from the progress++ dept.
AMD's high Ryzen sales may have convinced the company to release a new version on a slightly improved process in Spring 2018:
AMD has informed its partners that it plans to launch in February 2018 an upgrade version of its Ryzen series processors built using a 12nm low-power (12LP) process at Globalfoundries, according to sources at motherboard makers.
The company will initially release the CPUs codenamed Pinnacle 7, followed by mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018, the sources disclosed. AMD is also expected to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to 30% in the first half of 2018.
AMD will launch the low-power version of Pinnacle processors in April 2018 and the enterprise version Pinnacle Pro in May 2018.
The new "Pinnacle Ridge" chips appear to be part of a Zen 1 refresh rather than "Zen 2", which is expected to ship in 2019 on a 7nm process. The 12nm Leading-Performance (12LP) process was described by GlobalFoundries as providing 15% greater circuit density and a 10% performance increase compared to its 14nm FinFET process.
AMD has yet to release 14nm "Raven Ridge" CPUs for laptops.
AMD Ryzen 7 Launches
Reviews and benchmarks for AMD's Ryzen 7 8-core desktop CPUs flooded out at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST:
Along with the new microarchitecture, Zen is the first CPU from AMD to be launched on GlobalFoundries' 14nm process, which is semi-licenced from Samsung. At a base overview, the process should offer 30% better efficiency over the 28nm HKMG (high-k metal gate) process used at TSMC for previous products. One of the issues facing AMD these past few years has been Intel's prowess in manufacturing, first at 22nm and then at 14nm - both using iterative FinFET generations. This gave an efficiency and die-size deficit to AMD through no real fault of their own: redesigning older Bulldozer-derived products for a smaller process is both difficult and gives a lot of waste, depending on how the microarchitecture as designed. Moving to GloFo' 14nm on FinFET, along with a new microarchitecture designed for this specific node, is one stepping stone to playing the game of high-end CPU performance.
Ryzen 5 chips will be released sometime in "Q2", and are presumed to have 4 to 6 cores with hyperthreading enabled. One of these has been revealed: the Ryzen 5 1600X. It has 6 cores, and equivalent clock (3.6 GHz) and turbo (4.0 GHz) speeds to the $500 8-core flagship Ryzen 7 1800X. Ryzen 3 chips will be released in the second half of the year, and include quad-cores with no hyperthreading.
The Intel Core i7-7700K maintains a lead in single-threaded performance, but the Ryzen 7 chips lead in many multi-threaded benchmarks (sometimes beating the $1089 Intel Core i7-6900K).
Over the past six weeks, AMD's Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 CPUs have been making Intel's life a bit difficult. Chipzilla's standard desktop lineup has been rattled by AMD's new chips, which offer higher core counts and better performance in many workloads for significantly less money. Intel, of course, was never going to take this lying down — and new rumors suggest the company will accelerate the launch of its Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, pulling them forward to a June Computex unveiling as opposed to the original August timeline. Meanwhile, Intel will reportedly launch its Coffee Lake refresh in August of this year rather than waiting until January 2018.
14nm Coffee Lake will include Intel's first "mainstream" 6-core chip.
AMD has launched the Ryzen 3 1300X and Ryzen 3 1200. Both models are quad-core CPUs with only one thread per core, a TDP of 65W, and both come bundled with a "Wraith Stealth" cooler. The 1300X ($129) has the same clocks as the Ryzen 5 1500X ($189), but with no simultaneous multithreading and half of the L3 cache. The Ryzen 3 1200 ($109) has lower clock speeds.
Like all of the Ryzen CPUs released so far, integrated graphics is not included, but both are unlocked processors that can be overclocked.
There are two ways to approach analyzing the competition: configuration and price. For configuration, Ryzen 3 are quad-core CPUs without simultaneous multithreading, which would put them up against the Core i5 CPUs, which range from $182 to $239. Comparing on price, the Ryzen 3 1300X at $129 fits between the Core i3-7100 ($109) and Core i3-7300 ($149).
The conclusion of the AnandTech review does not take into account overclocking, which will be done in a later article. Tom's Hardware reviewed just the Ryzen 3 1300X, overclocking it to 3.9 GHz easily. After the overclock, the 1300X pulls ahead of Intel's Core i3-7100 and i3-7300 in gaming benchmarks.
AMD released Threadripper CPUs in 2017, built on the same 14nm Zen architecture as Ryzen, but with up to 16 cores and 32 threads. Threadripper was widely believed to have pushed Intel to respond with the release of enthusiast-class Skylake-X chips with up to 18 cores. AMD also released Epyc-branded server chips with up to 32 cores.
This week at Computex 2018, Intel showed off a 28-core CPU intended for enthusiasts and high end desktop users. While the part was overclocked to 5 GHz, it required a one-horsepower water chiller to do so. The demonstration seemed to be timed to steal the thunder from AMD's own news.
Now, AMD has announced two Threadripper 2 CPUs: one with 24 cores, and another with 32 cores. They use the "12nm LP" GlobalFoundries process instead of "14nm", which could improve performance, but are currently clocked lower than previous Threadripper parts. The TDP has been pushed up to 250 W from the 180 W TDP of Threadripper 1950X. Although these new chips match the core counts of top Epyc CPUs, there are some differences:
At the AMD press event at Computex, it was revealed that these new processors would have up to 32 cores in total, mirroring the 32-core versions of EPYC. On EPYC, those processors have four active dies, with eight active cores on each die (four for each CCX). On EPYC however, there are eight memory channels, and AMD's X399 platform only has support for four channels. For the first generation this meant that each of the two active die would have two memory channels attached – in the second generation Threadripper this is still the case: the two now 'active' parts of the chip do not have direct memory access.
This also means that the number of PCIe lanes remains at 64 for Threadripper 2, rather than the 128 of Epyc.
Threadripper 1 had a "game mode" that disabled one of the two active dies, so it will be interesting to see if users of the new chips will be forced to disable even more cores in some scenarios.
2017 has been a great year for the tech enthusiast, with the return of meaningful competition in the PC space. Today, AMD announced their third quarter earnings, which beat expectations, and put the company's ledgers back in the black in their GAAP earnings. For the quarter, AMD had revenues of $1.64 billion, compared to $1.31 billion a year ago, which is a gain of just over 25%. Operating income was $126 million, compared to a $293 million loss a year ago, and net income was $71 million, compared to a net loss of $406 million a year ago. This resulted in earnings per share of $0.07, compared to a loss per share of $0.50 in Q3 2016.
[...] The Computing and Graphics segment has been a key to these numbers, with some impressive launches this year, especially on the CPU side. Revenue for this segment was up 74% to $819 million, and AMD attributes this to strong sales of both Radeon GPUs and Ryzen desktop processors. Average Selling Price (ASP) was also up significantly thanks to Ryzen sales. AMD is still undercutting Intel on price, but they don't have to almost give things away like they did the last couple of years. ASP of GPUs was also up significantly, and the proliferation of cryptocurrency likely played a large part in that. Operating income for the segment was an impressive $70 million, compared to an operating loss of $66 million last year.
Previously: AMD Ryzen Launch News
AMD GPU Supply Exhausted By Cryptocurrency Mining, AIBs Now Directly Advertising To Miners
AMD Epyc 7000-Series Launched With Up to 32 Cores
Cryptocoin GPU Bubble?
Ethereum Mining Craze Leads to GPU Shortages
Used GPUs Flood the Market as Ethereum's Price Crashes Below $150
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 Announced
First Two AMD Threadripper Chips Out on Aug. 10, New 8-Core Version on Aug. 31
Cryptocurrency Mining Wipes Out Vega 64 Stock
AMD Expected to Release Ryzen CPUs on a 12nm Process in Q1 2018
The economics of the chip industry are pretty staggering. Sanjay Jha, CEO of contract chip manufacturer Globalfoundries, recently told me that it could cost between $10 billion and $12 billion to build a next-generation chip factory based on the latest technology, dubbed 7-nanometer production. And one for the generation after that, dubbed 5-nanometer production, could cost $14 billion to $18 billion.
There are only a few companies in the world that can afford to spend that much money on a chip factory. And they can do it because those chips are expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue over the life of the factory.
Dean Takahashi from VentureBeat interviewed Sanjay Jha, CEO of GlobalFoundries:
Basically, the numbers don't mean much these days. I think Samsung has talked about 10nm, 11nm, 14nm, 8nm, 7nm, 6nm. I don't know what they mean. The way to think about 12nm is it has higher performance and more scale than 14nm. It's not quite the scaling or performance of 10nm. Performance may be very close to 10nm, though.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, AMD confirmed details about products coming out in 2018:
- Ryzen 3 Mobile APUs: January 9th
- Ryzen Desktop APUs: February 12th
- Second Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors: April.
- Ryzen Pro Mobile APUs: Q2 2018
- Second Generation Threadripper Processors: 2H 2018
- Second Generation Ryzen Pro Desktop Processors: 2H 2018
The second generation "Zen+" products use a "12nm" process. Zen 2 and Zen 3 will use a "7nm" and "7nm+" process and will be out around 2019-2020.
Two cheaper Ryzen-based mobile APUs have been released. The Ryzen 3 2300U has 4 cores, 4 threads, and the Ryzen 3 2200U has 2 cores, 4 threads, making it the first dual-core part in the entire Ryzen product line. All of the Ryzen mobile parts have a 15 W TDP so far.
AMD has also lowered the suggested pricing for many of its Ryzen CPUs. For example, $299 for Ryzen 7 1700 from $329. The Threadripper Ryzen TR 1900X is down to $449 from $549.
Intel has officially launched five new Kaby Lake CPUs with AMD Radeon Vega graphics and 4 GB of High Bandwidth Memory. Each CPU also includes Intel's HD 630 GT2 integrated graphics, which is expected to be used for lower power video encode/decode tasks.