One of the big questions coming out of AMD’s CES announcements was if its new CPU design, codenamed Matisse and which enables two chiplets and an IO die on a single package, would support one of those chiplets being graphics based in order to make an APU. In our discussions with AMD, we received confirmation that this will not be the case.

The new Matisse design is the platform for AMD’s next generation of desktop processors. The layout shown at CES this year represented the design as having a single IO die, about 122.6 mm2 and built on GlobalFoundries 14nm, paired with a chiplet die, about 80.8 mm2, containing eight cores and built on TSMC’s 7nm. There is obviously space on that package for another CPU chiplet, and there has always been questions if the chiplet design is amenable to using a graphics chiplet instead.

AMD stated that, at this time, there will be no version of the current Matisse chiplet layout where one of those chiplets will be graphics. We were told that there will be Zen 2 processors with integrated graphics, presumably coming out much later after the desktop processors, but built in a different design. Ultimately APUs are both mobile first as well as lower cost parts (usually), so different design decisions will have to be made in order to support that market.

This doesn't rule out a future processor using chiplet graphics, this is just for Matisse.

Our contacts at AMD also discussed the TDP range of the upcoming range of Matisse processors. Given AMD’s definition of TDP, relating to the cooling performance required of the CPU cooler, the range of TDPs for Matisse will be the same as current Ryzen 2000-series processors. This means we could see ‘E’ variants as low as 35W TDP, all the way up to the top ‘X’ processors at 105W, similar to the current Ryzen 7 2700X. We were told that the company expects the processors will fit within that range. This should be expected on some level, given the backwards compatibility with current AM4 motherboards on the market with a BIOS update.

Read our announcement on the early preview of the Matisse processors here:


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  • eldakka - Sunday, January 13, 2019 - link

    "Radeon VII (seven, or five too when spoken) "

    Huh? VII is the Roman numeral for 7, just like X (O/S X) is the Roman numeral for 10.

    VII is not pronounced "five too" it is pronounced "seven", IX is pronounced "nine", XII is pronounced "twelve", etc.
  • cheshirster - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    Not enought 7nm capacity, so APU and midrange NAVI has to be dropped/postponed?
  • dan_ger - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    there is huge 7nm capacity. if anything it is currently undersold.
  • FullmetalTitan - Saturday, January 12, 2019 - link

    There really isn't though. The foundries were constrained in initial 7nm capacity by having to choose between SAQP/SAHP or EUV, and EUV route was constrained by ASML production of scanners, while SAQP adds a LOT of cycle time.
    Going forward the constraints will ease, especially as TSMC moves to their 2nd gen 7nm with EUV inserted, but there is also the massive 7nm commitment to mobile chips. TSMC is building the new snapdragon part, and that eats a huge amount of 7nm capacity.
    So far Navi is still exactly on track with roadmaps AMD has provided for the last 2 years. I expect we will hear a lot more at computex, and see Navi parts in the wild around the end of the summer.
  • Dragonstongue - Saturday, January 12, 2019 - link

    It is, I read about this a few times, many (such as apple, Nvidia etc) would not be stepping in till 2Q-4Q 2019 into 2020-2021 if they see it being worthwhile.

    TSMC is able to give huge volume to AMD of total capacity and not hurt themselves $$$$ overall, which means, if Ryzen 1-2 sell/continue to sell well, TR same, EPYC which is selling very well and soon to be Ryzen 3xxx also do well, sky is the limit ^.^
  • Alexvrb - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    We knew Navi wasn't going to hit for a while yet. The only surprise was they released a consumer Vega 20 as a stopgap. As for a Zen 2 APU, they prioritized their GPU-less desktop variant, so the APUs will come later. It's a smart move - strike while the iron is hot, before Intel can get their 10nm chips cranked out en masse.

    Meanwhile on mobile they just released Zen+ designs including 35W models. That will help them end up in more laptops across the board, now including gaming models. Of course this is made possible in part by Intel's struggle to produce enough chips. I predict Zen 2 mobile APUs will eventually span an even larger range, possible down to sub 10W models. Surface Pro?
  • shadowx360 - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    Read the Q&A with the CEO, AMD chose to showcase an 8 core to show core to core parity with Intel, instead of relying on more cores to achieve the same performance.
  • PixyMisa - Saturday, January 12, 2019 - link

    They just announced Ryzen 3000 APUs. Just that they're 12nm, not 7nm.

    So there won't be a second range of Ryzen 3000 APUs. They'll be called something else.
  • Jmce - Saturday, January 12, 2019 - link

    Or... As AMD has said in their notes for the event on their website that they specifically chose an 8c/16t 3000 series because it had the same core/thread count and thus allowed for a core for core performance comparison. The idea being "we've always had more cores, this time were going keep it a as level a playing field as possible in order to show our improvements in both efficiency and performance".

    Personally I think it screams, "our mid tier is as fast as your flagship. The best is yet to come".
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    No APU version now makes sense, as they announced 3000 series APUs based on 12nm Zen+ just a few days before.

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