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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  • klatscho - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Really exciting news! I wonder when we will see Zen in "western" consoles... Reply
  • Alistair - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Really exciting, I wanted this in the Xbox One X so badly! And the GPU seems equal to a PS4 pro with that clock rate. Reply
  • stephenho - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    Zen is better than Jaguar, but may I know if the CPU the key factor for gaming? Does Vega 24 vs Vega 40 a more important parameter? Reply
  • Alistair - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    PS4 Pro has 36 active GPU cores, not 40. And the new chip's clock rate is 40 percent higher, so it's more like "34" vs 36 gpu cores, about the same. The CPU is the main problem with current consoles, limiting most games to 30 fps. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    Link to major developer on record? Custom-written software for consoles tends to be designed to work around things like that, offload as much work as possible to the GPU and custom blocks, go heavy on parallelization, optimize cycle-hungry blocks of code, etc. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, August 06, 2018 - link

    Can't outsmart a 4x CPU performance difference. Reply
  • themrsbusta - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    Size isn't power alone, clock counts too.
    and Xbox uses Polaris
    Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    There's still a large deficit. It's closer to a PS4 Pro. Reply
  • Here2Teach - Friday, August 03, 2018 - link

    From what I've read, the GPU is equivalent to the AMD RX 580. This card can easily push High-Ultra settings at 1080p and maintain a solid 60fps. So, not close to the PS4 Pro, which only pushes Low-Medium-High settings at 30fps at either 1080p or 2160p. (4K) Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, August 04, 2018 - link

    Really? I guess you should stop taking twitreddit seriously, and look up the specs yourself.

    It's not very close to an RX 580. It has similar clocks to any off-the-shelf RX 580 and a substantial shader deficit. That doesn't even factor in boost, not to mention almost every model sold is running a mild overclock out-of-the-box.
    Reply

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