AMD has risen like a phoenix. After a disastrous few years between 2011 and 2015, when its core processing business was so uncompetitive it gave up the fight against Intel, Ryzen has given Team Red the boost it so sorely needed. At the latest AMD Financial Analyst Day, the company made some major product announcements, many of which confirmed rumours that had been floating around the mill. Some of them were unbelievable at the beginning, but it seemed that the leaks were grounded on fact and not hopes and dreams. Stand by for a roundup of the announcements.
AMD Financial Analyst Day – Vega gets shown to the world
A lot of people have been clamouring for more news and information about Vega, AMD’s Coming SoonTM graphics architecture. During the Financial Analyst Day, AMD’s Raja Koduri showed off the new Vega Frontier Edition, a monster 13 teraflop card aimed at machine learning, artificial intelligence and other professional applications. The card also features 16GB of High Bandwidth Memory version two (HBM2), and 64 Vega compute units. It’s not known how much power or heat it will output, but given it has support for 8K graphics, it will pack a hell of a punch.
This card is definitely not aimed at gaming usage, and the more mainstream Vega products will have to wait for a later announcement. This at least meets the stated aim of AMD for Vega to launch by the second quarter of 2017. In many ways, AMD must be holding back the bulk of information, given nVidia is also priming to launch with Volta.
AMD Financial Analyst Day – More Ryzen based CPUs incoming
Given the successful launch of Ryzen, and with the Ryzen 3 CPUs still to come, AMD decided to unleash a few more surprises. There have been rumours abound about the next stage of AMD’s latest attempt at global domination, and today, those rumours were confirmed. The company comfirmed that the rumoured “Threadripper” CPUs were incoming, which are squarely aimed at the High End Desktop Market, where Intel currently enjoys a near monopoly with products like the i7-6950X. It’s at this stratospheric price strata that Threadripper, likely to be named Ryzen R9, will aim to compete.
Intel is also bracing to launch even bigger chips this year, with rumoured fourteen core Skylake/Kabylake X chips to launch under the Core i9 designation. However, Ryzen R9s will sport more cores than the leaked Core i9 processor specifications (sixteen) resulting in 32 threads at the top end. The top Threadripper is meant to have a maximum turbo boost clock speed of 3.9GHz. While it’s not known whether this is an all core boost or simply a maximum single core speed. Either way, it’s a monster chip aimed squarely at users who need a lot of grunt under their heatsink. These will launch in the northern hemisphere summer.
Speaking of lots of grunt, AMD also confirmed some details about the Naples server chips. Now rebranded Epyc (which this author feels is a silly name), the new CPUs will compete against Intel’s Xeon line of processors. It will do so with the ability to support more RAM, use more threads and more overall bandwidth than comparable products from its competition. To top it off, AMD’s prices are likely to be cheaper overall.
AMD will round out its brand new product stack with new mobile processors aimed at ultra low power usage. These chips, including the company’s upcoming Accelerated Processing Units, will include Ryzen cores and Vega graphics processors on a single chip. For those who are looking at a potent machine that’s efficient at the same time, it might well be time to jump on board the AMD bandwagon.
AMD Financial Analyst Day – you should be excited
Given all of these announcements of imminent product releases, you the consumer should be extra excited. There’s now competition in the market in both performance and price. How will the renewed CPU war pan out? Who knows?