Opinion: AMD highlights path to the future

Bob O'Donnell

Posts: 16   +1
Staff member
<div class="bbWrapper"><p><img src="https://static.techspot.com/articles-info/1980/images/2020-02-07-image-3.jpg"></p>

<p>In fact, the key takeaway from the event was that the company leadership—and apparently many of the financial analysts who attended—now have even more confidence in the business’ future. The company was even willing to reiterate its guidance for the first quarter, which, given the impact of the coronavirus on many its customers and the tech industry as a whole, was an impressively optimistic statement.</p>

<p>As a long-time company observer, what particularly stood out to me was that the company has now built up a several-year history of achieving some fairly grand plans based on big decisions it made 4-5 years back. In the past, previous AMD leadership has also talked about big ideas, but frankly, they weren’t able to deliver on them. The key difference with the current leadership team is that they are now able to execute on those ideas. As a result, the credibility of their forward-looking plans has gone up significantly.</p>

<p>And what plans they are. The company made a number of <a href="https://www.techspot.com/news/84295-amd-cpu-roadmap-reveals-zen-3-zen-4.html" target="_blank">important announcements</a> about its future product strategies and roadmaps at the event, most all of which were targeted around high-performance computing, both for CPUs and GPUs.</p>

<p>On the GPU roadmap, a particularly noteworthy development was the introduction of a new datacenter-focused GPU architecture named CDNA (“C” for Compute)—an obvious link to the RDNA architecture currently used for PC and gaming-consoled focused GPU designs. Full details around CDNA and specific Radeon Instinct GPUs based on it are still to come, but the company is clearly focusing on the machine learning, AI, and other datacenter-focused workloads that its primary competitor Nvidia has been targeting for the last several years.</p>

<p><img src="https://static.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2020/03/2020-03-10-image-13.jpg"></p>

<p>One key point the company made is that the second and third generation CDNA-based GPUs would leverage the company’s Infinity interconnect architecture, allowing future CPUs and GPUs to share memory in a truly heterogenous computing environment, as well as providing a way for multiple GPU “chiplets” to connect with one another. The company even talked about offering software that would convert existing CUDA code (which Nvidia uses for its data center GPUs) into platform-agnostic HIP code that would run on these new CDNA-based GPUs.</p>

<p>AMD also talked about plans for future consumer-focused GPUs and discussed its next-generation RDNA2 technology and Navi 2X chips, which are expected to offer hardware-accelerated support for ray tracing, as well as improvements in variable rate shading and overall performance per watt.</p>

<p>Notably, the hardware ray tracing support is expected to be a common architecture between both PCs and gaming consoles (both the PlayStation 5 and next-generation Xbox are based on custom AMD GPU designs), so that should be an important advancement for game developers. The company also mentioned RDNA3, which is expected in the 2020-2021 timeframe and will be manufactured with what is described as an “Advanced Node.” Presumably that will be smaller than the 7nm production being used for current RDNA-based GPUs and those based on the forthcoming RDNA2 architecture.</p>

<p class="side-quote">"It’s clear that AMD is here to stay. For the sake of the overall semiconductor market and the competitiveness that it will enable, that’s a good thing."</p>

<p>Speaking of production, the company discussed how it intends to move forward aggressively, not only on smaller size process nodes, but also to add in 2.5 and 3D chip stacking (which it termed X3D). Over the past year or so, packaging technologies have taken on new levels of importance for future semiconductor designs, so it will be interesting to see what AMD does here.</p>

<p><img src="https://static.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2020/03/2020-03-10-image-9.jpg"></p>

<p>On the CPU side, the company laid out its <a href="http://www.techspot.com/news/84295-amd-cpu-roadmap-reveals-zen-3-zen-4.html">roadmap for several new generations</a> of its Zen core CPU architectures, including a 7nm-based Zen 3 core expected in the next year or so, and the company’s first 5nm CPU, the Zen 4, planned for 2021 or 2022.</p>

<p>AMD made a point to highlight the forthcoming Ryzen Mobile 4000 series CPUs for notebooks, expected to be available later this month, which the company expects will boost them to the top of the notebook performance charts, just as the Ryzen Zen 2-based CPUs did for desktops. The company also mentioned that its 3rd-generation Epyc server processor, codenamed Milan and based on the forthcoming Zen 3 core, is expected to ship later this year.</p>

<p><img src="https://static.techspot.com/images2/news/bigimage/2020/03/2020-03-10-image-11.jpg"></p>

<p>For even higher-performance computing, the combination of Zen 4-based CPU cores, 3rd generation CDNA GPU cores and the 3rd generation Infinity interconnect architecture in the late 2022 timeframe is also what enables the exascale level of computing powering AMD’s recent <a href="https://www.techspot.com/news/84266-amd-cpus-gpus-power-future-world-fastest-supercomputer.html" target="_blank">El Capitan supercomputer announcement</a>.</p>

<p>Built in conjunction with HPE on behalf of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and the US Department of Energy, El Capitan is expected to be the fastest supercomputer in the world when it’s released and, amazingly, will be more powerful than today’s 200 fastest supercomputers combined.</p>

<p>All told, it was a very impressive set of announcements that highlights how AMD continues to build on the momentum it started to create a few years back. Obviously, there are enormous questions about exactly where the tech market is headed in the short term, but looking further out, it’s clear that AMD is here to stay. For the sake of the overall semiconductor market and the competitiveness that it will enable, that’s a good thing.</p>

<p class="grey">Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of <a href="http://www.technalysisresearch.com/" target="_blank">TECHnalysis Research, LLC</a> a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/bobodtech" rel="author" target="_blank">@bobodtech</a>. This article was originally published on <a href="https://techpinions.com/amd-highlights-path-to-the-future/59438">Tech.pinions</a>.</p>
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Irata

Posts: 1,361   +2,171
What I find amazing is what AMD manages to pull off (and also managed to do in the past) in terms of innovation and products, considering their size and resources.

Sure, they are not a Mom & Pop shop but considering their competitors they are notably smaller.
 

amstech

Posts: 2,643   +1,807
Sure, they are not a Mom & Pop shop but considering their competitors they are notably smaller.
Well there is only so many competitors.
From what I remember its about 10,000 folks globally for AMD, which is pretty damn massive. For comparison I believe Intel is right around 100,000. AMD didn't grow for awhile because they weren't making competitive products consistently enough.
Since 2016/2017 their stocks have climbed considerably, due to many factors, including console sales and the release of their Ryzen architecture. Now they have some real momentum and house employees eager to innovate and bring down the Champion, Intel.

https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/stocks/amd

This will be a good thing for Intel, as their architecture has been a copy and paste for 10 generations, minus a few tweaks like 3D transistors and smaller dies. AMD is just being smarter with their statements too, I think before they were trying to be too bold, like with all those ridiculous Bulldozer claims and that was a leadership issue. In all reality Bulldozer actually did quite well and was neck and neck with comparative Intel chips, but AMD hyped them up to be killers and when that didn't happen it backfired. Had they just let their chips do the talking it would have went much better, some of those 6 and 8 core Bulldozer chips weren't all that bad.
The big jump AMD needs to make is in the large scale computing/enterprise segment, and then you will see them double in size. And since they were the underdog for so long, I can see them being genuine and pure for decades before they become complacent, and sit on their hands like Intel has done the past 10 years.
 

Adi6293

Posts: 760   +1,016
Well there is only so many competitors.
From what I remember its about 10,000 folks globally for AMD, which is pretty damn massive. For comparison I believe Intel is right around 100,000. AMD didn't grow for awhile because they weren't making competitive products consistently enough.
Since 2016/2017 their stocks have climbed considerably, due to many factors, including console sales and the release of their Ryzen architecture. Now they have some real momentum and house employees eager to innovate and bring down the Champion, Intel.

https://www.nasdaq.com/market-activity/stocks/amd

This will be a good thing for Intel, as their architecture has been a copy and paste for 10 generations, minus a few tweaks like 3D transistors and smaller dies. AMD is just being smarter with their statements too, I think before they were trying to be too bold, like with all those ridiculous Bulldozer claims and that was a leadership issue. In all reality Bulldozer actually did quite well and was neck and neck with comparative Intel chips, but AMD hyped them up to be killers and when that didn't happen it backfired. Had they just let their chips do the talking it would have went much better, some of those 6 and 8 core Bulldozer chips weren't all that bad.
The big jump AMD needs to make is in the large scale computing/enterprise segment, and then you will see them double in size. And since they were the underdog for so long, I can see them being genuine and pure for decades before they become complacent, and sit on their hands like Intel has done the past 10 years.

I and few of my friends and family members used the FX chips and I didn't have much complains, I did hate how hot they were once pushed past 4.6Ghz ( 4.8Ghz for my FX8350 ) but they were still fun and played games good enough paired with 390X at 1440p :)
 
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