDIA GPUs might attract buyers who no longer want to wait; though depending on how Navi performs they could come to regret that lack of patience. 

IMG_0401.JPG

"GRAPHICS CARDS IN 2019 are set to get a good bit more interesting, as a leak suggests that Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 could reach the market before AMD's next-gen Navi Radeon cards."

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Source: The Inquirer

Navi may be closer than we thought

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2018 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: navi, amd, rumour, 7nm

The rumours about AMD's new 7nm Navi GPU are continuing to spread, this time via The Inquirer.  They have heard tell that the chips are currently being tested, which is good news for both AMD and consumers.  We know that new Vega cards will be arriving in the near future but as of now we don't know as much about the release of Navi.  If they are currently testing the silicon that could imply some sort of release next year, perhaps not a full lineup but quite possibly something we can take a peek at and see how it stacks up to Turing.  Lets hope it is sooner rather than later. 

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"Touted to be the next graphics accelerators to take the fight to Nvidia with its Turing-based GeForce RTX graphics cards, Navi is set to use a 7nm process which promises to get more power out of GPU silicon."

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Source: The Inquirer

CES 2019 - Lisa Su and a GPU too

Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2018 - 12:31 PM |
Tagged: ces 2019, lisa su, amd, navi

It honestly feels far too soon to be typing the letters CES in sequence, but the show is not that far away anymore and there is some news worth sharing.  Yesterday it was revealed that AMD's CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, will be the keynote speaker at CES.  This has lead to rumours that during her speech she will reveal Navi, AMD's next generation GPU.  This was later confirmed, so we will be seeing at least some information about AMD's 7nm GPU, with or without ray tracing, during her keynote and at the AMD booth.  With NVIDIA's successful launch of some rather expensive GPUs, some of which are even available, we can hope that AMD's new GPUs give them a run for the money; in one way or another.

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"The GPU outfit announced that its CEO, Dr Lisa Su, will deliver a keynote address at next year's CES and spill the beans on the new chips and GPUs. Yes, it's an announcement of an announcement."

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Source: The Inquirer