AMD has cornered the x86 console market with its handy semi-custom mix of processors and graphics. While we slowly await the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony, today AMD and Zhongshan Subor announced that a custom chip has been made for a new gaming PC and an upcoming console for the Chinese market.

The announcement states that a custom chip has been created for Subor that is based on four Zen cores running at 3.0 GHz and 24 compute units of Vega running at 1.3 GHz. The chip is supported by 8GB of GDDR5 memory, which the press release states is also embedded onto the chip, however it is likely to actually be on the package instead. Update: AMD has corrected the press release to say that the GDDR5 controller is on the chip, and the 8GB of GDDR5 is installed into the motherboard. Compare this to the specifications of AMD’s current SoC designs, such as the Ryzen 5 2400G, which has four Zen cores and 11 Vega CUs. Or Intel’s multi-chip design featuring four Intel cores and an AMD-based 24 compute unit GPU paired with 4GB of HBM2 memory. There is also AMD’s Vega Mobile chip, which is expected to be in the 24-32 compute unit range, however this is also paired with 4GB of HBM2.

AMD Semi-Custom Comparison
  Zhongshan
Subor
Ryzen 5 2400G
APU
Vega Mobile Intel with
Radeon
RX Vega
Xbox
One X
Sony Playstation
4 Pro
Year 2018 2017 TBD 2018 2017 2016
Cores/Threads 4 / 8 4 / 8 - 4 / 8 8 / 8 8 / 8
CPU uArch Zen Zen - Kaby Lake Jaguar+ Jaguar
Peak Frequency 3.0 GHz 3.8 GHz - 4.1 GHz 2.3 GHz 2.13 GHz
GPU Vega Vega Vega Polaris Polaris Polaris
GPU CUs 24 11 24-32 24 40 36
GPU SPs 1536 704 1536-2048 1536 2560 2304
GPU Freq 1300 MHz 1250 MHz ? 1190 MHz 1172 MHz 911 MHz
GPU DRAM 8 GB GDDR5 System
DRAM
4GB HBM2 4GB
HBM2
12GB GDDR5 8GB
GDDR5
Located Subor PC
Subor Console
Desktops - Hades Canyon NUC Xbox
One X
PS4 Pro


AMD's Scott Herkelman with Vega Mobile (left) and Vega 64 (right)

Assuming that this custom chip is a single chip design, with CPU and GPU, this means that AMD is handily gaining custom contracts and designing custom chip designs for its customers, even for consoles that won’t have the mass western appeal such as the Xbox or Playstation.

The demo given at the ChinaJoy event (the Chinese equivalent of E3 it seems) in Shanghai was initially of a PC that Subor plans to launch in late-August with the new chip. An upcoming console, based on the same hardware, is expected to be launched by the end of 2018. AMD cites that this is a key win for its semi-custom division, especially in a key market such as China. In this market, AMD also has semi-custom collaborations with Tsinghua, and a Joint Venture with THATIC.

The new SoC, name unknown, will support FreeSync, the Adrenalin software, and Rapid Packed Math, confirming that this is a true Vega design (unlike the chip used by Intel in its combination product).

Update:

Over at zol.com.cn, there are images of the unit:

Update 2:

AMD has updated its press release to state that it is the GDDR5 controller that is on the chip, and not the 8 GB of GDDR5. The memory is installed on the board elsewhere, as with a normal GPU for example.

Related Reading

Source: AMD

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  • psolord - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Yes, but will it run Crysis? Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    It will play Havoc. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    The Custom APU should take internet gaming cafe's for itself. Should be a bit higher than a 1050ti for a fraction of it's price.

    The SOC is basically an i7 7700+1050ti OC.
    Reply
  • Alistair - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Or more like an i7-7700 plus RX 470. Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    Yes, the west needs to bear in mind this is the form much of the market takes in the developing world - shops w/ ~a dozen terminals charging by the hour. Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    Just curious - why would it be a fraction of the price??? Reply
  • hasherr87 - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Does this system have DDR RAM in it? Or it runs windows or other x86 os utilizing gddr5 as system memory? Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    This. I'm guessing that, for cost reasons, it's also using GDDR5 as system RAM. I'm also betting that it's got 8 threads, to help hide the additional memory latency. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    GDDR trades latency for bandwidth, but just how much would that be?
    Code latency may be unnoticeable because of caches, data latency actually less important than bandwidth for consumer workloads.
    In the past it also used to be cost, but again with DDRx prices through the roof, is the gap between GDDR and DDR4 still as high?
    On the other hand GDDR5 should be a lot better when the workload is actually HSA, right?
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Cool chip, wouldn't mind something like that as a socketable APU or soldered on a mSTX/ITX motherboard. The more interesting bit to me is what sort of OS the console will run. Reply

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