In a highly anticipated move, AMD has unveiled its Phoenix 2 lineup, featuring the innovative Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores. The hybrid chip design, a departure from Intel’s approach, promises to redefine the landscape of mobile processors.
Phoenix 2 marks AMD’s inaugural venture into hybrid chip technology. Nonetheless, AMD’s approach differs notably from Intel’s. Intel employs distinct architectures for the P-cores and E-cores in hybrid chips like Alder Lake (Golden Cove, Gracemont) and Raptor Lake (Raptor Cove, Gracemont). In contrast, AMD employs the same Zen 4 architecture across the Phoenix 2 lineup.
One key advantage is AMD’s inclusion of simultaneous multithreading in the E-cores, a feature lacking in Intel’s E-cores. In AMD’s context, Zen 4c closely resembles Zen 4, albeit being 35.4% smaller, resulting in twice the density, along with lower clock speeds and cache.
Renowned hardware enthusiast, David Huang, recently conducted a comprehensive review of the AMD Phoenix 2, shedding light on the performance capabilities of these cutting-edge processors. The Phoenix 2 series is poised to make a significant impact in the market, targeting laptops and compact PCs.
The die shots of the AMD Ryzen 7040 “Phoenix 2” APUs confirm the integration of a hybrid architecture. These images showcase a substantial L3 cache and a 2+4 configuration of Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores. Additionally, DDR5 and LPDDR5 interfaces are discernible, signaling AMD’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of memory integration in their APU lineup.
Huang’s meticulous testing reveals intriguing insights into the Phoenix 2’s performance. The Ryzen Z1 handheld console, featuring the chip, exhibited nuanced differences in core performance. At default clock speeds, Zen 4c cores demonstrated slightly lower performance than their Zen 4 counterparts. However, when operating at a fixed 3.2 GHz clock frequency, performance parity was achieved across all core variants.
What sets AMD’s approach apart is the efficiency optimization. Zen 4c cores exhibited higher efficiency at lower frequencies, while Zen 4 classic cores excelled at higher frequencies. This dual-core design promises a well-balanced performance profile, catering to a wide range of computing tasks.
The AMD Phoenix 2 lineup, with its integration of the “GFX103” RDNA 3 GPU IP, promises to deliver significant graphics capabilities, opening up new vistas for gaming and multimedia applications. The combination of Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores in these APUs positions AMD as a formidable player in the mobile processing arena.
|SOC NAME||VAN GOGH SOC||PHOENIX 2||PHOENIX 1|
|CPU Architecture||Zen 2||Zen 4 + Zen 4C||Zen 4|
|GPU Architecture||RDNA 2||RDNA 3||RDNA 3|
|Products||Steam Deck||Handhelds||Laptops / Handhelds|
|Cores / Threads||4 / 8||6 / 12||8 / 16|
|CPU Clock (Max)||3.5 GHz||4.7 GHz||5.1 GHz|
|GPU Compute Units||8 CUs (512 SPs)||4 CUs (256 SPs)||12 CUs (768 SPs)|
|GPU Clocks||1.6 GHz||2500 MHz||2800 MHz|
This review serves as a precursor to what’s on the horizon for AMD. The Phoenix 2 series represents a bold step towards refining the APU landscape. With a more mature implementation expected in the upcoming Strix “Ryzen 8000” APU family, AMD continues to push boundaries, promising even more exciting developments in the near future.