Zen Cores and Vega

Ryzen 3 Mobile, Plus More Ryzen Mobile Laptops

The most immediate announcement from AMD is two Ryzen 3 Mobile processors designed to fill out the Mobile stack, and the introduction of Ryzen-based APUs for desktop machines.

At the heart of both of these designs is the combination of AMD’s first-generation Zen cores, specifically four cores in a ‘core complex’, connected to Vega-based graphics integrated into the silicon. The two units are connected via AMD’s Infinity Fabric, designed for high-bandwidth and scale, and a feature that permeates through AMD’s recent product portfolio.

Ryzen Mobile

To date, AMD has already announced two products using this configuration. Both of them are for Ryzen Mobile, specifically the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U, which have already been pre-announced in devices such as the HP Envy x2, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S, and the Acer Swift 3. Only the HP Envy x2 has been launched into the market so far (with mixed reviews due to the OEM design, which draws similar criticisms when equipped with Intel CPUs), with the others to see light in Q1 as well as other OEMs like Dell.

The first announcement is regarding adding more Ryzen Mobile processors to the family to cater for a wider audience. To pair with the Ryzen 7 Mobile and Ryzen 5 Mobile, AMD has two Ryzen 3 Mobile parts which will formally be available on January 9th with expected system availability within Q1.

AMD Ryzen Mobile APUs
  Ryzen 7 2700U
with Vega 10
Ryzen 5 2500U
with Vega 8
Ryzen 3 2300U
with Vega 6
Ryzen 3 2200U
with Vega 3
FX-9800P
(2015)
CPU 4C / 8T
2.2 GHz Base
3.8 GHz Turbo
Zen
14nm
4C / 8T
2.0 GHz Base
3.8 GHz Turbo
Zen
14nm
4C / 4T
2.0 GHz Base
3.4 GHz Turbo
Zen
14nm
2C / 4T
2.5 GHz Base
3.4 GHz Turbo
Zen
14nm
Dual Module
2.7 GHz Base
3.6 GHz Turbo
Excavator
28nm
GPU Vega 10
10 CUs
640 SPs
< 1300 MHz
Vega 8
8 CUs
512 SPs
< 1100 MHz
Vega 6
6 CUs
384 SPs
Vega 3
3 CUs
192 SPs
GCN 1.2
8 CUs
512 SPs
> 758 MHz
TDP 15W 15W 15 W 15 W 15W
DRAM Up to DDR4-2400 DDR4-1866
L2 Cache 512 KB/core 1 MB/module
L3 Cache 1 MB/core 4 MB/core -
PCIe Lanes ? ? ? ? 8 x PCIe 3.0
Die Size 209.78 mm2 250.4 mm2
Transistors 4.95 billion 3.1 billion
Launch October 2017 January 2018 May 2016

The Ryzen 3 2300U is a quad-core processor without simultaneous multithreading, which separates it from the other components. The base frequency of 2.0 GHz, a top turbo of 3.4 GHz, and a total of six compute units in the Vega graphics (this equates to 384 streaming processors). The Ryzen 3 2300U shares the same TDP as the other parts, coming in at 15W, and AMD wants to position this as a high-performance part for eSports capable notebooks, handily beating anything from Intel’s 7th Generation family.

The Ryzen 3 2200U is the only dual core component in AMD’s entire Ryzen product line, although it does have simultaneous multithreading to give it four threads in total. Having two fewer cores to fire up does give it a boost on the base frequency, coming in at 2.5 GHz, but the turbo frequency matches the other Ryzen 3 at 3.4 GHz. The 2200U is certainly the processor bringing up the rear, with only three compute units (192 streaming processors) in total, and helping AMD shift some of the processors that are not binned as aggressively as the higher-performance units.

AMD is promoting these two processors as capable elements of an entry level 15W notebook that can process DirectX 12, offer advanced video features, and be used in aesthetically pleasing designs with a long battery life, including 2-in-1s, ultrathin notebooks, and gaming laptops.

New Devices

Not to be content with just announcing a couple of new Ryzen Mobile processors, AMD was eager to promote new mobile devices that will be using Ryzen Mobile. To accompany the HP Envy x360, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S, and the Acer Swift 3, Q1 will see the launch of a new HP (under embargo until later this week), the Acer Nitro 5 series, and the Dell Inspiron 5000 series.

Acer’s Nitro line of laptops is typically aimed at the gaming crowd. The Nitro 5 dictates a 15.6-inch display, which in this case is a 1920x1080 IPS panel. Acer will use the pre-announced higher-end APUs, the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U, but will also be pairing this with a Radeon RX 560 graphics chip. We were told by AMD that the integrated graphics and discrete graphics will be used in a switching context: for video playback, the lower power integrated graphics is used and the discrete is disabled, however the discrete graphics is fired up for gaming work. For compute, or for games that support multi-adaptor DirectX 12 technologies, both the integrated graphics and the discrete graphics should be available, however this is up to the game/software to implement.

The Dell Inspiron lines are more home/small-medium business-oriented devices, and here Dell is also using the Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U processors to offer peak Mobile APU performance. Designed more as a workhorse than for aesthetics, the Inspiron 5000 will offer AMD parts with 15.6-inch and 17-inch displays in a chassis that can support dual HDD/SSD options. The unit also comes with an optional Radeon 530 discrete GPU, which has 384 compute units based on AMD’s older GCN 1.0 architecture. This comes across as very odd, given that even the Ryzen 5 has 512 compute units of the newer Vega architecture. I can only assume that this provides extra displays for very specific customers, though for most it would seem an overly pointless addition.

AMD Tech Day at CES Zen Cores and Vega: Ryzen APUs for AM4
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  • nikon133 - Sunday, February 11, 2018 - link

    These new Ryzen APUs could make nice base for next-gen consoles... with some modifications... but then, console APUs are already custom solutions, so that should not be impossible.

    8 proper Ryzen cores running at over 3GHz and matching up-to-date GPU with sufficient number of CUs... would make quite powerful console at its core. Balanced one, too... it is hardly a secret that current consoles are under-powered on CPU side. Maybe Jaguar cores were necessity for this gen to keep price down, but next gen should be equipped at least with 8x Ryzen 3 cores?
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    I think jaguar cores are much smaller than Ryzen cores. So, you'd probably be looking at 4 core/8 thread Ryzen APU - not 8 cores.

    Anyway, these APUs have much weaker iGPUs and much less memory bandwidth than current-gen consoles (excluding Nintendo).
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    BTW, I'm sure XBox One X kept Jaguar simply because Ryzen wasn't yet ready. There's a very long lead time for this silicon.

    Also, it seems Jaguar's 28 mm cores are only 3.1 mm^2 per core, whereas Ryzen's 14 nm cores are 44 mm^2 (which sounds like it also includes cache). So, it seems pretty unrealistic to expect consoles will just drop in 8 Ryzen cores where they previously had 8 Jaguars.
    Reply
  • forgerone - Sunday, March 11, 2018 - link

    This piece seems to mesh quite nicely with the latest bit about ASRock teaming up exclusively with AMD to produce either headless mining cards or MXM for mining.

    Especially given the nature of the semi-custom Vega gpu that is described.
    Reply
  • forgerone - Sunday, March 11, 2018 - link

    "This caused two theories: either AMD is using EMIB "

    AMD does not need EMIB. They have there own mesh as described here: http://www.computermachines.org/joe/publications/p...

    Design and Analysis of an APU for Exascale Computing.
    Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - link

    really wish AMD made 12nm refresh for RX 500 series as well as Vega instead of making us wait what 1/2 to 3/4 of a year and HOPE to get a gpu at or close to MSRP (not counting the greed of ODM such as Asus or places such as newegg on top of this pricing)

    May not be quite as bad for USD folks but it sux a$$ for us CAD or other currency folks automatically paying more than should (and not it is NOT ONLY mining folks causing the price increase, it is GREED more than anything else) for example RX 570/580 I can get them easy enough, but absolutely am not willing/wanting to pay $100+ tax and shipping MORE than should be either, screw that noise, and I do not buy 2nd hand (hoping lasts awhile)
    Reply

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