CES 2019: AMD Keynote Announcements


There was plenty of hype surrounding AMD this year at CES, mainly regarding details about its new graphics card. Well, AMD did deliver, in addition to news about its CPU advancements in the mobile, desktop, and server segments. While there was a lot shown, there was also a lot teased. I'm looking at you, Navi.

Ryzen, Athlon, and A-Series Mobile Processors

AMD started off its keynote with updated 2nd Gen Ryzen 3000-series, Athlon 300-series, and 7th Gen A-series processors for mobile platforms. Overall, these chips are focused on enhanced performance, increased efficiency, and overall lower power draw for longer battery life, like most CPU upgrades. The Ryzen processors, built with integrated Radeon graphics, will now be receiving regular Radeon Software Adrenalin updates, bringing desktop GPU support to notebooks. AMD is also offering Zen-based Athlon mobile processors to provide consumers with more choice, as well as A-series processors in Chromebooks for fluid web browsing and effortless everyday productivity.

Radeon VII 7 nm Gaming GPU

The long-awaited 2nd Generation Vega, now named the Radeon VII / Radeon "7", is the first 7 nm gaming graphics card. Built with 60 compute units, twice the memory and memory bandwidth of its predecessor, the Radeon VII offers 29 to 36% higher gaming performance compared to the Radeon RX Vega 64. Its 3,840 stream processors that run at up to 1.8 GHz and 16GB of HBM2 memory, delivering 1 TB/s, enable the card to shine in 4K ultra-settings gaming. In addition to raw processing power, the Radeon VII continues to support AMD's FreeSync technology for a stutter- and tear-free experience. FreeSync 2 HDR technology incorporates all its previous frame-rate features and offers increased brightness and color volume. The Radeon VII is slated for February 7, with AIB partner cards in tow.

EPYC Server Update

AMD's EPYC processors are used in data centers and cloud environments that require enormous processing and computational power. Codename "Rome," the updated 7 nm CPU is built on the Zen 2 architecture. In a demonstration, a single "Rome" processor went head to head with two high-end Intel® Xeon™ Platinum 8180 processors in an NAMD application, which simulates large bio-molecular systems, and finished its task roughly 15% faster. The AMD EPYC "Rome" processor is scheduled for mid-2019 release.

Bonus: Ryzen 3

Confident with all things 7 this year, AMD left us with a teaser of the 3rd Gen Ryzen desktop processor, built on the Zen 2 architecture. Slated for mid-2019 release, this eight-core processor went head to head with an Intel© Core™ i9-9900K and squeezed out similar performance numbers in Cinebench, but with a noticeably lower power draw. Featuring a chiplet design, the 3rd Gen Ryzen shown had an 8-core die, a larger IO-die, and what seemed like to be enough room for an additional 8-core die. Whether AMD could be offering a 16-core model in the future is just speculation at this point. Keep in mind that the chip used was just a prototype and actual clock speeds and specs have yet to be finalized.

Did AMD tug at your heartstrings with its Radeon VII announcement? Let us know your ups and downs in the Comments section, below.