Computex 2018: AMD previews 32-core Threadripper CPUs for Q3

Subject: Processors | June 5, 2018 - 11:03 PM |
Tagged: Threadripper, ryzen, amd, 32-core, 12nm

During the keynote address at Computex in Taipei, AMD SVP Jim Anderson was on stage to showcase a preview of the upcoming 2000-series of Threadripper processors for high-end consumer PCs. The Threadripper brand already made waves last year by bringing 16-core and 32-thread designs to the market for the very first time, improving performance for extreme productivity tasks, rendering, development, video, and more.

We knew that the 2000-series was coming this year, based on the 12nm process from GlobalFoundries, just as the Ryzen 2000-series uses, but we have narrowed the availability time frame to Q3 of 2018.

But the big story at the show was that this generation would see a doubling of the maximum core count on Threadripper. Yes, you will be able to buy 32-core and 64-thread AMD Threadripper CPUs later this year!!

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Hot on the heels of the impressive, but dubiously cooled, Intel 28-core demo yesterday, AMD is clearly intent on continuing momentum that is has built throughout 2017. AMD didn’t show us any Cinebench numbers, but my understanding is that the demo provided was completely air cooled. Intel’s…not so much. While impressive to see 28-cores at 5 GHz yesterday, more impressive is a 32-core machine with a system design I would be willing to implement.

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No more details on pricing, performance, or platform were made available during the keynote, but we’ll be asking those questions as the week progresses.

Get ready for 32-cores!!

Source: AMD

June 6, 2018 | 01:41 AM - Posted by James

So they are actually going to be shipping a 4 die processor as a ThreadRipper or are two of those still dummy die? Would it be limited to 4 memory channels? I guess they could route one channel from each die or something, but 32 cores need a lot of memory bandwidth. I was hoping that they made a 12 or 16 core die at 12 nm. It would have made some sense for them to make 12 and 16 core parts at 12 nm as a backup just in case of problems with 7 nm production. It would be very expensive to tape out such a short lived part though. It will be interesting to see what clock speeds they ship at. It will still need to clock relatively slowly with all cores actuve, but they may still be able to do over 4 GHz for a low number of active cores. To run all cores at max clock would probably be something like 400 W, so that isn't going to happen. You could technically do it with a big water cooler; it is 4 separate chips, so it doesn't have the power density that the intel 28 core (single die?) part will have.

June 6, 2018 | 05:46 AM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

Power density is almost the same, as the heat is transferred just from the die surface having 4x100mm² or a 400mm² will gave you the exact same surface (that actually touch the heat spreader) to transfer heat to the cooler.
I'm also worried they routed 2 memory channel from 2 die and let the other 2 access them through its interconnect fabric, a weird layout.

June 6, 2018 | 06:27 AM - Posted by James

There is a difference between 4 x 100 mm² with a centimeter or so of space on each side and 400mm² all in one space. Proximity matters for heat dissipation since the heat transfer is also proportional to the temperature difference. Having the heat generating components farther apart should translate to lower temperatures in the much larger heat sink. The base of a ThreadRipper heat sink is gigantic.

June 6, 2018 | 09:24 AM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

That is true but as I said there won't be much difference, they all interface with same lid and they are just few mm from each others, the temp of the heat spreader will be virtually the same. When applying thermal paste you must cover the area over the die, the rest of the lid give you almost no advantage as the distance the heat must travel to reach the cooler rapidly increase and the thinness of lid doesn't allows to transfer much heat horizontally

June 7, 2018 | 02:20 AM - Posted by James

That isn't the point at all. The lid generally isn't called a heat spreader because it doesn't transfer much heat; the cross sectional area is too small to transfer much heat compared to heat pipes or whatever directly above. As far as I know, the 2 die Epyc parts have the active cores diagonal from each other. They wouldn't even be in contact with the same heat pipes with a heat pipe cooler so they would effectively be very close to two separate systems. There would be very little effect of heat from the other cores through the lid or the heat sink. On the Intel chip, all of the cores are obviously packed together. Proximity will make a difference. It works the same as spacing units apart on a single die to prevent hot spots. With the 4 die part, you would still have 2 sets of cores mostly in contact with separate heat pipes. Regardless of the cooler, the heat will transfer out of distributed sources faster than a concentraited source due to the higher temperature differential. Spacing hot components apart is generally going to be an advantage with most cooling systems.

June 7, 2018 | 04:01 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Jim Anderson told Gordon Mah Ung of PC world (ex Maximum PC writer) that 32 core Threadripper 2 uses all for dies.

June 6, 2018 | 03:51 AM - Posted by Prodeous

The new EPYC CPU's indicate a 64 core CPU's which would further support the 16 core die.

This could also mean that the Ryzen 7 2800x could be 16 core? one can dream.

June 6, 2018 | 05:58 AM - Posted by James

There has been talk of 64 core parts with Zen2 on 7 nm, but I don't know if there is anything about 16 core on 12 nm, which is why I am wondering what this Threadripper part actually is. As far as I know the socket TR4 used with ThreadRipper is only 4 memory channels. That is all that current motherboards will have routed I would think. It looks like most of the boards have 8 memory slots, so I guess it is possible that they are all routed to the socket independently. This would allow them to either combine them into 4 channels, 2 slots each or use 8 channel with a 4 chip device. If sTR4 doesn't support the 32 core ThreadRipper, then motherboard makers will need to release new boards with either a full Epic socket or some variant of it.

I was wondering about the lack of a 2800 part as soon as they launched the 2000 series parts, so I suspected that they may have a 12 and 16 core part planned for release between 2700 release and the Zen 2 3000 series parts on 7 nm. It would be great to have maybe a 12 core 2800 and 16 core 2900 or something like that. I didn't think that they were going to actually do that though. It is very expensive to make the mask sets for so many different die variants. If Intel releases an 8 core mainstream part, then it would obviously be good to have a response to that. Intel could release much higher core count chips rather easily since they already exist as Xeon parts. They really don't want to do that though, since it will eat into their ridiculously high priced Xeon sales, even if they disable features like ECC and such. Hopefully their price gauging will be at an end soon.

June 6, 2018 | 06:02 AM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

Hey Ryan, do you know how the memory channel are arranged in the new 32 core Threadripper?
Also, you can't really pretend to have 28 cores at 5GHz on air, c'mon :)

June 6, 2018 | 06:45 AM - Posted by CS (not verified)

Check tomshardware article about that 28core CPU, Intel really did make use of some exotic cooling solution coupled with exotic power delivery to achieve 5ghz. Also it seems desperate of Intel to try to show off vaporware product just to undermine competition.

June 6, 2018 | 09:04 AM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

It was 5 GHz on all 28 cores, I don't know if you understand the implication of that, 6 coffee lake core at 5GHz consume something around 180W...

June 6, 2018 | 08:59 PM - Posted by CS (not verified)

Watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRH0-QwhvVQ

June 7, 2018 | 01:01 PM - Posted by Stef (not verified)

What's your point? I never said Intel will sell a CPU which boost all 28 core to 5GHz, neither that isn't a marketing move that both Intel and AMD are pursuing as gamernexus state in the video.
What I said instead is that you can't pretend to cool on air a 28 core CPU at 5GHz. This thing probably burn around 1000W at full load (which must dissipated through just a few cm²), it's an insane overclock, like coffee lake at 7GHz or Ryzen at 5GHz on liquid nitrogen

June 7, 2018 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah look at all the power phases on that intel 28 core demo board, it's insane lol.

June 6, 2018 | 07:37 AM - Posted by ipkh

There seems to be some flip flopping on core versus thread in your write up. The slides show 32 core only, 64 Thread.

June 6, 2018 | 11:06 AM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

This is just begging LTT to do another one of those " gamers, 1 pc" videos.

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