AMD Launches Ryzen Mobile Processors – APUs formerly known as Raven Ridge

AMD Launches Ryzen Mobile Processors – APUs formerly known as Raven Ridge

AMD’s Ryzen Mobile processors(APUs formerly known as Raven Ridge) will be available in laptops from leading OEMs in time for the holiday season. The processors feature Zen compute cores paired with Radeon Vega graphics cores in an SoC (System on a Chip) design.

AMD’s Zen microarchitecture has truly had a transformative impact on the desktop PC industry. The bedrock Zen design, paired with the Infinity Fabric interconnect, provided enough performance for AMD to rise back into contention with Intel. This year alone, AMD has released a string of Zen-based Ryzen desktop products to satisfy nearly every pricing niche. Now it’s time for AMD to tackle the mobile market.

AMD has a key advantage over its rival Intel, though–it’s the only that produces both x86 processors and GPUs. The unveiled its new Radeon RX Vega graphics cards earlier this year, and now the is tying the graphics cores and Zen microarchitecture together with the Infinity Fabric. According to AMD, the pairing provides explosive performance gains of 44% more multi-threaded CPU performance and 161% more graphics performance than Intel’s new Kaby Lake Refresh mobile processors.

The Ryzen mobile processors debut with two SKUs. The ‘U’ suffix denotes that the Ryzen 7 2700U and 2500U are destined for ultralights, but processors optimized for different devices will come to market over the year. AMD hasn’t said when the Zen+Vega PIB (Product In Box) APUs, which you’ll be able to buy at , will arrive.
Both Ryzen APUs feature four cores and eight threads, but in a big departure from the previous Ryzen models, they only feature a single Core Complex (CCX).

Moving to a single CCX instead of the dual-CCX design currently found in the Ryzen desktop processors is a critical step. The design ensures that the Ryzen Mobile processors can slip in under the size, power, and thermal constraints of mobile products.

Both 15W Ryzen Mobile processors feature four Zen cores and eight threads fed by 4MB of L3 cache. The design employs the same 14nm Global Foundries FinFET process as the Ryzen desktop models. The processors feature a dual-channel memory controller that supports up to DDR4-2400, but it is noteworthy that some OEM designs will only feature a single memory channel. That can reduce graphics performance significantly. The Ryzen 7 2700U slots in as the high-performance model with a 2.2GHz base and 3.8GHz Precision Boost frequency. The slightly lesser Ryzen 5 2500U model comes with a 2.0GHz base and 3.6GHz boost.

AMD Ryzen 7 2700UIntel Core i7-8550UAMD Ryzen 5 2500U
Cores / Threads4 / 84 / 84 / 8
TDP12 – 25W, 15W Nominal10 – 25W, 15W Nominal12 – 25W, 15W Nominal
Base Frequency (GHz)
Boost Frequency (GHz)3.81 Core: 4.0, 2 Core: 4.0, 4 Core: 3.73.6
Graphics10 Radeon Vega CUsUHD Graphics 6208 Radeon Vega CUs
Graphics Base / BoostUp to 1,300MHz300MHz / 1.15GHzUp to 1,100MHz
L3 Cache4MB8MB4MB
Memory ControllerDual ChannelDual ChannelDual Channel
Memory Speed SupportDDR4-2400DDR4-2400 / LPDDR3-2133DDR4-2400
Process14nm GloFo FinFET14nm++14nm GloFo FinFET
CPU ArchitectureZenKaby Lake RefreshZen

The Ryzen 7 2700U features ten Radeon Vega CUs (Compute Units) while the 2500U steps down to eight CUs. The beefier 2700U features a higher 1,300MHz maximum graphics boost frequency, while the 2500U tops out at 1,100MHz.

AMD hasn’t provided pricing for the new models, but based on AMD’s performance comparisons, they contend with the Kaby Lake Refresh Core i7-8500U. Like the Ryzen Mobile processors, Intel’s 15W processor features four cores and eight threads, but it has a significantly lower base frequency. However, the -8550U compensates with higher multi-core turbo frequencies. AMD has also transitioned to a more sophisticated multi-core boosting implementation, a first for a Zen-based processor.

The arrival of the Ryzen Mobile processors signals another big step forward for AMD. The company currently has a single-digit market share in the mobile space, which typically ships more units than the desktop PC market. That represents a tremendous growth opportunity. Provided AMD’s Ryzen Mobile processors live up to the claims, the company is sure to make headway.

On the desktop side, AMD’s Ryzen processors have proven to be wildly successful, but the lack of integrated graphics has hindered their addressable market. For now, Ryzen processors are confined to systems with discrete GPUs, which is roughly only 30% of the desktop market. The arrival of a Zen and Vega combination is only coming to notebooks for now, but it foreshadows the pending arrival of APUs on the desktop. That’ll give AMD a broader appeal, particularly on the low end of the market.


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