At this year’s CES, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su delivered the pre-show keynote address and arrived with a host of announcements and guests. The topic of the keynote address was adaptive and high performance computing to help solve problems. Guests on stage included representatives from HP, Intuitive Surgical, Lenovo, Magic Leap and Microsoft. It also included a former NASA astronaut as a bonus.
Dr. Su made seven key product announcements ranging from energy-efficient PCs to extreme processors designed for supercomputers. With all the announcements and guests, it’s no surprise that the keynote address ran much longer than planned. It seemed like every AMD group got a piece of the keynote.
A PC upgrade
Despite the current drop in PC sales, most of AMD’s announcements focused on PCs, both desktop and laptop. Of particular interest was AMD’s decision to add a dedicated AI core to its new Ryzen 7040 series laptop processors. The AMD Ryzen 7040 is designed to fit in ultra-slim laptops with TDP (thermal design power) from 15W to 45W and is manufactured using TSMC’s advanced 4nm process. The Ryzen 7040 has AMD’s most advanced Zen 4 CPU cores combined with the latest RDNA3 GPU architecture.
The Ryzen 7040’s integrated AI technology was developed by Xilinx, which AMD acquired last year. But even before the acquisition, AMD had engaged with Xilinx to license the technology. Xilinx developed the AI engine for its adaptive computing product Versal ACAP. Details of the Ryzen AI Engine, as AMD now calls it, have yet to be revealed, but Versal AI Engines are 2D arrays of vector-vector and matrix-matrix VLIW compute engines. While AI workloads can be run on AMD’s embedded CPUs and GPUs, AMD claims that running these workloads on a dedicated AI engine is more energy efficient, which is why the company has introduced its first processor in a laptop. Microsoft Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Panos Panay gave a strong endorsement of Ryzen AI and how Microsoft plans to use it initially for Teams and for other features in the future. We encourage AMD to access Ryzen AI through open toolchains and APIs, in addition to Microsoft’s Studio tools.
It’s great to see AMD really embrace the pervasiveness of AI in computing. AMD has GPUs and FPGA/ACAP for AI acceleration, and is now incorporating AI technology into leading notebook processors. Intel will also incorporate an embedded AI accelerator into its Meteor Lake processors later this year.
AMD also brought its RDNA 3 architecture to mobile discrete GPUs by announcing the Radeon 7000M series. These new mobile GPUs can power 1080p games at the highest game settings and support graphics-intensive content creation applications. When you combine AMD Radeon RX 7000M-series graphics with Ryzen 7000-series processors, AMD SmartShift RSR technology intelligently distributes rendering, upscaling, and rendering demands across APU and GPU resources to optimize performance . This capacity is expected to be available in the first half of 2023.
Desktop computers are also getting a processor upgrade. The new Ryzen 7000 series X3D desktop processors are equipped with up to 144MB cache and feature up to 16 cores and 32 threads. The new processors are a bit weird in that only one of the two CPU cluster chipsets in the package gets the stacked memory, giving the CPU an asymmetrical bias. For example, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D has an 8-core CPU chiplet without 3D cache that can clock at 5.7 GHz with boost, but the other 8-core chiplet on the 3D-Cache stacked processor has more cache but a lower clock. lower impulse. It will be interesting to see how well the OS thread manager and application developers handle such an asymmetric setup.
The other PC-related announcements include a high-powered Ryzen 7045HX laptop processor design for larger laptops, aimed at gamers and creative professionals. This processor uses the desktop chiplet design to offer up to 16 cores.
There was also a low-key announcement of AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors coming soon. Based on the Zen 4 architecture and with a TDP of 65 W, this new line of Ryzen 7000 series processors is optimized for both efficiency and performance. There are also some cost-optimized AM5 motherboards coming before spring.
AI in the data center
There were three announcements about how AMD is working to advance AI for data center applications: AMD Vitis medical imaging libraries, the Alveo V70 AI accelerator, and the Instinct MI300 high-performance computing accelerator.
AMD announced its Vitis Medical Imaging Libraries to bring premium medical imaging products to market faster by reducing development times. These software libraries run on AMD Versal SoC devices powered by AI engines to deliver high-quality, low-latency images for medical applications.
AMD also showcased its XDNA adaptive AI architecture on a discrete PCIe add-in card with the Alveo V70. Based on AMD XDNA with AI Engine architecture, the Alveo V70 extends pervasive AI from the edge to the cloud.
Xilinx FPGAs are currently being used on the Perseverance Mars rover, so AMD arranged an interview with former NASA astronaut Dr. Cady Coleman. Dr. Coleman was furthering NASA’s agenda of human space travel to the Moon and eventually to Mars with the Artemis program. But the broader message was about promoting STEM education and inspiring more people, including women, to pursue a career in science.
Dr. Su ended her keynote address with a preview of the company’s upcoming monster GPU for high-performance computing, the MI300, which is comprised of 13 chipsets and uses 2.5D and 3D packaging techniques. It has a total of 146 billion transistors. The MI300 not only offers GPU cores, but also includes three Zen 4 CPU chipsets in the package. The goal of packing CPU cores into the GPU cluster is to be able to run tasks closer to the GPU and eliminate transaction latency with the main host CPU. The CPU/GPU cluster will support 128 GB of HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) local memory in the package. This design is similar to Nvidia’s Grace-Hopper HPC processor, which combines Grace’s ARM CPUs in the same package with Hopper GPUs. The MI300 should ship in 2H23.
The many presentations during Dr. Su’s keynote address demonstrated that AMD continues to provide leading products in PCs and high-performance computing. Despite the current technology market downturn, AMD continues to invest in new and cutting-edge products and is accelerating its AI roadmap.
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