One of the elements of building a complete end-to-end solution means having all the components under one brand. The complexity of modern gadgets means that having everything made under one company is near-on impossible - especially with the wealth of IP and patents in every small segment of the modern electronic device. To facilitate the appearance of uniform branding, companies will often rebrand the components under their own name. Introducing the AMD RZ608, a Wi-Fi 6E 2x2 wireless module!

As discovered by Laczarus, the new handheld device called the AYANEO uses a wide array of AMD components, starting with the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processor which is a six-core Zen 2 chip with Vega 6 graphics. It also has a 7-inch display, and it runs a full version of Windows in a handheld device, something akin to an x86 competitor to the Nintendo Switch, albeit crowdfunded and currently shipping to initial backers.

On an update posted to the crowdfunding site on May 9th, the developers behind the project announced that their second batch of 2000 units will be using an unannounced AMD Wi-Fi 6E module. The post states that the AYANEO might very well be the first device with this module in production, and they leverage their cooperation with AMD for the integration with this part as well as troubleshooting. It is also noted that the AMD solution is slightly more expensive than the standard Wi-Fi 6 that was initially part of the design.

So here comes the crux: AMD doesn’t make the Wi-Fi module. Through our sleuthing, this is actually a rebranded MediaTek MT7921K module with an AMD logo on it. MediaTek sells the modules to AMD who brands them, but also leverages the regulatory compliance that MediaTek has already done for this product. AMD then takes over custom integration projects, sales, marketing, and support for the module. The RZ608 sold by AMD is in an M.2 2230 form factor and uses PCIe 2.1, although the AYANEO likely is using a more custom integration. There is also Bluetooth 5.2.

The use of the partnership with MediaTek will likely allow AMD to partner its mobile processors with its own branded Wi-Fi 6E solution with OEM partners when it comes to designing devices. Intel leverages the fact that it has Intel CPU, Intel Wi-Fi, Intel Thunderbolt, and Intel Ethernet as a combined sales opportunity for OEMs making devices around an Intel product, so it appears that AMD is leveraging the same ecosystem gains, albeit with rebranded components.

There was an unconfirmed rumor going around the internet last year about a collaboration between MediaTek and AMD co-creating some custom wireless designs, with some reports suggesting that the collaboration will go beyond Wi-Fi. We're not sure to what extent AMD has had any input in the design of the MT7921K / RZ608, or how much that will continue going forward. At this point I'm confident that this sits as a rebrand just for now, given the lifecycle of product development in this area, as well as the Wi-Fi certification being in MediaTek's name.


Wi-Fi Alliance Certification of MT7921K/RZ608

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  • calc76 - Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - link

    "Broadcast TV is never going to move beyond 1080P(there isn't spectrum for it)"

    Interesting, I suppose the rollout of ATSC 3.0 with HEVC doesn't exist.🤔
    Reply
  • at_clucks - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    "that's a huge group of people nowadays"

    For an arbitrary definition of "huge". There are an estimated 3bn gamers today. The *audience* for esports was less than 0.5bn in 2020 (a good year). Competitive gamers are an niche market, far from huge. And the number of people who can realistically tell the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz is vanishingly small. In the chase for big numbers so many buyers go for crappy TN screens because they have a lot of those hurtz things.

    A lot of people drive a cars but only a few are "competitive drivers". There's no expectation that all cars should be super-sport.

    "Samsung is selling more 8k TVs"

    Sure, but they were selling plenty of curved TVs too. And 3D TVs before that. I understand the need to serve them with an adequate interface for what they want, no objection there. But it's fueled by people chasing big numbers. Most wouldn't know DSC if it hit them in the retina :).

    Approximately 100% of the people I tested with (a lot, I can assure you) assumed the 8K TV was the one with more vivid colors. The same applied with 4K before it. And with the 1440p monitor many years ago.
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Thursday, May 20, 2021 - link

    Mate... 0.5 billion is about a 15th of the entire Earth's (and therefore our species') population. Reply
  • Dug - Thursday, May 20, 2021 - link

    Every movie editor, producer, content creator, and anyone that needs fast storage, 10Gb ethernet, multiple 5k displays, or 8k display, and daisy chaining capability. It's far more than the 1%.
    It is taking a long time to fill orders for TB4 docks due to demand.
    Reply
  • Linustechtips12#6900xt - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    Didn't apple buy intel's modem business??? Reply
  • brakdoo - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    Yes, that was the former Infineon GSM modem business. The WIFI business is different.

    BTW Intel also sold their home WiFi business to maxlinear (chips for routers) because there is no money in that. They kept the client chips for strategic reasons
    Reply
  • yeeeeman - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    this might turn for the better or for the worse for amd.
    One is the situation of Intel where it makes the actual chip INHOUSE, whereas AMD is buying this from another company that it isn't known for its quality, so people might have to be obligated to swap their wifi cards to intel, cause amd doesn't want intel wifi cards, which are, lets face it, the standard in this business.
    Reply
  • Matthias B V - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    Agreed. It is not the same but what options do they have if they do not want to rely on Intel?

    Buy MediaTek, Marvell or Realtek? I mean Realtek would be intresting for their LAN solutions etc. MediaTek and Marvell would be too big to swallow now after the Xilinx merger.
    Reply
  • brakdoo - Monday, May 10, 2021 - link

    Broadcom was actually looking for a potential buyers of it's client WIFI/BT business and they are the best out there (at least for phones).

    There is just no money in this business. AMD would be stupid if they would go after this market.

    There are 4 leading edge client WIFI companies fighting over $5 chips in $8 modules: Broadcom, Quallcom, MTK and Intel (+maybe Samsung). Huawei was among them but they have problems with the US.
    Reply
  • rahvin - Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - link

    There will be further consolidation in the wifi chip business, eventually there will be 3 or less providers and prices will stabilize making the business profitable again. It's just which companies see the long term value at that point (or in the case of Intel the leverage of offering a complete platform). Reply

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