5/27/19 Lisa Su Rocks Computex!

Anandtech did a nice live blog of Lisa Su’s keynote presentation.


Epyc. Sixty Epyc platforms. More than fifty cloud instances. Frontier the 1.5 exaflop supercomputer.

Microsoft Azure HB Virtual Machines. 1st EPYC HPC Cloud Offering, largest Scale CFD Sim in Cloud, more than 11500 EPYC cores. Demo against Xeon, 2X performance.


Navi. In PS5, along with Zen2. Navi has brand new Radeon DNA architecture (RDNA), not GCN! This is huge. I am shocked that AMD was able to keep this secret. Everyone thought Navi will be the last generation using GCN, which is quite old now and is limiting. So Navi is not just a 7 nm shrink but also new architecture! Navi is PCIe 4.0. 1.25X performance per clock. 1.5X performance per watt. Vega was notorious for using lots of power. If Navi can gain 50% in performance per watt, then Navi should be a great success.

RX 5000 series GPU. RX 5700 is 10% faster than RTX 2070. No price given. I am sure AMD is saving these details for E3, which is on June 10. If AMD can price this at $400 vs $500 for RTX 2070, then it will be a win. I am sure there will be other GPUs in the RX 5000 family to round out the mid and low ends, especially something not needing power pins, which the OEMs love.

Microsoft’s Roanne Sones, CVP OS Platforms was on stage. Deep partnership with MS from consoles to cloud. Ryzen family is going to hit 50% of modern devices this year. I am not sure what that means, though it sure sounds nice.

Asus on stage. 30 designs for X570 Ryzen motherboards! Lots of ROG designs.

Acer COO specifically talked about how Intel doesn’t have dGPU and that Nvidia doesn’t have CPU. Meanwhile AMD has both, and 1+1 is greater than 2.

All this love shown by MS, Asus and Acer is quite palpable and frankly unheard of before now. Ryzen did not get all these support from OEMs at the 2017 launch. I really think Ryzen 3rd gen is finally going to take off, like the inflection point Lisa Su talked about.

Ryzen R9 3900X


I was initially disappointed in not seeing any 16 cores Ryzen R9. However, now I feel very good about the R9 3900X, which is 12 cores. AMD is able to lump 2 six-cores chiplets together and sell that for $499. Remember, these are essentially two failed 8-cores chiplets, which normally can only be sold as 6 cores CPUs. However, because of AMD’s Infinity Fabric and chiplets architecture, AMD can now sell these as the TOP OF THE LINE 12 cores CPUs! This is great for AMD’s gross margin!

The very best 8-cores chiplets are binned for Epyc. The lesser 8-cores chiplets are sold as R7 8-cores. In the future, whenever AMD feels like it, the better 8-cores chiplets will then be used for R9 16-cores or 3rd gen Threadripper. The beauty is, AMD has no need to play this hand so early, since Intel’s own 12 cores (i9 9920X) sells for $1199. If and only when Intel comes up with something competitive, then AMD can simply pull the 16-cores R9 out and beat Intel to a pulp.

Ryzen has really brought the state of the art of CPUs a long way since 2017, when 4 cores ruled the top mainstream segment. Now we have the 6 cores R5 3600, which sells for $199 and has a TDP of 65W!

AMD also emphasized the speed of PCIe 4.0. AMD demoed a Ryzen Navi system on a PCIe 4.0 X570 motherboard, and this machine just blazed. I think OEMs finally have the incentive to sell such a system using X570 Ryzen motherboard and sporting both Ryzen and Navi, taking full advantage of the speed of PCIe 4.0. This is synergy.

All in all, this presentation went extremely well for AMD. I am very pleased!

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