AMD Reportedly Working on Custom Arm processor w/ RDNA GPU for Microsoft Surface Laptop

1 : Anonymous2021/10/01 14:25 ID: pz94b6
AMD Reportedly Working on Custom Arm processor w/ RDNA GPU for Microsoft Surface Laptop
2 : Anonymous2021/10/01 14:43 ID: hezaywd

I wonder if AMD would think of ever making their own consumer facing ARM cores. This rumor says that they are just going to use Cortex and X1 cores, so it's unlikely it will be on par with Apple' M1 in terms of performance.

ID: hezcewf

They were working on their own ARM cores back when they were developing Zen, and IIRC they were going to even share the AM4 socket. They decided to scrap it to focus on Zen and x86 dominance, which has worked out for them. Developing their own design could be worth it, but it has to be balanced against the time, money, and engineering resources that could be devoted to their x86 stuff, or even other heterogeneous chiplet architectures like APUs, or integrating FPGAs and other accelerators. Based on recent leaks, it looks like Intel believes they can compete with ARM in power efficiency with x86, so AMD may think the same thing, at least in the long term (thus making a chip with Cortex and RDNA right now).

ID: hf08f12

Getting into ARM, ie serious engineering that can perform with the top semi-custom ARM chips like the ones from Apple, isn't something I see AMD doing. I mean would it really be worth it or sustainable in the long-term when ARM architecture is a proprietary IP that each generation has to be licensed from ARM. From the possible ARM-Nvidia acquisition and merger, the risk becomes even more obvious.

I could see AMD ramping up an internal R&D group to work on creating a RISC architecture based on RISC-V to give them a foothold in the ultra efficient embedded and mobile space but I can't see anyone these days thinking investing in ARM r&d being a good idea. When deciding to invest a lot of work into branching out with a new category of CPU architecture, I would be very uncomfortable going the ARM direction where it's a proprietary base technology that can be yanked out from under you at some point in the future.

ID: hf0yngm

Yeah AMD has lofty power goals (30x more!!) in the x86/64 space for the next 5 years; that if achieved would surpass any power advantage ARM chips have at this time.

ID: hezcoc3

They did, but canceled it.

When Zen1 was in development, there was also an ARM version in development that shared as much as possible with the Zen1 design. They canceled the ARM version in a late state as they wanted the full focus on x86 and the ARM server market wasn't moving as fast as expected.

They can always revive that project and update it with newer Zen parts if a customer requests that, but it might be easier and cheaper to take an off-the-shelf design if a long-term product roadmap is not guaranteed.

ID: heztajk

It was rumored that Samsung poached some AMD CPU engineers to potentially work on a new custom architecture. My first thought was they poached members of the k12 team. So maybe they can't just revive it anymore. I can't imagine familiarizing themselves with a brand new architecture they've never implemented (X1 and A78) before would be any easier than bringing back one they literally created.

ID: hf063wx

Was the Opteron A1100 sharing parts of this development?

ID: hezljld

They're probably just playing it safe. In the future, AMD will probably be involved in many semi-custom ARM designs. I think it's inevitable.

Between waiting for new ARM cores and going in-house, there's the option of semi-custom with a pedigreed team like AMD's.

As for AMD's own consumer ARM line, probably not. If AMD were much larger and could take on more risk, then maybe, but I think they'll have a significant place in the market designing custom SoCs and platforms.

ID: hezndff

It it ever happens, it would be like Snapdragon 8cx. Not really a DIY oriented product but available in OEM configurations, a very strong competitor to Qualcomm which pushes the future of Windows on ARM.

ID: hezf77m

I suspect it depends on how well this goes. AMD can't just jump right in after being out of the game for a decade+. So they could build a few designs with off the shelf cores then start tweaking and eventually perhaps make their own. It'd be cool to see though for sure. I'd love to have better SoCs to choose from when it comes to mobile.

ID: hezkxz5

The only reason the M1 is any good is because the GPU is 4 times better than any other thin and light, aka, crappy integrated graphics. Yes, battery life will always be better, but the power it has comes from the fact you DON’T need to emulate GPU tasks, and they use the GPU to do the emulation for the processor. It’s brilliant, but people keep acting like it’s a good processor when it’s really a good GPU and it’s side kick that happens to be out of its league but with an amazing helping hand.

ID: hezrg09

That just isn't true. The M1 big cores are about on par with AMD's efficient offerings at a lower power draw, not to mention the little cores for standby and idle tasks. You'd be delusional to think that the more efficient GPU is biggest factor in making the M1 more efficient.

ID: hezr2nc

That's on microsoft. If this is real it'd be a semicustom chip where microsoft'd choose what they use

Idk if this is real though, it says the chip moved from samsung fab to tsmc 5nm. Amd wouldn't have its own 5nm products released by then, why'd they launch a 5nm chip for microsoft 1st?

ID: hf02vvq

if microsoft is willing to pay extra dollars for 5 nm, why not?

3 : Anonymous2021/10/01 20:39 ID: hf0nukd

If true, to me this implies that Microsoft is serious about ARM. At least serious enough to pay good money for a custom chip.

Unfortunately I don't trust Microsoft to be able to pull this off the same way Apple did.

4 : Anonymous2021/10/01 17:03 ID: hezuini

RDNAX + ARM could be interesting against the Switch (2) too..

5 : Anonymous2021/10/02 03:56 ID: hf244qu

Article seems rather disingenuous, implying AMD is "working on" ARM cores when they're not. Not really any different to how the 3rd-party IP from MSFT/Sony is handled with the consoles.

6 : Anonymous2021/10/01 16:03 ID: hezm2ph

Switch 2 here we go

ID: hf0lu4z

I would love a more powerful Switch. It was disappointing that they couldn't get a custom X1 with pascal cores or something a little more beefy at the time.

7 : Anonymous2021/10/01 14:46 ID: hezbccw

Apple made MacOS work on arm, hopefully Microsoft is ready to pull of the same feat. If they really made it work they would have talked about it with the Win11 features.

ID: hezkdvt

Apple made MacOS work on arm, hopefully Microsoft is ready to pull of the same feat. If they really made it work they would have talked about it with the Win11 features.

Windows 11 does run on ARM, they did demo it on surface pro x.

ID: hezo3d1

Oops. Missed it

ID: hezut9e

Windows has had an arm build for years. The problem is that Apple forces adoption while windows being in the software side has it as an option. There's also the issue that their emulator isn't as good as apples

ID: hezvna5

Windows RT? Wasn't that a POS/dud

8 : Anonymous2021/10/01 18:00 ID: hf02enb

I really just wanted an amd cpu on a surface :/

9 : Anonymous2021/10/01 18:46 ID: hf08p2p

This is a great opportunity for AMD to start dipping into ARM again. Low overhead, valuable experience in working with ARM designs for an actual project. It would be a great stepping stone into their designs down the road.

10 : Anonymous2021/10/02 05:07 ID: hf2amyo

It would probably be easier for Microsoft to just make a deal with Samsung to use their upcoming Exynos chipset.

11 : Anonymous2021/10/02 05:14 ID: hf2b5tw

hmm.... I think exynos with rdna2 will be much better

12 : Anonymous2021/10/01 16:30 ID: hezpwup

DynamicIQ sounds suspiciously similar to a big.LITTLE version of AMD's Bulldozer architecture... except now they can power gate for the module to run either in high performance or minimum power modes. Combining them probably makes more efficient use of silicon than having separate sharing execution resources.

ID: hf02sil

DynamicIQ sounds suspiciously similar to a is big.LITTLE

no seriously, DynamicIQ is literally just ARM's name for their big.LITTLE implementation on A75/A55 or newer cores. They gave it the new name due to the flexibility of what / how many cores you can use

of AMD's Bulldozer architecture.

I dont see how that is anything like what bulldozer was. Bulldozer put 2 integer cores with the same l2 cache, fpu and front end. How is that anything like big little?

13 : Anonymous2021/10/01 21:05 ID: hf0r75i



ARMs cores don't have the perf that's needed for laptops.

14 : Anonymous2021/10/01 17:15 ID: hezw8dt

Honestly, I believe the future is with ARM. As a lifelong PC user, it took all of an hour with my Wife's M1 MacBook Air before ordering one for myself.

No fan, fast, and impressive battery life is what sold me.

x86 is always going to have compromises for TDP limited applications.

ID: hf0vgr1

Shhh, being happy with M1 is illegal here.

15 : Anonymous2021/10/01 19:42 ID: hf0geix

Curious if the 4k Nintendo Switch could also do something similar.

ID: hf0iqhm

There is no damn 4k switch

ID: hf0mg2l

I thought there was some news on that in the last 24 hours, that some devs did actually get a dev kit, even though Nintendo denies it up and down.


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