CES 2019 Query and Reply Session with AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su
One of many key highlights of CES was the invention of the subsequent technology AMD generator Matisse. With the cores constructed on TSMC's 7nm course of, the demonstration of the eight-core processor demonstrated energy parity with Intel's newest Eight-core 5GHz client processor, all of which eat much less energy than the unique Intel half. Dr. Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, was on stage, that includes each Matisse, scheduled to launch in mid-2019, and the brand new line of Radeon VII graphics playing cards, which additionally makes use of TSMC's 7MM. We met after the keynote presentation for part of the spherical desk dialogue.
These roundtable Q & A periods are comparatively casual, however they need to seem to be an interview to the interviewee. Dr. Su had a handful of staff members available, however there have been practically a dozen press, together with PCWorld, Engadget, PCGamesHardware, Digital Traits, CNBC (I believe so?), And naturally AnandTech. As a substitute of taking turns, questions got here from all instructions and jumped round quite a bit. For the sake of cause, we now have turned the questions into matters and labored up a couple of questions and solutions to make them readable (it seems that folks don’t communicate in regular sentences).
Many due to dr. Su and her staff for his or her time.
Additionally an enormous thanks to Gavin Bonshor for his wonderful transcription.
The AnandTech Questions
Ian Cutress: Final 12 months, you gave a presentation through which you defined the important thing product bulletins for the primary half of 2018 and irritated you concerning the merchandise within the second half of 2018. Much less concretely, this 12 months was only a broader cut up of "GPU now, CPU later". Is change in technique?
Lisa Su: We need to be sure that customers know when to count on these merchandise. With Radeon 7, will probably be on the shelf in a short time in February. I believe the subsequent huge factor is our third technology Ryzen. I do know that there’s a lot of anticipation. You realize, the important thing level is that the half seems good. The half seems actually good and we’ll launch it someday in the course of the 12 months. We’ve got not selected the precise month but, there’s nonetheless a bit extra to do. We would like the clocks to be in the best place, we need to put all the ability in the best place, however it seems good. You will note it in the course of the 12 months. Equally, the subsequent technology of EPYC is in growth and we predict issues look actually good there. You see us on a regular basis, Ian, you’re going to get extra data quickly (laughs)!
IC: How does AMD resolve a chiplet method to graphics when requested what’s cut up into chiplets? For the reason that subsequent technology of EPYC consists of eight eight-core chips, the graphics facet remains to be monolithic. Splitting GPUs into A number of This can be a tough downside that must be solved – would this essentially require a paradigm shift within the method to graphics ?
LS: I believe we proceed to take a look at every technology when it comes to what's proper when it comes to subdivision. So, whether or not it's about splitting the GPU or how individuals have requested us, "Can you employ a CPU dice and a GPU dice?" – all these issues. I believe [we will do] what is sensible. You additionally actually need to know precisely what the connection is – we now have our infinity material that Mark talked to you about, and you know the way that compares to the opposite items.
Q: Earlier than the keynote, a few of my authors pinged me speculating concerning the variety of nuclei on Ryzen.
LS: It took solely 20 to 30 minutes for somebody to ask for it!
Q: AMD posted an Eight-core 16-thread set. Is that this usually a sign of the place Ryzens third Technology will likely be?
LS: While you take a look at the event of Ryzen, we now have at all times had a bonus in core quantity, and on this explicit case, we needed to indicate a form of head-to-head comparability of eight cores and sixteen threads. [against the same]. Some individuals could have seen on the bundle that there’s more room out there …
IC: We’ve got already executed the calculations!
LS: Did you already do it? Has anybody executed that? Okay, okay, so there's some more room on this bundle and I believe you'll count on us to have greater than Eight cores. I didn’t say what number of extra … I mentioned extra.
IC: And can two reminiscence channels suffice?
LS: As I mentioned, extra coming (laughs)!
IC: You at the moment are introducing chiplets – how does [is that approach] affect the semi-custom enterprise? Is there now extra curiosity in the truth that you now have this expertise on a big scale and persons are focused on utilizing it for what they do?
LS: We consider that it will speed up the semi-custom breadth of prospects and the concept you might use our CPU after which our form of reminiscence, our material and a ASIC. Sure, that's a part of the conversations we now have in coping with half habits.
IC: So, AMD is questioning concerning the single-threaded efficiency crown? Is that this a key goal for subsequent technology merchandise?
LS: Our high precedence is the general efficiency of the system. Nevertheless, we all know how essential single-threading efficiency is, and you’ll push us to single-threaded efficiency. And I don’t make predictions.
IC: AMD's financials have appeared actually good when Ryzen began up and second-generation merchandise got here by. To what extent was this extra money circulation useful to you when it comes to analysis and growth? Are you able to level to concrete examples of tasks that you just may not have executed if Ryzen didn’t play in addition to anticipated?
LS: Effectively, I believe what you're seeing is that we're very conscious of how we're rolling issues out. In our Ryzen, EPYC and Radeon, the thought is to do issues step-by-step. So the dialog about "Hey, Vega shouldn’t be for gamers in 7nm" – truly that was not likely true as we might do it step-by-step. [It is] identical factor after we convey the 7nm expertise to market.
We spend much more time with software program and far more time with software program builders to optimize AMD. I discover that very essential. I believe we’re doubling and tripling within the graphics. That's one of many the explanation why we talked a lot about video games at the moment. However we're fascinated by graphics within the broadest sense of the phrase, which implies PC video games, however all the pieces else, together with cloud gaming, together with consoles. We expect in the event you put the entire ecosystem collectively, Radeon would be the strongest gaming model available on the market.
IC: So, if TSMC creates all of the chiplets, and you continue to have GlobalFoundries for the IO dice, how does that have an effect on the wafer provide contract with GlobalFoundries when your share of merchandise adjustments to TSMC?
LS: What we mentioned is that GlobalFoundries is an efficient companion. [and] They did a very good job for us at 14nm, [and] we worth their partnership very a lot. You realize, we're working to vary the wafer provide contract to cowl the change in technique they've made. We are going to discuss extra about this shortly.
IC: How is Navi?
LS: Is it alright, I mentioned Navi at the moment, proper?
IC: You talked about Navi and Zen 5!
LS: (laughs) You hear extra about Navi. Navi is ok
IC: Will we hear extra about it this 12 months?
LS: Sure, you’ll be taught extra about Navi in 2019. It’s [going to be] a really lively graphics cycle for us.
Different questions: NVIDIA and Ray Tracing
Q: Jensen has a couple of issues to say concerning the Radeon 7. Based on Gordon (from PCWorld), Jensen says the Radeon 7 is "suppressed and the RTX 2080 will destroy it." There’s a extra detailed quote that states "the efficiency is unhealthy and there’s nothing new, there isn’t a raytracing, no AI, it’s 7nm with HBM reminiscence that may barely sustain with the 2080. If we flip DLSS on, it’s going to And if we flip Raytracing on, it’s going to crush that. "What can one say about that?
LS: We’re very enthusiastic about Radeon 7. Now I might in all probability say he has not seen it but. There are 400 million gamers utilizing Radeon, so we now have a reasonably large base. In case you take a look at that, a lot of the dialog you've been asking me time and again is, "What's the subsequent AMD high-end GPU?" I believe we needed to convey Radeon 7 to market – it's essential to our fan base and high-end avid gamers. We expect it really works very effectively. In case you take a look at the storage expertise and what we now have, we be ok with it and I believe you'll see for your self quickly.
Q: How do you see the efficiency in comparison with 2080? I believe he [Jensen] in contrast it to the 2080, only a straight 2080. I suppose you've seen a number of the maps there. However what does the efficiency seem like? Besides raytracing?
LS: We’ve got proven some information [at the keynote] and a number of the information are in our press launch. I believe what you will note could be very comparable in video games [that we are]. We win one thing, we lose one thing. However the important thing to the 2080 is sure, there are a lot of characteristic options, and raytracing is essential. [but the] Radeon 7 additionally does plenty of issues for creating content material creation content material. They've actually seen a few of our OpenCL numbers actually phenomenal and we predict it's very aggressive.
Q: Are you able to give us an concept of what AMD thinks about ray-tracing or future applied sciences? From the very finish, we see that the FPS wars are occurring and on, however evidently at this level it doesn’t matter when it comes to visible high quality. In video games, Ray Tracing may imply an even bigger leap for some gamers. The place is AMD at this level? 19459002
LS: We spent plenty of time speaking about our imaginative and prescient whereas enjoying at the moment. Our imaginative and prescient of video games could be very broad and we give it some thought on PCs, consoles, the cloud, and the way we ship content material to all these locations. I believe ray tracing is a crucial expertise we additionally work on when it comes to and software program. I believe a very powerful factor is, and that's why we discuss a lot concerning the growth group. The expertise for applied sciences is [that]. The expertise is with companions, and the involvement of the event group is, for my part, actually essential. All through this 12 months and sooner or later you will note far more recreation discussions from us. We see it as a broad ecosystem, not simply specializing in one expertise, however you want all of it to essentially come collectively.
Q: NVIDIA has raytracing, what does AMD have?
LS: I'm not going to cope with this, that's simply not my model, so I'm telling you this. What I need to say is [that] Ray Tracing is a crucial expertise – it's one in all [a number of] essential applied sciences , There are lots of different essential applied sciences that you’ll be taught extra about [as well as] what we do with raytracing. We actually have quite a bit to do with and software program as we construct this complete ecosystem.
Q: I believe one can say that NVIDIA's method was criticized for having assist and plenty of software program assist. However would it not be truthful to say you are attempting to do extra to convey it out and create a unified ecosystem?
LS: I might say we’re in growth and growth is parallel between and software program. That's the important thing, so what’s going to the patron see? Customers at the moment don’t see huge advantages as the opposite elements of the ecosystem will not be prepared. I believe [that] If the patron talks extra about raytracing, the patron will see the profit.
Q: Do you could have a timeframe after we may see the stuff? 2020 subsequent technology consoles?
Robert Hallock, AMD: We’ve got a timeframe, however nothing that we’re presently disclosing.
Different questions: Intel
Q: Intel talked about Lakefield the place they stack the cube. I used to be questioning in the event you had any ideas on this method and if it made sense for AMD as effectively?
LS: I believe this entire concept of breaking the chips is a form of wave of the longer term. So we did it first with HBM on the graphics web page after which with these chiplets we use right here on the EPYC and Ryzen pages. I believe chip stacking will proceed to play an essential position sooner or later. We are going to look at it as a result of there are a number of methods to place these architectures collectively, however I consider that we consider within the basis.
Q [Intel is] doesn’t simply try this, in addition they take this "huge.Little" method the place they’ve an enormous core and the 4 atom processor cores above it. You don’t actually have a nuclear praise to Ryzen, however I imply, may you presumably work with arm or another structure or is that not attainable?
LS: I might say something may very well be attainable [but] [but] The query is, "Is it vital?" I believe what we did with Zen is constructing one thing that's truly fairly scalable. I imply, if you consider it, we scale Zen from the pocket book kind issue to the server kind issue, and we're fairly good. I believe the thought of placing collectively totally different chips, IO, reminiscence and partitioning, and the way you take a look at the totally different kind components, is essential. That is one thing that our staff actually feels enthusiastic about.
Q: Final 12 months, AMD graphics on the Intel chip (Kaby Lake G) have been probably the most fascinating bulletins. Are you able to speak about how this partnership went within the final 12 months? We’ve got not seen too many notebooks making use of it. I’ve seen a handful, however not so many – will this relationship proceed this 12 months?
LS: It was a chance for us to convey Radeon into extra functions. It's a part of our "Radeon In all places" message, and it got here in some notebooks, and these have been fairly top quality premium notebooks that basically needed the shape issue. It actually was a kind issue factor when it comes to energy. We'll see how that works, we now have nothing extra to say about it in the meanwhile, however we'll see the way it works.
Different questions: Displays
Q: NVIDIA [has] has opened for FreeSync. Can we count on a response from AMD or what do you consider it?
LS: We knew that FreeSync was the best reply. [and] We all know that FreeSync has been the best reply for a number of years. The truth that others have opted for FreeSync is now a very good reply. I believe we made the best alternative a number of years in the past.
Q: Are you simply completely happy about [only]? That they may use your expertise?
LS: (deadpan) I'm not dissatisfied with that (!). (laughs)
We consider in open requirements and an open ecosystem. That's our mantra, so we now have no downside with our rivals utilizing FreeSync. We expect that that is higher for avid gamers and we now have executed a very good job.
Q: NVIDIA identified that many FreeSync screens [in the market] at the moment, [and] are ubiquitous when it comes to brightness, shade gamut, and supported assist. Will AMD work with monitor producers to focus a bit of extra on this high quality? As a result of it seems like there’s plenty of range proper now.
LS: In case you actually take into consideration what downside are you attempting to unravel? As we take a look at it, there are fairly a couple of screens and televisions, over 550 [of them] at very totally different costs. [we have] Entry degree in comparison with Superduper Premium Sport Displays. We certify and ensure they work with FreeSync, and also you get the expertise you pay for on the screens. I actually don’t see any downside …
Q: Apparently, Jensen thinks that FreeSync isn’t working. He mentioned that at the moment, and he mentioned that they discovered that they didn’t work usually.
LS: I don’t assume we noticed it that manner (laughs)
Robert Hallock, AMD: One other factor I need to say is that the FreeSync 2 customary is way stricter. The standard required by the monitor with regard to backlight nits, backlight deltas, from darkness to brightness because the refresh fee adjustments, the colour house necessities for HDR requiring protection with the refresh fee vary of the show. These are all issues we pursue with a certification method to make sure that minimal high quality is assured.
Q: Do you contemplate it applicable to characterize using [the terms] "FreeSync" and "Adaptive Sync" interchangeably? I can see that from many rivals.
LS: I believe it's a very good level. I believe it's a bit interchangeable and I believe that's wonderful. So it's mainly all adaptive sync expertise. [but] FreeSync is the free model. There are adaptive synchronization applied sciences, however I might assume so. Is that proper, Robert?
RH: The opposite factor I need to add is that the Adaptive Sync Normal DisplayPort makes no qualitative suggestions for expertise. For the Adaptive Sync Normal DisplayPort a variety of solely 2 Hz is enough. Clearly, we now have a lot larger requirements for video games that assist with shade, backlight flicker, and backlit bleeding – you already know all of the issues that curiosity avid gamers. That is one thing we convey to the desk with our certification program and never simply "yep, it's adaptive". So right here's the distinction, it's in high quality.
Q: We noticed NVIDIA launch this gigantic gaming monitor this 12 months. Do you could have an analogous partnership with Samsung? I believe it's Samsung. Are you able to even speak about it?
LS: We’ve got actually good recreation partnerships, some are monitoring partnerships with quite a few individuals. Samsung is one, however [there are] a couple of others. This 12 months you will note some bigger screens from us.
Q: Are there considerations [about DisplayPort]? After I talked to Samsung, it appeared reluctant to plug DisplayPort right into a TV. On the identical time, nevertheless, I believe that with FreeSync you actually acknowledge the benefits of DisplayPort. Is that like a dialog with them? Is it solely as much as you?
RH: HDMI now helps FreeSync, and HDMI even has its personal sub-specification. We have no idea if you’ll use HDMI 2.1.
Q: I noticed that Dell had simply introduced a 55-inch OLED 4K with DisplayPort. [It] seems actually cool, did you discover that? It seems nice, do we all know if the FreeSync certificates remains to be or what? have adaptive synchronization, however ….
LS: I have no idea. However we should always examine that.
Different questions: Laptops
Q: How does the connection with many of those laptop computer producers work? I see them releasing AMD merchandise, however their flagships [and] are their huge, glowing, nonetheless Intel. How does that work, you push on it?
LS: You realize, it's a journey, however we're making progress. My touch upon the OEMs is [that]. We deal with PCs and put money into PCs. We put money into each desktop and pocket book kind issue. I might say the primary technology Ryzen laptops have been good – a few of them are excellent. I believe the second-generation Ryzen notebooks will likely be significantly better, and [in] a broader set of kind components.
One of many issues I can do once I come to this present is that they present me a number of the new kind components. I met with an OEM yesterday and they might triple their designs with AMD. That's actually cool – I'm pleased with it! A few of them are very nice, so I'm trying ahead to these popping out this 12 months. However it’s a journey. and from my perspective, we now have made good progress. We received pocket book shares within the fourth quarter after we actually began ramping, and I believe Ryzen's second technology is healthier than the primary one. Cellular of the third technology will likely be higher than the second.
Q: Do you assume there’s anything you might do to delay this dialog? I believe AMD remains to be within the public eye for its finish consequence. [While it’s] Not essentially true, however I believe that's the notion.
LS: I believe it's a familiarity. So what's actually fascinating is [if]. You take a look at the varied markets within the desktop fanatic market, the place the individuals who learn your columns and are educated about expertise love Ryzen. I imply, to be trustworthy, frankly, I watch our rankings very carefully on the perfect e-tail web sites. In case you have been going to Amazon.com, I used to be the final to assume we have been primary.
Q: It helps that you’ve some in inventory! (A lot of laughter)
LS: It helps make it an amazing product at a very good worth and in inventory. This assumption went rather well as a result of persons are actually sensible and might take a look at the specs and acknowledge the worth. Typically on the pocket book web page since you undergo so many alternative individuals [such as] go from OEM to retailer, to retailer, to blue shirt in Finest Purchase that should inform the person at dwelling that doesn’t do that I have no idea quite a bit about chips. There are lots of people who can clarify this message and that’s a part of our job. A part of our job is to get extra individuals to know what AMD can convey to the social gathering, and we consider we’re making good progress. Nevertheless it doesn’t occur in a single day, and sure, we nonetheless have work to do, however we’re making good progress.
Some of the essential worth propositions for Ryzen Cellular, and in the event you take a look at a number of the techniques just like the Acer Nitro 5, [is that they are] occasional entry-level recreation techniques. We’ve got a couple of extra in growth that will likely be launched this 12 months with the second technology of Ryzen, so we should always have some techniques for evaluation, and this is likely one of the wonderful distinguishing options of Ryzen's second technology.
Q: I've seen that many new issues are coming in at new PC makers. Microsoft has labored carefully with Intel on the Floor, and plenty of different firms have to take action. Does AMD work so carefully with producers with regards to designing this stuff and constructing a system across the processor?
LS: Now far more. Once we lifted the efficiency a bit and the chassis was already out there, [we would] you will discover out how the AMD processors are used. our roadmaps now, there are some fascinating issues going past what we talked about at the moment, however past the second technology of Ryzen. We’re beginning to work far more carefully with some individuals to outline this type issue.
Q: I’ve the sensation that in recent times many laptops and tablets have seen a form of race all the way down to the smallest Z-height, particularly with [devices like] the 7mm Google Pixel Slate with Intel [CPU inside]]. Are you fearful about this race, [and] do you assume there are advantages within the smaller Z-height?
LS: I believe it has many benefits when individuals have slimmer kind components. [Users] likes to put on one thing lighter – it simply feels cooler. [users want it] however not on the expense of efficiency. So our focus has at all times been, sure, we now have to do this and sure, meaning we are able to do one thing totally different in packaging, and sure, we needed to concentrate on power and power effectivity. Nevertheless it has to have a minimal lack of efficiency as a result of we’re not attempting to be a pill – we actually attempt to obtain the productiveness of the gadgets.
Q: I'm curious to see the place we’re proper now within the historical past of Vega, as a result of when Vega first got here out [it] that's very thrilling. [We] didn’t hear a lot about Vega after that, and it was pale out of the dialog a bit. And now BAM [it’s] again. However how will AMD preserve it there?
LS: Effectively, I believe the way in which it’s best to take a look at it is not uncommon throughout the market. Vega has developed rather well for us. I imply, you see it in many alternative locations. We've seen it within the discrete graphics we've talked about [such as] Vega 64 and Vega 56. You've seen it in some workstations which might be actually from Apple. You could have additionally seen it in smaller kind components. So the Vega structure is in our pocket book graphics and is within the work we do there. We confirmed the Google Venture stream utilizing Radeon Professional Vega. We’ve got different cloud environments the place we used Vega.
As structure grows, they develop into higher over time. It's like the entire concept of extra builders and software program optimizations, and Vega has undoubtedly gotten higher with time. I believe Vega at 7nm, we launched it within the fourth quarter for information middle functions. On this kind, it’s MI60 and MI50, and that goes into the HPC markets. That goes into the cloud, into the probabilities of machine studying, into the probabilities of virtualization, which is a very essential phase for Vega. And at the moment we talked about avid gamers for our Radeon VII. I believe there’s a broad overview of the ecosystem [with Vega].
Q: The 7 nm Vega shouldn’t be a client graphics card?
LS: Effectively, you mentioned that, I by no means mentioned that! (laughs)
Q: In 2018 it was not a client.
LS: What we mentioned was that we might make an information middle first. I believe we mentioned that (clarified by another person). We didn’t say something after that, if I keep in mind accurately. What I mentioned at Computex in June is that you will note 7nm elements of the sport from us. We at all times needed to place Radeon 7 available on the market – it was at all times on schedule. Our aim is that we need to encourage our followers. So we needed time to organize for the software program optimizations, and we did a few of that. With each new structure, there are issues we need to do higher. We needed the work we did with Ubisoft and Capcom on these optimizations after which convey them out after they're executed. And gaming can also be a excessive quantity market, and we needed the expertise to be a bit mature as effectively.
Q: So any feedback on Threadripper?
LS: Content material creators are essential to us and Threadripper has executed an amazing job. Really, I'm very pleased with the second technology of threadripper since you assume it's a reasonably area of interest market, however there are individuals who need extra energy. When the second-generation thread ripper hit the market, it seems like extra persons are becoming a member of [it]. I believe it will be significant that we preserve our infrastructure constant and we’ll discuss extra about thread ripper in the middle of 2019.
Q: Might you touch upon the peculiarities of the 7nm structure? It was talked about that it supplied extra energy with the identical energy consumption, however will it present higher overclocking?
LS: Nun, ich glaube, Sie sehen ein paar verschiedene Dinge, die sich je nach Marktsituation auf verschiedene Weise manifestieren. Wie zum Beispiel, wenn wir über den Servermarkt sprechen, bietet Ihnen 7nm eine unglaubliche Dichte und Sie können die Anzahl der Kerne verdoppeln. Sie erhalten das Vierfache des Gleitpunkts [performance] und dort ist es mehr vom Standpunkt des Datenwissenschaftlers. Sie werden nur in der Lage sein, Ihre Simulationen viel schneller auszuführen und mehr zu erledigen.
Wenn Sie auf den Desktop gehen, haben wir heute die Vorschau auf die dritte Technology von Ryzen gezeigt, und Sie könnten eines der Dinge sehen, die wir zu zeigen versuchen: Sie können eine sehr ähnliche Leistung erzielen, vielleicht sogar etwas besser (aber Was auch immer, ähnliche Leistung) bei etwa 30% weniger Leistung. Was bedeutet [is]dass Sie weniger Strom benötigen, wenn Sie möchten, und das ist nützlich, wenn Sie PCs mit kleinem Formfaktor erstellen oder wenn Sie die Frequenz erhöhen und mehr Leistung erzielen. Wir sehen uns diese Kompromisse an und ja, wir werden diese Kompromisse weiter betrachten.
F: [For] Der 7-nm-Prozessknoten ist vom Fertigungsstandpunkt aus […] Fertigungsstandpunkt [it] normalerweise [with] kein Downside?
LS: Wir sind sehr zufrieden mit dem Verlauf der Dinge. Wir haben jetzt eine Reihe verschiedener Produkte, die 7nm durchlaufen, und ich würde sagen, die Dinge sehen intestine aus.
LS: Vielen Dank, dass Sie an der Keynote teilgenommen haben! Ich werde allen sagen, dass wir Ians Web site gebrochen haben! (Viel Lachen, da unser AMD Keynote-Reside-Weblog Probleme mit dem Verkehrsaufkommen hatte)