AMD Announces 12nm 2nd Generation Zen, 7nm Vega, 2018 Roadmaps

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AMD even calls the multithreaded performance of its sub-$200 Ryzen chips "disruptive" when compared against similar Intel chips.

That remains to be seen (and tested), of course, but if the reality lives up to AMD's own estimates, pretty good.

The product line AMD was more willing to talk about is desktop Ryzen APUs, codenamed Raven Ridge. The 2400G will offer four cores, eight threads, and a 3.9GHz max boost, while the 2200G is four cores, four threads, and a 3.7GHz max boost. The inaugural wave of Ryzen Pro Mobile chips will be based on the 14nm production process. The chip designer wants to sustain that momentum through 2018 and its kicking off CES with a wide range of announcements. Intel doesn't have any chips in its current generation that match these directly, as in many cases they have similar clock speeds but more cores and threads, and that makes a direct evaluation hard.

In terms of specs, the Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon Vega Graphics is outfitted with 4 CPU cores, 8 threads, and a boost clock of 3.9GHz.

AMD CTO Mark Papermaster also acknowledged the massive Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities that have been confirmed to affect not only Intel chips but also those designed by ARM, Apple, Qualcomm, and AMD.

When will the new Ryzen chips be released? Second-generation Ryzen CPUs using the 'Zen+' architecture and a 12nm manufacturing process are already being sampled and will begin shipping in April 2018. The 2300U comes in at $169 and the 2200U costs a mere $99, a pretty spectacular deal for a desktop part that should smoke the competition from Intel at much higher prices.

AMD new pricing

So far, we only have definitive pricing information for the APUs being released in February. However, despite these specs, it still should be able to outperform its primary competitor, the Intel Core i3-7100U. In the second quarter, Ryzen Pro Mobile parts-more or less identical to the regular Ryzen Mobile parts but with the lifecycle guarantees that enterprise buyers often demand for their fleets-will be released. That raises another question. Now all AMD has to do is convince PC makers to put its chips in more models. Likewise, a Vega GPU build specifically for machine learning applications will be the first 7nm AMD product, the company says.

It's not just about Zen+, however, as Zen 2 and Zen 3 (using 7nm process technology) are looking like solid products for next year and 2020.

The best aspect to Ryzen Mobile and AMD's latest announcements is we are starting to see AMD get these APUs in laptops people might actually buy.

CEO Lisa Su noted that "For us, it is all about high-performance computing "and" High-performance computing is absolutely the most exciting part of the semiconductor industry today".

As well as the two desktop processor, the company has announced mobile chips with Vega graphics integrated: the Ryzen 7 2700U with Radeon Vega 10, Ryzen 5 2500U with Radeon Vega 8, Ryzen 3 2300U with Radeon Vega 6, Ryzen 3 2200U with Radeon Vega 3, and the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700U with Radeon Vega 10, Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U with Radeon Vega 8, and Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U with Radeon Vega 6. No additional information was provided about these processors or their capabilities, however.

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