AMD Creates Quad Core Zen SoC with 24 Vega CUs for Chinese Consolesby Ian Cutress on August 3, 2018 4:35 AM EST
AMD has cornered the x86 console market with its handy semi-custom mix of processors and graphics. While we slowly await the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony, today AMD and Zhongshan Subor announced that a custom chip has been made for a new gaming PC and an upcoming console for the Chinese market.
The announcement states that a custom chip has been created for Subor that is based on four Zen cores running at 3.0 GHz and 24 compute units of Vega running at 1.3 GHz. The chip is supported by 8GB of GDDR5 memory, which the press release states is also embedded onto the chip, however it is likely to actually be on the package instead. Update: AMD has corrected the press release to say that the GDDR5 controller is on the chip, and the 8GB of GDDR5 is installed into the motherboard. Compare this to the specifications of AMD’s current SoC designs, such as the Ryzen 5 2400G, which has four Zen cores and 11 Vega CUs. Or Intel’s multi-chip design featuring four Intel cores and an AMD-based 24 compute unit GPU paired with 4GB of HBM2 memory. There is also AMD’s Vega Mobile chip, which is expected to be in the 24-32 compute unit range, however this is also paired with 4GB of HBM2.
|AMD Semi-Custom Comparison|
|Ryzen 5 2400G
|Vega Mobile||Intel with
|Cores/Threads||4 / 8||4 / 8||-||4 / 8||8 / 8||8 / 8|
|CPU uArch||Zen||Zen||-||Kaby Lake||Jaguar+||Jaguar|
|Peak Frequency||3.0 GHz||3.8 GHz||-||4.1 GHz||2.3 GHz||2.13 GHz|
|GPU Freq||1300 MHz||1250 MHz||?||1190 MHz||1172 MHz||911 MHz|
|GPU DRAM||8 GB GDDR5||System
|Desktops||-||Hades Canyon NUC||Xbox
AMD's Scott Herkelman with Vega Mobile (left) and Vega 64 (right)
Assuming that this custom chip is a single chip design, with CPU and GPU, this means that AMD is handily gaining custom contracts and designing custom chip designs for its customers, even for consoles that won’t have the mass western appeal such as the Xbox or Playstation.
The demo given at the ChinaJoy event (the Chinese equivalent of E3 it seems) in Shanghai was initially of a PC that Subor plans to launch in late-August with the new chip. An upcoming console, based on the same hardware, is expected to be launched by the end of 2018. AMD cites that this is a key win for its semi-custom division, especially in a key market such as China. In this market, AMD also has semi-custom collaborations with Tsinghua, and a Joint Venture with THATIC.
The new SoC, name unknown, will support FreeSync, the Adrenalin software, and Rapid Packed Math, confirming that this is a true Vega design (unlike the chip used by Intel in its combination product).
Over at zol.com.cn, there are images of the unit:
AMD has updated its press release to state that it is the GDDR5 controller that is on the chip, and not the 8 GB of GDDR5. The memory is installed on the board elsewhere, as with a normal GPU for example.
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webdoctors - Friday, August 3, 2018 - linkIf it can run Steam games, maybe with a skeleton Windows OS, it'll be great for the living room. The Steam OS has crappy game selection compared to Windows 7.
mode_13h - Friday, August 3, 2018 - linkIt's not going to be socketable, due to GDDR5. However, let's hope we see some grey-market motherboards finding their way to western markets...
LarsBars - Friday, August 3, 2018 - linkIntel with Radeon RX Vega
Called out! Zing!!
mode_13h - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkBut that's old news.
mode_13h - Friday, August 3, 2018 - linkThis is what the forthcoming Atari console *should* be using. That thing is a bad joke, by comparison.
SkOrPn - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkI hope when 7nm is here for both Zen 2 and Vega that AMD releases a 8C16T APU with at least RX 580 performance. All we need for this to happen is 8GB of HBM2/3 to be installed on the AM4 package. If they could do that I would gladly upgrade to X470 with video ports and retire my discrete video card. Why not?
msroadkill612 - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkThe fundamentally new thing here afaik, is pairing Vega w/ the way less scarce gddr5.
HBM supplies have stifled vega volumes.
There is clearly no shortage of vega chips, given the sharp priced, cacheless Zen apuS.
msroadkill612 - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkSOC it to 'em AMD.
eastcoast_pete - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkInteresting APU/SoC. The second update of the article (the GDDR5 memory is NOT part of the chip) suggests that an APU for PCs similar to this would be easier for AMD to roll out than otherwise. So, AMD marketing department: Ryzen 2500G or something like this? Would love to see an APU with 20 or so Vega CUs, although seriously fast DDR4 would be a must to make those CUs worth their while.
Other thought: Doesn't the Subor sound an awful lot like the affordable Valve Steam PC that Valve has been talking about for years? If it can run Linux and WIN 10, it would be a serious value proposition at $ 550 or so, replacing a console and a regular daily driver PC. Yes, you would be stuck at 8 GB combined system memory, with it being GDDR5, but that's enough for most productivity applications, and good enough for most games at 1080p. Alternatively, make it 10-12 GB GDDR5, make sure it has FreeSync, and add another $ 50 or so to about $ 600, it'd be even better, and I would seriously consider getting one.
mode_13h - Saturday, August 4, 2018 - linkWhy do you think this uses GDDR5?
A bigger Vega in AM4 doesn't make any sense, as it would just get starved by 128-bit DDR4.