AMD to unveil faster processors, graphics chips in 2018

Varun Agarwal Las Vegas | Updated on January 08, 2018

In a bid to close in on Intel, semiconductor firm AMD has detailed its forthcoming roll-out plan for its next generation of high-performance computing and graphics products, by moving towards the 7 nanometre (nm) chipset architecture.

Alongside announcing the first desktop Ryzen processors with built-in Radeon Vega Graphics, AMD also detailed the full line-up of Ryzen mobile APUs, including the new Ryzen PRO and Ryzen 3 models, and provided a first-look at the performance of its upcoming 12nm second-generation Ryzen desktop CPU expected to launch in April.

Catching up

The chip-maker is trying to make up for the years lost in staying behind Intel in processor architecture by focussing on high-performance computing and use of graphics for various purposes such as those required in driver-less cars and machine-learning applications.

“We successfully accomplished the ambitious goals we set for ourselves in 2017, re-establishing AMD as a high-performance computing leader with the introduction and ramp of 10 different product families,” said AMD President and CEO Lisa Su. “We are building on this momentum in 2018 as we make our strongest product portfolio of the last decade even stronger with new CPUs and GPUs that bring more features and more performance to a broad set of markets.”

AMD CTO and SVP Mark Papermaster shared updates on AMD’s process technology roadmaps for both x86 processors and graphics architectures.

In terms of x86 processors, AMD’s ‘ Zen’ core, currently shipping in Ryzen desktop and mobile processors, is in production at both 14nm and 12nm, with 12nm samples now shipping. The Zen 2 design, the company said, is complete and will improve on the Zen designs.

In terms of graphics processors, AMD will be expanding the Vega product family in 2018 with the Radeon Vega Mobile GPU for ultra-thin notebooks. This includes the first 7nm AMD product, a Vega based GPU built specifically for machine-learning applications.

The company also announced a production-level machine-learning software environment with AMD’s MIOpen libraries supporting common machine-learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and Caffe on the ROCm Open eCosystem platform. This, AMD claims, will be the industry’s first fully open heterogeneous software environment, making it easier to programme using AMD GPUs for high-performance compute and deep-learning environments.

AMD also discussed its first mobile-discrete graphics solution based on the Vega architecture. The Radeon Vega Mobile GPU is designed to enable new, powerful gaming notebooks in 2018 with high performance and efficiency.

The writer is in Las Vegas at the invitation of AMD.

Published on January 08, 2018

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