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As we said almost two years ago, thanks to our reliable source, Zen would have been a highly modular uArch, in order to meet the needs of the clients of all kinds.

 

 

A new technology was born, suited to allow a simpler and cheaper Custom and Semi Custom business: “Infinity Fabric”.

All the present and future AMD’s IPs will be compatible with this technology. They will be easy to put together, like the LEGO bricks: we can consider each IP a LEGO brick, by which we can produce a CPU, a SoC (Naples) or an APU (Even an Apple APU).

 

 

This technolgy will allow AMD to produce cheap but powerful chips, and a lot of clients are already out of the AMD door, with their wallet in their hands.

When I wrote this Tweet, I was not joking. ;)

 

Source of these slides

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Thanks to this official public announcement, we know that even EK will offer a new fully compatible AM4 mounting plate: “The mounting hole pattern of Socket AM4 is a little bit different from the old AMD Sockets (754, 939, 940, AM2(+), AM3(+),FM2(+)), meaning the old Supremacy EVO mounting plate is not compatible with Socket AM4! We now offer redesigned Mounting plate and updated Supremacy EVO Backplate that is required for complete AM4 compatibility!”.

 

 

Compatible liquid cooling kits are:

  • EK-KIT S (any variant)
  • EK-KIT L (any revision; any variant)
  • EK-KIT P (any variant)
  • EK-KIT X (any variant)

 

 

The RyZen hype is very strong today, and the companies which produce CPU coolers know that this new AMD product will be probably a huge commercial success: Noctua, CoolerMaster and Lepa will offer free AM4 retention kits for their CPU coolers.

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According to a semi-official replay at gpuopen.com site, AMD driver team is working to re-enable asynchronous compute queues on GCN1 GPUs (7700-7900, 280, 370 etc…) under Direct3D 12 (Under Vulkan it works fine).

 

 

Here it is the answer of Stephan Hodes: “Please note that I’m not an official AMD spokesperson on this subject, and I should have made clear when posting, that this is only my personal understanding of the situation, which might be wrong or at least contain some invalid assumptions. It appears the official driver team has already issued a statement that they are aware of the issue and currently looking into it”.

Our teammate Alessio has got on AMD's nerves during the latest days, even on official AMD community, but now it seems AMD will solve the problem. Stay tuned: we will report if AMD will have done a good job.

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Enermax end its subsidiary company Lepa will offer free AM4 retention kits for CPU coolers (Except following coolers: Enermax Liqtech120X [ELC-LT120X-HP], Lepa EXllusion240 [LPWEL240-HF]).

 

 

Customers can order the AM4 kit via the ENERMAX Website or the LEPA Support Mail or the LEPA Hotline: +49 40 81995 729  The sales receipt is required.

As we said some months ago, AM4 Socket has mounting holes arranged differently than older Sockets.




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Do you remember the words about Zen of Suzanne Plummer, Director of Design Engineering at AMD and a veteran Austin chip engineer? “It is the first time in a very long time that we engineers have been given the total freedom to build a processor from scratch and do the best we can do”.

 

 

Also, do you remember the words of Mike Clark, senior fellow at AMD? Clark said Zen isn't the first chip he's helped design from scratch—he was part of the team that developed AMD's K5 processor almost two decades ago. But it's never easy. "For me, it wasn't the first time, but you don't do it often because it is so daunting," he said. "It's going to take a lot of [effort] and time. … It comes with a lot of risk”.

Last, but not the least, the Keller words: “We know how to do small dense cores and we know how to do high frequency. What I've asked the team to do is take the DNA from both”.

After the show of Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, we can say that AMD has made a miracle (Like AMD did with K7 and K8), just like our sources told us during the lastest months:

Zen SMT it's more advanced than Skylake SMT → Check
Broadwell IPC level & If 14nm LPP will be good, Zen base frequency (8 cores version, TDP 95W) will be 3.7-3.8 GHz. Turbo 4.1-4.2 GHz → Check & Almost Check
Jim Keller leaves AMD: Zen is completed and it will be powerful → Check
Other leaks here: Bits And Chips, a small but reliable IT site

Also, a quote from our article (2 April 2016): "Last, but not the least, the part of the news about Intel was true. It seems that Intel will commercialize a 10 cores Broadwell-E due to its own internal Zen simulations (Intel has some data we don't know, yet, and has skilled engineers that know what they do). Zen will have 8 cores, while Broadwell-E 10 cores. So, Intel will have the “King of the Hill”, but Zen seems to be very good in the mid range of the market (AKA, gaming and enthusiast configurations)".

According to this presentation, “Zen/Ryzen” will be as fast as Broadwell uArch CPUs and it will have a lower power consumption of 6th Generation HEDT SKUs. In Handbrake and Blnder benchmarks, Zen @ 3.4 GHz w/o Turbo is faster than i7-6900K with Turbo enabled (3.2/3.7 GHz).

 

 

Also, as we said during the last months, Zen is a High Frequency & High IPC uArch, so we will see higher clocked SKUs. Overclockers will have a lot of fun thanks to a soldered IHS, too.

However the best is yet to come. I can't say anymore. ;)

Good job, AMD.

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According to our sources, EVGA could commercialize some graphic card equipped with AMD Vega GPUs (This is a old rumor, I know, but now it's more realistic).

 

 

Like enthusiast users recall, XFX abandoned NVIDIA in 2010 not because AMD had better solutions, but because NVIDIA treated XFX like a 2nd tier company, despite during these days XFX used to produce some of the best NVIDIA cards.

If you look carefully, today EVGA situation is similar to XFX one:

  • low amount of GTX 1070/1080 available by EVGA;
  • EVGA custom GTX1070/1080s came after rival custom cards;
  • not the best Pascal cards in the market (Is EVGA pissed off?);
  • NVIDIA sells the - high profitable - Titan cards independently.

This NVIDIA strategy is hurting the partnership with EVGA (The best NVIDIA partner according to the customers ... at least before GTX1070/1080 cards).

On the other hand, a lot of people will buy an EVGA "Vega" card for sure, even at a premium price: AMD users are still dreaming an EVGA-AMD high-end card. Last, but not the least, Vega seems to be a great GPU.

So, will we see EVGA on AMD side?

 

UPDATE: EVGA - via Twitter - has officially denied this rumor.

 

Out of curiosity: VEGA is the anagram of EVGA.

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According to latest update of DirectXMath 3.10, which will be included in an upcoming Windows 10 SDK for the Creator's Update in 2017, the DX12 will support the uArch ARMv8.

 

 

Here it is the log of the update:

  •     Added XMVectorSum for horizontal adds
  •     ARMv8 intrinsics use for ARM64 platform (division, rounding, half-precision conversion)
  •     Added SSE3 codepaths using opt-in _XM_SSE3_INTRINSICS_
  •     XMVectorRound fix for no-intrinsics to match round-to-nearest (even)
  •     XMStoreFloat3SE fix when max channel isn't a perfect power of 2
  •     constexpr conformance fix and workaround for compiler bug in VS 2015 RTM
  •     Remove support for VS 2012 compilers
  •     Remove __vector4i deprecated type

What does this mean? We don’t exactly know, but we can make some assumptions:

  • Qualcomm collaborates with Microsoft to support Windows 10, so the latest Adreno GPUs could handle DX12 games. This means that we may see, in the near future, some cheap console based on a Qualcomm SoC and Windows 10 (On the other hand, Nintendo uses a Tegra SoC in Switch);
  • K12 could be a viable solution to equip a future console (Next XBox?). Today GCN is the main GPU Arch in console market, and the uArch K12 will be more powerful than Zen, according to Jim Keller words;
  • Microsoft wants to nip Android in Console market in the bud, and to achieve that goal it has to support the main ARM companies, like Qualcomm, MediaTek and AMD.

 

Little hint: last time Microsoft added a new exotic intrinsic in DX SDK, XBOX switched from Power to x86 ISA.

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According to our sources – the same who reported the development of Zen two days before official AMD public announcement – Intel is studying a new uArch in order to replace the current x86 uArchs in Desktop and Enterprise market.

 

 

TigerLake (2019) will be the last evolution step of this Core generation, started with Sandy Bridge (Developed by Haifa Team). We can say that Haswell, Skylake and Cannonlake are only main adjustment (Skylake is the first Intel uArch developed to battle from the Mobile market to the Enterprise market)

The next Intel uArch will be very similar to the approach used by AMD with Zen – perfect balance of power consumption/performance/price – but with a huge news: in order to save physical space (Smaller Die) and to improve the power consumption/performance ratio, Intel will throw away some old SIMD and old hardware remainders.

The 100% backward hardware x86 compatibility will not guaranteed anymore, but could be not a handicap (Some SIMD today are useless, and also we can use emulators or cloud systems). Nowadays a lot of software house have to develop code for ARM and for x86, but ARM is lacking useful SIMD. So, frequently, these software are a watered-down compromise.

Intel will be able to develop a thin and fast x86 uArch, and ICC will be able to optimize the code both for ARM and for x86 as well.

This new uArch will be ready in 2019-2020.

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Microsoft just reveled that Windows 10 will be able to run a full desktop environment on ARM64 machines in the future update codenamed “Redstone 3”.
This is not a big surprise after all, Microsoft works with ARM machines since earlier versions of Windows Embedded Compact (from which Windows Mobile bore), and with the less lucky and bad thought Windows RT. Moreover, Microsoft added more ARM64 developer in the last couple of Visual Studio releases, so this announce is not unexpected for developers.

The big news is that with Redstone 3 ARM64 devices will be able to run a full Win32 desktop environment, without any sort of padlock (like Windows RT had), and – and this is a big “and” – x86 Win32 applications too.

In a not so well defined emulation environment, Microsoft and Qualcomm just showed to the world the new Windows 10 ARM desktop environment capable of running traditional application historically bound to the x86 machines only, like Adobe Photoshop and the complete desktop version of Microsoft word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_GlGglbu1U

Although amazing this announce is, we cannot halt asking ourselves how all this is made possible.

Until now, neither Microsoft nor Qualcomm have better specified what kind of technology is behind this emulation. This is an important detail, since it could establish any sort of limitations and performance issues all this technology is about.
As for the Win32 desktop environment, this is not a big deal: the structure of the Windows API source code is made to support many architectures (not only x86 variants), and ARM is one of the supported.

What is interesting is the x86 emulation affair. First, it is not clear what kind of instruction sets (ia32 only – aka x86 32-bit extension – or x64 too – x86 64-bit extension) and what kind of SIMD (SSE, SSE2, …, AVX etc.) extensions are supported. This are meaningful details since better establish what x86 applications we would able to run on this new edition of Windows.
Still speaking about the x86 emulation stuff, it is not clear what kind of emulation is it at all: a hardware emulation, a software emulation or a cloud-streaming-emulation? This is essential to understand the performance of this entire technology and could open other questions related to the x86 patents and licenses.

At the time of writing, we are not able to find any official details or specifications about this, however we made some observations:

First, the video shows the processor is not capable of any virtualization technology:

 

 

This could mean actually that build of Windows did not support any ARM virtualization at all (which is kind of strange because some ARM virtualization technologies are supported and used by other ARM Windows products), or – and this hypothesis looks more realistic to us – all this were running under a virtualized environment, probably using some kind of cloud or streaming service.

The second hypothesis get strengthened if we look at another recent product powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, the HP Elite X3 which brings advanced Continuum features on Windows 10 mobile.

Following this trail, all this x86 emulation affair could reveal a next advanced Continuum evolution, in an in-depth exclusive feature for the future Windows 10 running on ARM64 PCs, maybe powered by some sort of Windows Azure cloud/streaming subscription.

Pay attention on more Windows 10 on ARM PCs news in the next months.

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According to our sources, in order to avoid a crash during RyZen presentation, AMD has set up a higher than usual vCore. This explain the high full load power consumption of RyZen (95W TDP) compared to full load power consumption of the i7-6900K (Also Turbo features were disabled in RyZen).

 

 

However, despite the power consumption recorded, RyZen was abundantly under the TDP limit of 95W. This means that RyZen could be clocked higher, just like Lisa Su said.

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As we said some months ago, AM4 CPUs will have a soldered IHS, in order to guarantee a better power dissipation and better overclocking capabilities.

 

 

AMD, in contrast to Intel and its mid-range CPUs strategy (e.g. Skylake-S Socket 1151), will try to tempt Enthusiast users thanks to high quality and fast SKUs, sold at competitive prices. Welcome back, Athlon XP times.

 

Bristol Ridge in photo, about 250 mm2. Zen will be about 200 mm2.

 

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