For the first time since the acqusition of ATI Technologies Inc., in 2006, AMD / RTG is preparing a launch of a new product line-up. If you thought that merger between Continental and United Air Lines lasts for too long, think of this – AMD had engineers between Server and Desktop CPU teams and the APU team not talking to each other nine years (!) after the integration of ATI Technologies into the AMD family.
Luckily, things are finally changing (after both Intel and NVIDIA walked all over AMD, taking full advantage of AMD’s mistakes due to its HEO 1.0 – ‘Heterogeneous Engineering Organization’) and the company is getting ready to switch to 14nm process from top to bottom, from CPU and APU to GPU. Overall, over the next 12 months, AMD will migrate entirely to 14nm/16nm FinFET technology (the company hasn’t ditched TSMC entirely), and will bring unified products to market, utilizing three platforms.
- Socket AM4 – Launch in March 2016
- Socket ‘G’ – Introduction in H2 2016, Launch in 2017
Socket AM4 is scheduled to launch in March 2016, and will be the home for future desktop / workstation / server APU and CPUs. Initial parts will use 28nm process (so-called ‘7th Gen APU’), migrating to 14nm with Zen-based APU and CPU products by the end of the year.
Socket ‘G’ (unofficial name) represents a brand new Socket for AMD, successor of Socket F. It is an LGA-based design, supporting quad-channel DDR4 memory. This Socket will host enthusiast desktop, workstation and server processors based on Zen architecture. Supports 200W design CPU/APUs.
For both of this, AMD is developing new thermal solutions, for the first time in over a decade. It is a bit hard to believe that AMD’s reference design cooler was originally designed for the Socket 754 and 940, which debuted in 2003 / 2004. The company made a single update over that period (in 2007, with Phenom processors), adding heatpipes to cope with 95-130W processors, but the design was largely unchanged.
Well, this is how AMD Wraith, first completely new design looks like. Do note that both heatsinks in this test operated as worst-case scenario, i.e. without any power management whatsoever:
As you can see, the new design utilizes significantly larger fan design, different fin and heatpipe design (even though the number remains the same at two).