CES 2020 had come and gone. AMD did not disappoint! The star was definitely the Ryzen 4000 mobile APUs, or the 3rd gen 7 nm chips which were highly anticipated. Great media coverage can be found at Anandtech.com, CRN.com and Videocardz.com, to name a few.
Ryzen 4000 mobile APUs offer up to 8 cores and in both 15W (U-series) and 45W (H-series). I find it incredible that AMD can offer 8 cores in a 15W (low power) mobile package! Lisa Su claimed that Ryzen 4000 beats Intel’s next gen mobile offering in single-threaded performance by a small margin, and by a huge margin in multi-threaded performance. Lisa Su confidently stated that Ryzen 4000 will be the best mobile chips going forward. This is very bold indeed, as Intel has been dominant in the mobile space and this segment is Intel’s last stronghold.
She further stated that there will be a dozen design wins in Q1 2020, and over 100 designs through out 2020. OEMs are finally getting on board!
The entire AMD presentation at CES 2020 can be read here on SeekingAlpha.
Lenovo’s Yoga Slim 7 will be using the Ryzen 4000 chips, starting in March, as described in this Anandtech article.
Dell is introducing the G5 15 Special Edition gaming laptop, using the Ryzen 4000 chips plus the new Radeon 5600M GPU in a very attractive package. Specifically, Frank Azor (of the Alienware fame, now working at AMD) touted a new feature called SmartShift debuting in this G5 laptop. SmartShift allows power to shift back and forth between the CPU and the GPU, depending on workload. Already early result is showing a 10% improvement in performance, without changing any hardwares. Frank implied that further improvement can be obtained by more fine tuning. This is particularly exciting because 10% plus improvement is nothing to sneeze at, and AMD is in the unique position to offer such feature by providing the CPU and GPU combo.
Asus is launching its Zephyrus Z14 using the 35W Ryzen 4800HS (exclusive to Asus for six months). Note that this is a 35W part, using less power than the regular H-series, which uses 45W. Notebookcheck has a nice article, here.
Acer is also offering the Ryzen 4700U in its Swift 3, along with Intel’s chips, as covered by Anandtech.
AMD also announced the Radeon 5600 series to complement the RX 5500 and RX5700 series. Even more importantly, AMD announced the launching of RX 5600M and 5700M GPUs, for the ever crucial mobile segment, long dominated by Nvidia. Read Anandtech’s article, here.
Finally, AMD announced the Threadripper 3990X, with 64 cores, for $3990, available on Feb 7, 2020.
Anandtech covered it well, here. Of course Intel has nothing to compete with the Threadripper 3970X with its 32 cores, let alone this 64 cores monster. Some compared this favorably to two Intel Xeon chips priced at more than $20000, while using less power.
Interestingly, AMD did not announce the Threadripper 3980X with 48 cores. I believe this is because it would need 8 6-cores chiplets, which is hard to come by, simply because yield for the full 8-cores chiplets are so high, AMD can’t come up with so many highly binned 6 cores chiplets!
In review, AMD is widely considered to have outdone Intel at CES 2020. Articles can be found at Forbes, Fortune (featuring a nice video interview of Lisa Su), Marketwatch, and Barron’s.
Dr. Ian Cutress of Anandtech did a great interview with Lisa Su, detailed here. Notably Lisa confirmed that big Navi will be coming (RX 5800 series?) and Zen 3 will be here in 2020, all good news.
Finally, Taiwanese media had reported that Apple will be moving onto TSMC’s 5 nm process, leaving more 7 nm capacity to AMD. Supposedly AMD will be getting 30K wafers per month in H2 2020, just in time for the consoles and huge increase in market shares in all the segments.
Another way for AMD to supply more chips is the continued use of Global Foundry’s 12 nm process. Apparently AMD had quietly launched the R5 1600 AF, using the 12 nm GF process. It is essentially a lower frequency R5 2600, but is sold merely for $85. This chip offers excellent performance below $100, and will be great for the low end segment. The key point is that AMD is not only offering high performance but also can supply in volume. Gamersnexus has a nice review, here.
AMD share price had run up to 49 pre-CES. Now it is settling around 48. Meanwhile there have been a whole bunches of upgrades into the 50’s. Next catalyst will come with Q4 2019 ER and 2020 guidance. I continue to be very optimistic on AMD reaching 60+ this year.
More than 60% of PC sold are notebooks, so Ryzen 4000 is going to be huge for AMD this year.