AMD may introduce Gray Hawk APUs based on Zen Plus processor cores in 2019

Kevin Parrish
Digital Trends
AMD's Forrest Norrod kicked off a series of new blogs focused on the upcoming Naples CPU for servers slated for the first half of 2017. A 32-core, 64-thread version was first revealed in August as part of AMD's "Zen" architecture reveal.

AMD’s ‘Naples’ server CPU designed for ‘radical’ data center changes

AMD's Forrest Norrod kicked off a series of new blogs focused on the upcoming Naples CPU for servers slated for the first half of 2017. A 32-core, 64-thread version was first revealed in August as part of AMD's "Zen" architecture reveal.

With AMD set to release processors based on its Zen core technology starting in the first half of 2017, the company teased it will introduce products based on its Zen Plus core technology thereafter. Reports have now surfaced claiming that one of those Zen Plus products will be a new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) code named Gray Hawk slated to arrive during 2019.

According to the reports, the Gray Hawk APUs will be based on 7nm FinFET process technology, which uses fin-shaped 3D transistors that provide better performance and less power leakage over flat planar transistors. The new manufacturing process was announced by Globalfoundries earlier this month, which will be installed at Fab 8 in Saratoga County, New York, thanks to a multi-billion dollar investment. The company will begin to attempt producing 7nm FinFET devices in 2018.

Related: AMD to release three Vega graphic card chips in 2017, with Navi to follow in 2019

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AMD’s Gray Hawk APUs will feature up to four Zen Plus processor cores, up to eight threads (lanes), and a power requirement as low as 10 watts. These chips will include a graphics component based on AMD’s Navi GPU architecture arriving after 2017’s Vega graphics chips. As a comparison, the current Radeon RX 400 Series graphics cards on the market are based on the company’s Polaris graphics chip.

The upcoming Gray Hawk APUs will follow AMD’s family of Raven Ridge APUs slated for the middle of 2017. The Gray Hawk chips will reportedly be the most versatile of AMD’s APU portfolio to date, working in a number of different applications such as desktops, laptops, medical imaging, arcade gaming machines, and more. They are expected to make a debut alongside AMD’s Starship desktop processor in 2019 that will pack a hefty 32 cores and 64 threads.

Here’s a quick look at AMD’s current and future APU roadmap:

Bristol Ridge

Raven Ridge

Gray Hawk

Release Date

2016

2017

2019

Process Node

28nm

14nm

7nm

Core Architecture

Excavator

Zen

Zen Plus

Number of Cores

Up to 4

Up to 4

Up to 4

GPU Architecture

Volcanic Islands

Vega

Navi

TDP

15 to 65 watts

TBA

TBA

Socket

AM4, FP4

AM4

AM4+

Memory Support

DDR3, DDR4, HBM

DDR4, HBM

DDR4, HBM

AMD is reportedly expecting to have products based on 7nm FinFET process technology on store shelves by 2020. These products will consist of new processors, graphics cards, and APUs. Company CEO Lisa Su already confirmed that AMD is working on several processors slated to arrive between the next three to five years based on the Zen Plus processor core architecture. They will target the high-end market, the same segment AMD’s upcoming Zen-based Summit Ridge processors will address in the first half of 2017.

Here is a quick look at what AMD’s graphics chip roadmap may look like:

Polaris

Vega

Vega

Navi

Name

Polaris 10

Vega 10, Vega 11

Vega 20

Navi 10

Release Date

2016

2017

2018

2019

Process Node

14nm

14nm

7nm

7nm

Stream Processors

2,304

4,096, 2,304

4,096

TBA

Memory

8GB GDDR5

16GB HBM2

32GB HBM2

TBA

Bandwidth

256GB/s

512GB/s

1TB/s

TBA

Performance

5.2 TFLOPS

12 TFLOPS

TBA

TBA

GCN Version

4th Gen

4th Gen

4Th Gen

5th Gen?

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