Advanced Micro Devices announced a new mainstream graphics processing unit (GPU) to compete with arch-rival Nvidia. The new AMD Radeon 5600 series GPUs are designed to hit low-power and low-price targets. It also announced its much-awaited mobile Ryzen chips.
AMD’s new graphics chips are built with a 7-nanometer manufacturing process, where the width between circuits is just seven billionths of a meter. The process enables faster, more power-efficient, and lower-cost chips, which are manufactured by subcontractors such as TSMC for AMD.
AMD made the announcements at a press event at CES 2020, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas.
Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, also announced a 64-core Ryzen Threadripper processor built with a 7-nanometer process. It has 128 threads, costs $4,000, and will be available on February 7.
“I said that 2020 was going to be a bigger year than 2019, and I meant bigger,” said Su.
But AMD did not go so far as to describe the details of the expected accelerated processing units (APUs, which combine graphics and a prcessor on the same chip, that it is creating for game console makers Sony and Microsoft, which are both due to launch consoles in 2020.
Because of its success across processors, GPUs, and APUs, AMD is at a historic high point in its competition against Intel, which is behind in producing a similar manufacturing process.
The Radeon GPUs include the 5600, the 5600XT, and the 5600M for mobile. The 5600XT will be available in January for $279.
While Nvidia’s RTX GPUs are beefier, the new Radeon chips are going after Nvidia’s GTX GPUs on the low end. And the Radeon chips aren’t slouches either. The Radeon 5600 XT has 36 compute units, 2,304 stream processors, and can process 7.19 teraflops at 150 watts.
It runs at 1.375 GHz, and it can run Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 10% faster than the Nvidia GTX 1660Ti.
“AMD has moved aggressively against Intel in the last year,” said Rob Enderle, analyst at Enderle Group, in an interview. “What you’ll see is interesting moves on the laptop side, and good design wins. They are turning the corner on getting [computer makers] to pick up their products They reallly aren’t a second tier any more.”
AMD is also making discrete graphics chips based on the 7-nanometer process. Those are called the U series, H Series, and Pro series Ryzen 4000 chips.
And it is also working on its laptop processors, which are dubbed second-generation Ryzen 4000 central processing units, or CPUs, for mobile devices. It is an x86-based processor with eight cores and 16 threads, built in seven nanometers. The processors can run on 15 watts, 45 watts, or higher. Azor said the 45-watt mobile processor can beat one of Intel’s main desktop processors in performance.
Su said it was a “very very very disruptive device.” She showed off a new Ryzen 4000-based Lenovo Yoga laptop, and she said the company has a dozen design in the works for the first quarter and more than 100 systems coming in 2020. The Dell G5 SE, an $800 gaming laptop available in Q2, will use the Ryzen H-Series and Radeon 5600M chips, said Frank Azor, chief gaming architect at AMD, at the press event.
“AMD’s latest laptop platform will make the company even more competitive in both CPU and graphics-stressing workloads and with better battery life,” said Patrick Moorhead, analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “I do believe this will help AMD gain more market share like it has with its desktop lineup.”
Jim McGregor, analyst at Tirias Research, said in an interview that AMD is doing good in server and PC chips.
“The only thing they are struggling with is the commercial client. But when it comes to performance and solutions, AMD now has it,” he said. “They have the advantage of design and now also the manufacturing process, which was Intel’s advantage for so many years.”