AMD NEW HORIZONS

AMD logoToday at the AMD investor relations event called “new Horizons” the company is  presenting a new roadmap for the Zen processor upgrades.

AMD has been very successful with their Zen architecture which offers excellent performance. AMD has been in semiconductors for many years, They were the second source for 8088 processors when IBM designed the original IBM 5150 PC

The industry generally has been up against a wall as the move to smaller feature sizes becomes increasingly expensive.Foundries cost upwards of $5 billion which makes them an expensive investment. THis is one of the reasons AMD is now a fabless company,.

AMD is focused more on processors which have been a core strengtheneth for the company. Now the Zen 2 is expected to be delivered in 2019 and AMD is working on Zen 3 down the road a bit more.

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Intel is moving more into mobile with the hiring of Keller should see results in maybe 12 months. AMD has to consider Intel’s troubles while it can capitalize on the value of socket AM4 products.

AMD is likely to look more at the RTX API in Windows 10 version 1809 which will be a focus for game engine developers. Nvidia has some hardware now but it does not work well for the Windows API. Both graphics card companies will have to focus on the DX12 enhancement which are not as demanding as many would think, We are expecting to see more in the 1H19 version of Windows to see if Microsoft is committed to ray tracing as more than a gimmick.

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AMD has been focused on performance per watt of power more than ever. AMD video cards are know to be more power hungry than Nvidia cards. AMD has been more favorable for overclocking negatting the perceived NVIDIA advantage. Radeon cards have long been favored by digital coin enthusiasts.

Zen 2 is expected to deliver about 13% more instructions per wall of power. Obviously the instruction mix will vary but AMD has worked hard to improve the ALU design.

AMD is widely expected to have Zen 2 and Vega 2 hardware in mass production in 2019.

AMD Epyc processors are likely to be a focus for corporate users. Zen 2 would be a welcome change for the server lineup.

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AMD is expecting to be able to bring Zen 2 into volume soon. AMD will be able to gain market share from Intel who has had supply issues in addition to problems with their upcoming 10nm node.
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The new Vega GPU is the real story as gaming will be all the more rich with a faster GPU. The power advantage means that what took 267W can be done with under 100W now. AMD has also make the Vega more effective with double precision floating point over NVIDIA which will be an advantage. 7.4 TFLOPS FP6 is noting to sneer at and that is enough for some serious gaming at 1920×1080 or 2560×1440.

AMD is also supporting PCI Express 4.0 with Vega which will make it less reliant on gimmicks for card to card communications in a multi GPU setup.