SAN JOSE, Calif.—Advanced Micro Devices sketched out plans to fill out its portfolio of desktop x86 CPU products as its high-end Ryzen 7 processors officially went on sale. The Ryzen 5 and 3 lines are named to correspond to competing iCore 7, 5 and 3 families from rival Intel.
The flagship Ryzen 5 1600X uses six of AMD’s Zen cores handling 12 threads and running at a 3.6 GHz base data rate. It beats Intel’s Core i5 7600L by 69 percent in a Cinebench nT multithreaded benchmark and will ship before June, AMD said.
The Ryzen 5 line also includes four-core processors. The chips fall in a broad $100-$300 price range. AMD provided no details on the Ryzen 3 family except that it will ship in the second half of the year.
The new AMD families will “bring Zen to more mainstream x86 price points,” said Nathan Brookwood, principal of Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.).
All Ryzen chips are unlocked and come with tools for overclocking and tuning their performance, with some hitting rates up to 4.1 GHz in liquid-cooled systems. By contrast, Intel sells a special unlocked version of its CPUs.
AMD seeded 400 high-end developers with Ryzen 7 machines, targeting high-end video and games producers. It expects to supply processors to several thousand targeted developers before the end of the year.
Before June AMD also will ship its first Zen-based server chip, a 32-core CPU dubbed Naples. Before the end of the year it will roll out Zen-based CPUs for notebooks.
The company reported at ISSCC on a four-core Zen chip that had at 44mm2 a 10 percent better area efficiency than a similar Intel CPU. It claims its Zen core delivered a 270 percent Cinebench nT improvement over its prior Excavator core.
Looking ahead, AMD has Zen 2 and 3 generations on the drawing board, said chief technology officer Mark Papermaster. “We are back and we are committed to stay back,” he said.
Ryzen will fuel an estimated 26-percent rise in AMD’s unit sales for PC chips this year while Intel’s unit sales will fall five percent, according to Ross Seymore, a financial analyst with Deutsche Bank who follows both companies.
So far, Intel has not announced any price cuts to its Core desktop line, said an Intel spokesperson, something market watchers anticipated at the Ryzen 7 launch last month. Intel is focusing on profitability in its client x86 business, anticipating continued single-digit unit sales declines in PCs over the next three years, Seymore said in a research report.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times