Tag Archives: Raja Koduri

Raja Koduri Leaves AMD, Possibly Heading To Intel

Raja Koduri Leaves AMD To Head New Intel CVC Group

Within 24 hours of Intel announcing the integration of Vega into the 8th Gen Intel Core processor, Raja Koduri, the Radeon Technologies Group SVP and Chief Architect, announced that he was leaving AMD. 24 hours later, Intel announced his appointment as the head of the new Intel CVC group that will focus on such products!

Confused? Let us summarise his recent moves…

 

Summary : Raja Koduri Leaves AMD To Head Intel CVC Group

For those who don’t have details, here is a summary of the recent events leading to the announcement that Raja Koduri is leaving AMD, possibly heading to Intel.

13 September 2017
Raja Koduri began his sabbatical from AMD, with a target return date in December. In his absence, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su was in charge of the Radeon Technologies Group. The point also marked his two years in charge of the new Radeon Technologies Group.

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6 November 2017
Intel announced that the 8th Gen Intel Core processors with integrated Radeon graphics.

7 November 2017
Raja Koduri announced his departure from AMD. Rumours have it that he would be announcing a leading role in Intel shortly.
He also switched his Twitter handle, with his old account now called Fake Raja Koduri.

8 November 2017
Intel announced that Raja Koduri has been appointed as Intel Chief Architect and Senior Vice President of the newly-formed Intel Core and Visual Computing Group, and general management of “a new initiative to drive edge computing solutions”.

Suggested Reading : GFXChipTweeter Is Now RajaOnTheEdge

For those who want more details, the article continues…

 

Raja Koduri Takes A Sabbatical

On 13 September 2017, Fudzilla and Tweaktown reported that Raja Koduri was taking a sabbatical from the Radeon Technologies Group. This was right after they launched the AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. This was the letter he sent to his team (as provided by PC Perspective.

Raja Koduri's Sabbatical Letter To The RTG Team

RTG Team,

You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.

Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.

At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.

I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.

Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!

Regards, Raja

 

Raja Koduri Leaves AMD

On 7 November, HEXUS reported that Raja Koduri was leaving AMD, and shared his final memo to the Radeon Technologies Group :

Raja Koduri's Final Letter To The AMD Family

To my AMD family,

Forty is a significant number in history.  It is a number representing transition, testing and change. I have just spent forty days away from the office going through such a transition. It was an important time with my family, and it also offered me a rare space for reflection. During this time I have come to the extremely difficult conclusion that it is time for me to leave RTG and AMD.

I have no question in my mind that RTG, and AMD, are marching firmly in the right direction as high-performance computing becomes ever-more-important in every aspect of our lives.  I believe wholeheartedly in what we are doing with Vega, Navi and beyond, and I am incredibly proud of how far we have come and where we are going. The whole industry has stood up and taken notice of what we are doing. As I think about how computing will evolve, I feel more and more that I want to pursue my passion beyond hardware and explore driving broader solutions.

I want to thank Lisa and the AET for enabling me to pursue my passion during the last four years at AMD, and especially the last two years with RTG. Lisa has my utmost respect for exhibiting the courage to enable me with RTG, for believing in me and for going out of her way to support me.  I would also like to call out Mark Papermaster who brought me into AMD, for his huge passion for technology and for his relentless support through many difficult phases.  And of course, I want to thank each and every one of my direct staff and my indirect staff who have worked so hard with me to build what we have now got.  I am very proud of the strong leaders we have and I’m fully confident that they can execute on the compelling roadmap ahead. 

I will continue to be an ardent fan and user of AMD technologies for both personal and professional use.

As I mentioned, leaving AMD and RTG has been an extremely difficult decision for me.  But I felt it is the right one for me personally at this point.  Time will tell.  I will be following with great interest the progress you will make over the next several years.

On a final note, I have asked a lot of you in the last two years.  You’ve always delivered.  You’ve made me successful both personally and professionally, for which I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  I have these final requests from you as I leave:

. Stay focused on the roadmap!
. Deliver on your commitments!
. Continue the culture of Passion, Persistence and Play!
. Make AMD proud!
. Make me proud!

Yours,
Raja

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Raja Koduri To Head New Intel CVC Group

On 8 November, 2017, Intel announced Raja Koduri’s appointment as Intel Chief Architect, Senior Vice President of the newly-formed Intel Core and Visual Computing Group, and General Manager of “a new initiative to drive edge computing solutions”. He will officially start in his new role at Intel in early December.

 

Intel's Announcement About Raja Koduri's Appointment To Head Intel CVC Group

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2017 – Intel today announced the appointment of Raja Koduri as Intel chief architect, senior vice president of the newly formed Core and Visual Computing Group, and general manager of a new initiative to drive edge computing solutions. In this position, Koduri will expand Intel’s leading position in integrated graphics for the PC market with high-end discrete graphics solutions for a broad range of computing segments.

Billions of users today enjoy computing experiences powered by Intel’s leading cores and visual computing IP. Going forward under Koduri’s leadership, the company will unify and expand differentiated IP across computing, graphics, media, imaging and machine intelligence capabilities for the client and data center segments, artificial intelligence, and emerging opportunities like edge computing.

“Raja is one of the most experienced, innovative and respected graphics and system architecture visionaries in the industry and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Client and Internet of Things Businesses and System Architecture. “We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation. With Raja at the helm of our Core and Visual Computing Group, we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution.”

Koduri brings to Intel more than 25 years of experience in visual and accelerated computing advances across a broad range of platforms, including PCs, game consoles, professional workstations and consumer devices. His deep technical expertise spans graphics hardware, software and system architecture.

“I have admired Intel as a technology leader and have had fruitful collaborations with the company over the years,” Koduri said. “I am incredibly excited to join the Intel team and have the opportunity to drive a unified architecture vision across its world-leading IP portfolio that help’s accelerate the data revolution.”

Koduri, 49, joins Intel from AMD, where he most recently served as senior vice president and chief architect of the Radeon Technologies Group. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of graphics technologies used in AMD’s APU, discrete GPU, semi-custom and GPU compute products. Prior to AMD, Koduri served as director of graphics architecture at Apple Inc., where he helped establish a leadership graphics sub-system for the Mac product family and led the transition to Retina computer displays.

Koduri will officially start in his new role at Intel in early December.

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GFXChipTweeter Is Now RajaOnTheEdge

Right after Raja Koduri announced that he was leaving AMD, we noticed that his Twitter account was switched from GFXChipTweeter to RajaOnTheEdge. Curiously, GFXChipTweeter is now known as the Fake Raja Koduri.

 

GFXChipTweeter Is Now Fake Raja Koduri

After we posted the news on Raja Koduri’s departure from AMD, we tried to tag him, only to discover that he just switched to a new handle – @Rajaontheedge. We are not sure why he would need to change his Twitter handle since it’s technically not an AMD handle.

Even more curious was the new name of his previous Twitter handle GFXChipTweeter. It was now named Fake Raja Koduri, and sports a picture of AMD’s Ruby with Raja Koduri’s moustache!

The GFXChipTweeter account is a brand new account, following only the new @Rajaontheedge handle.

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Raja Koduri Is Now RajaOnTheEdge

All of Raja’s previous tweets have been migrated to the new @Rajaontheedge handle. He hasn’t yet posted anything since the switch to this new handle. He last retweet @LisaSu (AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su) on 13 Septemberthe day he left for his sabbatical.

 

Do I Need To Follow RajaOnTheEdge?

If you had earlier followed GFXChipTweeter, you don’t have to do anything. Twitter has automatically switched your following to RajaOnTheEdge instead. You will no longer be following GFXChipTweeter (Fake Raja Koduri).

If you want to tag Raja Koduri, you just need to tag @Rajaontheedge, instead of @GFXChipTweeter.

We now await his first tweet as RajaOnTheEdge, possibly announcing his move to Intel…

Suggested Reading :Raja Koduri Leaves AMD To Head New Intel CVC Group

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The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Rev. 3.0

The AMD Tech Summit held in Sonoma, California from December 7-9, 2016 was not only very exclusive, it was highly secretive. The first major announcement we have been allowed to reveal is the new AMD Radeon Instinct heterogenous computing platform.

In this article, you will hear from AMD what the Radeon Instinct platform is all about. As usual, we have a ton of videos from the event, so it will be as if you were there with us. Enjoy! 🙂

Originally published @ 2016-12-12

Updated @ 2017-01-11 : Two of the videos were edited to comply with the NDA. Now that the NDA on AMD Vega has been lifted, we replaced the two videos with their full, unedited versions. We also made other changes, including adding links to the other AMD Tech Summit articles.

Updated @ 2017-01-20 : Replaced an incorrect slide, and a video featuring that slide. Made other small updates to the article.

 

The AMD Radeon Instinct Platform Summarised

For those who want the quick low-down on AMD Radeon Instinct, here are the key takeaway points :

  • The AMD Radeon Instinct platform is made up of two components – hardware and software.
  • The hardware components are the AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators built around the current Polaris and the upcoming Vega GPUs.
  • The software component is the AMD Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform, which includes the new MIOpen open-source deep learning library.
  • The first three Radeon Instinct accelerator cards are the MI6, MI8 and MI25 Vega with NCU.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI6 is a passively-cooled inference accelerator with 5.7 TFLOPS of FP16 processing power, 224 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a TDP of <150 W. It will come with 16 GB of GDDR5 memory.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI8 is a small form-factor (SFF) accelerator with 8.2 TFLOPS of processing power, 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a TDP of <175 W. It will come with 4 GB of HBM memory.
  • The AMD Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU is a passively-cooled training accelerator with 25 TFLOPS of processing power, support for 2X packed math, a High Bandwidth Cache and Controller, and a TDP of <300 W.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all be built exclusively by AMD.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all support MxGPU SRIOV hardware virtualisation.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators are all passively cooled.
  • The Radeon Instinct accelerators will all have large BAR (Base Address Register) support for multiple GPUs.
  • The upcoming AMD Zen “Naples” server platform is designed to supported multiple Radeon Instinct accelerators through a high-speed network fabric.
  • The ROCm platform is not only open source, it will support a multitude of standards in addition to MIOpen.
  • The MIOpen deep learning library is open source, and will be available in Q1 2017.
  • The MIOpen deep learning library is optimised for Radeon Instinct, allowing for 3X better performance in machine learning.
  • AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators will be significantly faster than NVIDIA Titan X GPUs based on the Maxwell and Pascal architectures.

In the subsequent pages, we will give you the full low-down on the Radeon Instinct platform, with the following presentations by AMD :

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We also prepared the complete video and slides of the Radeon Instinct tech briefing for your perusal :

Next Page > Heterogenous Computing, The Radeon Instinct Accelerators, MIOpen, Performance

 

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Why Is Heterogenous Computing Important?

Dr. Lisa Su, kicked things off with an inside look at her two-year long journey as AMD President and CEO. Then she revealed why Heterogenous Computing is an important part of AMD’s future going forward. She also mentioned the success of the recently-released Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

 

Here Are The New AMD Radeon Instinct Accelerators!

Next, Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the Radeon Technologies Group, officially revealed the new AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators.

 

The MIOpen Deep Learning Library For Radeon Instinct

MIOpen is a new deep learning library optimised for Radeon Instinct. It is open source and will become part of the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform. It will be available in Q1 2017.

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The Performance Advantage Of Radeon Instinct & MIOpen

MIOpen is optimised for Radeon Instinct, offering 3X better performance in machine learning. It allows the Radeon Instinct accelerators to be significantly faster than NVIDIA Titan X GPUs based on the Maxwell and Pascal architectures.

Next Page > Radeon Instinct MI25 & MI8 Demos, Zen “Naples” Platform, The First Servers, ROCm Discussion

 

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The Radeon Instinct MI25 Training Demonstration

Raja Koduri roped in Ben Sander, Senior Fellow at AMD, to show off the Radeon Instinct MI25 running a training demo.

 

The Radeon Instinct MI8 Visual Inference Demonstration

The visual inference demo is probably much easier to grasp, as it is visual in nature. AMD used the Radeon Instinct MI8 in this example.

 

The Radeon Instinct On The Zen “Naples” Platform

The upcoming AMD Zen “Naples” server platform is designed to supported multiple AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators through a high-speed network fabric.

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The First Radeon Instinct Servers

This is not a vapourware launch. Raja Koduri revealed the first slew of Radeon Instinct servers that will hit the market in H1 2017.

 

The Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) Platform Discussion

To illustrate the importance of heterogenous computing on Radeon Instinct, Greg Stoner (ROCm Senior Director at AMD), hosted a panel of AMD partners and early adopters in using the Radeon Open Compute (ROCm) platform.

Next Page > Closing Remarks On Radeon Instinct, The Complete Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Video & Slides

 

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Closing Remarks On Radeon Instinct

Finally, Raja Koduri concluded the launch of the Radeon Instinct Initiative with some closing remarks on the recent Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition.

 

The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing

This is the complete AMD Radeon Instinct tech briefing. Our earlier video was edited to comply with the AMD Vega NDA (which has now expired).

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The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing Slides

Here are the Radeon Instinct presentation slides for your perusal.

 

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The First AMD Radeon Instinct Servers Revealed!

When AMD launched Radeon Instinct at the 2016 AMD Tech Summit in Sonoma earlier this month, they showed off several servers that will be powered by the new Radeon Instinct accelerators. These Radeon Instinct servers can now deliver up to 3 petaflops (3,000 TFLOPS) of FP16 compute performance using those Radeon Instinct accelerators.

Most of the performance boost comes from the combination of the new Vega GPU architecture, which allows for 2X packed FP16 math ops; and the new AMD MIOpen deep learning library.

After the launch event, we were given the opportunity to look inside two of these servers – the Supermicro 1028GQ-TRT and the Invented K888 G3. Both of these servers will ship with multiple Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators, allowing them to deliver up to 100 TFLOPS of FP16 compute performance.

We also had a look at the Falconwitch PS1816 server which can host a whopping 16 Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators to deliver 300 teraflops of FP16 compute performance!

 

The Supermicro 1028GQ-TRT

This is the server Ben Sander used to demonstrate the training capability of the Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerator in the 2016 AMD Tech Summit.

The Supermicro 1028GQ-TRT is a 1U server that fits up to 3 Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators. That allows it to deliver up to 75 teraflops of FP16 compute performance.

Multiple servers can be combined to increase compute performance. In his demo, Ben Sander used two of these Supermicro servers to obtain 150 teraflops of computing performance.

 

The Inventec K888 G3

The Inventec K888 G3 is a 2U, 2-processor server that fits up to 4 Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators. This allows it to deliver up to 100 teraflops of FP16 compute performance.

In this example, the Inventec K888 is powered by four FirePro S9300 X2 cards instead. Each of these FirePro S9300 X2 cards deliver slightly more FP16 compute performance than the Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega, [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

The Falconwitch PS1816

The Falconwitch PS1816 is a 2U, 24-bay server that boasts a total of 288 PCIe lanes. This allows it to support up to sixteen Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators to deliver 400 teraflops of FP16 compute performance.

If that’s not enough, there is an Inventec Radeon Instinct 42U rack that features six of these Falconwitch PS1816 servers and an additional four Radeon Instinct MI25 Vega with NCU accelerators. That is a total of 120 Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerators, delivering 3,000 teraflops or 3 petaflops of FP16 compute performance! This is literally, the mother of all Radeon Instinct servers!

 

Raja Koduri Introducing The First Radeon Instinct Servers

For those who missed our complete coverage of Radeon Instinct, here is the video of Radeon Technologies Group Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Raja Koduri introducing the first Radeon Instinct servers.

For more information on the Radeon Instinct accelerators, and MIOpen deep learning library, please take a look at our article – The Complete AMD Radeon Instinct Tech Briefing!

 

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The Radeon Technologies Group’s First Year Achievements

On September 9, 2015, AMD spliced off their Radeon graphics team into a separate Radeon Technologies Group. They also promoted Raja Koduri to Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the new Radeon Technologies Group, reporting directly to AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

It has now been a year since Raja Koduri took the helm of the newly-formed Radeon Technologies Group. Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a run-down of what the Radeon Technologies Group accomplished in just 12 months.

Then Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a 40 minute Q&A session – a rare opportunity as you can imagine. Check out the full Q&A session below!

Now, join us for a quick tour of their achievements in the first year! If you would like to peruse the slides from the presentation, you can check them out here. [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

The First Year Of The Radeon Technologies Group

Right after its formation, the Radeon Technologies Group dove straight into the melee, delivering the Radeon Software Crimson Edition in November 2015, and then launching GPUOpen in December 2015.

 

Then in March 2016, they released their first Vulkan-capable driver. They followed that up with the launch of the AMD Radeon Pro Duo graphics card.

Their efforts culminated in the AMD Polaris launch during Computex 2016.

A month later, they launched the AMD Radeon Pro family, featuring the Radeon Pro WX series and the Radeon Pro SSG.

Finally, AMD announced in August that the AMD FreeSync technology is now available in just over 100 gaming monitors.

Next Page > The Radeon Technologies Group First Anniversary Presentation Slides

 

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Here are the presentation slides used by Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, during his presentation :

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AMD Radeon RX 480 Power Draw Controversy Rev. 3.0

After the AMD Radeon RX 480 was officially launched, several websites reported that their cards were drawing substantially more power from the PCI Express bus than the 75 W allowed by the PCI Express specifications. AMD has now come up with responses to this developing controversy.

2016-07-06 : Added a new page on the AMD driver solution, and our take on it.

2016-07-09 : Added a new section on the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver.

 

Excessive RX 480 Power Draw

The PCI Express specification allows for up to 66 W of power to be supplied by the 12 V line (12 V x 5.5 A) of the PCI Express bus. However, reviewers who have the necessary equipment to measure the power draw from the PCI Express slot have noted that the Radeon RX 480 draws 78-88 W of power from that 12 V line.

If their measurements are correct, the Radeon RX 480 exceeds the PCI Express power draw specification by a minimum of 18% and up to 33%. It also means that the Radeon RX 480 is exceeding its thermal design power (TDP) of 150 watts.

 

The Implications

The AMD Radeon RX 480 has to be certified to meet the PCI Express specifications to qualify the card as a PCI Express card, for branding and legal purposes. If the Radeon RX 480 does not fulfil its certification requirements, AMD has to fix the issue within 3 months. Failure to do so will result in the Radeon RX 480 being denied the right to be branded and sold as a PCI Express card.

For certain, AMD would certified the Radeon RX 480 to be PCI Express-compliant before the launch. However, independent testing has revealed that the Radeon RX 480 can and do exceed the power draw specifications. Why there is a discrepancy pre- and post-launch is yet unknown.

 

AMD Responds

Initially, Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, responded on Reddit that :

Great question and I am really glad you asked.

We have extensive testing internally on our PCIE compliance and RX480 passed our testing. However we have received feedback from some of the reviewers on high current observed on PCIE in some cases.

We are looking into these scenarios as we speak and reproduce these scenarios internally. Our engineering team is fully engaged.

Just two days ago, AMD’s Communications Lead, Garrath Johnson, issued an update on their ongoing investigation of the issue :

As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8Gbps for GDDR5.

Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. Fortunately, we can adjust the GPUs tuning via software in order to resolve this issue.

We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016).

We will keep you updated on this developing Radeon RX 480 power draw story, so stay tuned!

Next Page > New Driver To Correct RX 480 Power Draw, Our Opinion

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New Driver To Correct RX 480 Power Draw

At 3:14 PM on July 6 (GMT+8), AMD’s Communications Lead, Garrath Johnson, emailed us the solution that AMD has developed – a new driver to correct the excessive Radeon RX 480 power draw from the PCI Express bus. Check it out :

We promised an update today (July 5, 2016) following concerns around the Radeon RX 480 drawing excess current from the PCIe bus. Although we are confident that the levels of reported power draws by the Radeon RX 480 do not pose a risk of damage to motherboards or other PC components based on expected usage, we are serious about addressing this topic and allaying outstanding concerns. Towards that end, we assembled a worldwide team this past weekend to investigate and develop a driver update to improve the power draw. We’re pleased to report that this driver—Radeon Software 16.7.1—is now undergoing final testing and will be released to the public in the next 48 hours.

In this driver we’ve implemented a change to address power distribution on the Radeon RX 480 – this change will lower current drawn from the PCIe bus.

Separately, we’ve also included an option to reduce total power with minimal performance impact. Users will find this as the “compatibility” UI toggle in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This toggle is “off” by default.

Finally, we’ve implemented a collection of performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%1. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

AMD is committed to delivering high quality and high performance products, and we’ll continue to provide users with more control over their product’s performance and efficiency. We appreciate all the feedback so far, and we’ll continue to bring further performance and performance/W optimizations to the Radeon RX 480.

1: Based on data running ’Total War: Warhammer’, ultra settings, 1080p resolution. Radeon Software 16.6.2 74.2FPS vs Radeon Software 16.7.1 78.3FPS; Metro Last Light, very high settings, 1080p resolution, 80.9FPS vs 82.7 FPS. Witcher 3, Ultra settings, 1440p, 31.5FPS vs 32.5, Far Cry 4, ultra settings, 1440p, 54.65FPS vs 56.38FPS, 3DMark11 Extreme, 22.8 vs 23.7  System config: Core i7-5960X, 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, Gigabyte X99-UD4, Windows 10 64-bit. Performance figures are not average, may vary from run-to-run.

 

Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1

The Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver is now available! Here are the compatibility and performance updates that promises to solve the Radeon RX 480 power draw problem :

  • The Radeon RX 480’s power distribution has been improved for AMD reference boards, lowering the current drawn from the PCIe bus.
  • A new “compatibility mode” UI toggle has been made available in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This option is designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact if end users experience any further issues.  This toggle is “off” by default.
  • Performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the “compatibility” toggle.

Also, the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver appears to fix the limited PCI Express bandwidth on the Radeon RX 480, giving it a further boost in performance :

  • Radeon RX 480 limited PCI-E Bandwidth (PCI-E bandwidth is now at the correct speed on the Radeon RX 480) with Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1.

You can download the new drivers below :

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Our Opinion

AMD has basically acknowledged that the Radeon RX 480 does indeed draw more power over the PCI Express bus than is allowed by the PCI Express specifications. That is also a tacit acknowledgement that the Radeon RX 480 has a thermal design power (TDP) in excess of 150 W.

They claim that the excessive Radeon RX 480 power draw will not damage the motherboard or related components. However, they also qualify that as limited to “expected usage” – that means using the Radeon RX 480 as is, and not overclocking it.

The Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver they just released offers 3 changes :

  • shifting the excessive power draw from the PCI Express bus to the 6-pin PCIe power cable.
  • reduce the power consumption of Radeon RX 480 through a “compatibility” toggle in the driver.
  • improve the Radeon RX 480‘s performance by 3%, to offset the reduced performance when the “compatibility” toggle is enabled

We have a dedicated article covering the Radeon Software 16.7.1, which looks at its performance improvements. You can check it out here -> Radeon Software 16.7.1 Performance Comparison.

Although AMD implied that the performance impact of the “compatibility” toggle is substantially less than 3%, we examined its real impact and how much the Radeon Software 16.7.1 driver’s performance offset it. Check it out in our article – True Performance of the Radeon RX 480 Examined.

Going forward, we expect the Radeon RX 480 cards to eventually ship with an 8-pin PCI Express power connector for “compatibility” reasons.

 

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AMD Radeon RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 Revealed

On the second day of Computex 2016, AMD unveiled the AMD Radeon RX 480, the first salvo of their “Water Drop” strategy for the upcoming AMD Polaris architecture. Their “Water Drop” strategy is focused at releasing new graphics architectures in high volume segments first to maintain market share growth for Radeon GPUs.

Set for launch and availability on June 29, 2016, the new AMD Radeon RX 480 will deliver more than 5 TFLOPS of performance at just US$199! The Radeon RX 480 is both HTC Vive-Ready and Oculus Rift compatible. AMD expects the Radeon RX 480 to jumpstart the growth of VR adoption by offering premium VR experience at less than half the current cost.

We were present at the Westin Taipei, when Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, revealed the AMD Radeon RX 480. Check it out!

“VR is the most eagerly anticipated development in immersive computing ever, and is the realization of AMD’s Cinema 2.0 vision that predicted the convergence of immersive experiences and interactivity back in 2008,” said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “As we look to fully connect and immerse humanity through VR, cost remains the daylight between VR being only for the select few, and universal access for everyone. The Radeon RX Series is a disruptive technology that adds rocket fuel to the VR inflection point, turning it into a technology with transformational relevance to consumers.”

 

Odd Radeon RX 480 Results

In the final minutes of his presentation, Raja Koduri showed how two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards can beat the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card for far less money. Based on the sub-$500 price, the results are based on the 8 GB variant of the Radeon RX 480.

What’s really odd is that Raja Koduri explicitly pointed out that the two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards were only utilised to 51% to slightly best the GeForce GTX 1080. Those are frankly, really odd numbers.

If it’s true that the two Radeon RX 480 graphics cards have a 49% headroom after beating the GeForce GTX 1080, then a single Radeon RX 480 would actually beat the GeForce GTX 1080! In fact, if we extrapolate the results so that both cards have the same 98.7% GPU utilisation, the Radeon RX 480 would deliver a frame rate of 60.5 fps. That would make the Radeon RX 480 about 3% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080, which we know is just not possible…

We now know how AMD derived those results. Check out our 2-page explanation of what those odd results mean, and what the REAL results are!

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Juicy Radeon RX Series Tidbits

We left right after the announcement, and missed the Q&A, but we managed to glean some additional tidbits after that :

  • The AMD Radeon RX 480 will come in two variants – one with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory, and one with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory.
  • The Radeon RX 480 with 4 GB of GDDR5 will sell for US$199, while the 8 GB variant will sell for US$229.
  • AMD will also announce the Radeon RX 470 and Radeon RX 460 graphics cards, based on the same AMD Polaris architecture and 14 nm FinFET fabrication process.
  • The AMD Radeon RX 470 (codenamed Polaris 10 Pro, formerly Ellesmere Pro) could have a TDP of 120 W.

More details on the Radeon RX 470 and Radeon RX 460 should be revealed during the official June 29 launch.

 

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AMD Technologies Revealed at Computex 2016

On the second day of Computex 2016, AMD held a press conference at the Westin Taipei. In that hour-long press conference, they announced multiple updates on their latest and upcoming processor and graphics technologies. The key AMD technologies revealed at the press conference include :

 

AMD Polaris Architecture

The unveiling of the upcoming AMD Polaris architecture-based Radeon RX series of graphics cards. The AMD Radeon RX Series will be headlined by the AMD Radeon RX 480, providing great 3D and VR performance at just US$199. The AMD Radeon RX 480 will be formally launched on June 29, 2016

 

7th Generation AMD A-Series Mobile APUs

The launch of the new 7th Generation AMD A-Series mobile APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). They will deliver significant double-digit improvements in gaming, video rendering and file compression performance, over the previous 6th Generation AMD A-Series mobile APUs.

 

Future AMD “Summit Ridge” Desktop Processor

The first public revelation of the upcoming AMD “Summit Ridge” desktop processor. Based on AMD’s next-generation x86 “Zen” processor core, the AMD “Summit Ridge” desktop processor will have eight cores that are capable of simultaneously handling sixteen threads.

 

The AMD Technologies Update Press Conference

Here is the full hour-long AMD press conference at the Westin Taipei during Computex 2016. The speakers include :

  • Dr. Lisa Su, President and Chief Executive Officer, AMD
  • Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group
  • Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD
  • Matt Perry, Partner Group Program Manager, Microsoft
  • Josephine Tan, Vice President, Consumer Product Management (Notebook and Premium), HP
  • Ray Wah, Vice President, Consumer Product Group, Dell

“We entered 2016 with a great product lineup and growing momentum for AMD’s technologies,” said AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. “Today’s launch of our 7th Generation A-Series mobile APUs, to be followed closely by new Radeon RX Series GPUs and then our next-generation ‘Summit Ridge’ desktop processor powered by our ‘Zen’ core represent key proof points of our strategy to firmly re-establish AMD as a high-performance design leader.” [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

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AMD XConnect Technology Revealed

March 10, 2016 – AMD today announced the AMD XConnect Technology. What is the AMD XConnect Technology? It is basically an external graphics card solution for notebooks. It allows you to pair a desktop-class AMD Radeon graphics card with a compatible notebook using Thunderbolt 3. Let’s take a look!

 

The Problem

Traditionally, PC gamers have to choose between gaming performance or portability, sacrificing one for the other. Never having their cake and eating it too.

The AMD XConnect Technology aims to bridge that gap, offering the best of both worlds. Who wouldn’t want to work with an ultra-thin, ultra-light notebook, but go back to desktop gaming with the same notebook?

With AMD XConnect Technology, that is now possible.

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Introducing AMD XConnect Technology

The AMD XConnect Technology allows a compatible notebook, or even a 2-in-1 device, with Thunderbolt 3 connect to an external GPU enclosure configured with AMD Radeon R9 300 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury series GPUs. It’s a simple plug and play experience – you can connect and disconnect from the external graphics card enclosure at any time.

“AMD XConnect technology is representative of the Radeon Technologies Group’s on-going commitment to gamers. With the introduction of our user-friendly plug-and-play external GPU solution, gamers no longer need to sacrifice portability for powerful performance in notebook gaming,” said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “As innovators paving the way with an ingenious external GPU solution for notebooks, we look forward to creating a thriving ecosystem of notebooks enabled with AMD XConnect technology in collaboration with leading manufacturers.”

The AMD XConnect Technology is a collaboration between the AMD Radeon Technologies Group, Razer and the Intel Thunderbolt group.

Next Page > The First Compatible Notebook, Performance, Additional Information

 

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The First Notebook Ready For AMD XConnect

AMD also revealed the first ultra-thin notebook to support AMD XConnect – the new Razer Blade Stealth, together with the Razer Core external GPU enclosure. The Razer Core can be equipped with a Radeon R9 300 series GPU to allow gamers to enjoy desktop-like gaming performance on their ultra-thin Razer Blade Stealth notebook!

“The Razer Blade Stealth was developed as the ultimate Ultrabook for work on-the-go, additionally capable of transforming into a desktop gaming environment when connected to Razer Core, thanks in part to remarkable contributions from AMD,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer CEO and cofounder. “The collaboration and development between Razer and AMD for users with Radeon R9 300 Series graphics in the Razer Core helped us realize the world’s first Thunderbolt 3 plug-and-play external graphics solution. A single Thunderbolt 3 connection now provides power and data between the Blade Stealth and Core, and other peripherals can connect to the Razer Core’s USB ports to provide a desktop-class gaming experience.”

To unleash the AMD XConnect Technology, the Razer Blade Stealth must be connected to the Razer Core eGFX enclosure using Intel Thunderbolt 3, and use an AMD XConnect-compatible driver (Radeon Software 16.2.2 or better). You can game directly on the Razer Blade Stealth’s high-resolution IGZO screen, or connect to an external monitor.

 

“Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40Gb/s, creating one compact port that does it all,” said Jason Ziller, Director of Thunderbolt Marketing, Intel. “Thanks to technical collaboration with the Radeon Technologies group at AMD, desktop Radeon graphics cards are now validated for use with Thunderbolt 3. AMD’s new XConnect technology brings effortless plug-and-play support and a convenient management interface to notebooks and 2-in-1s with the Thunderbolt 3 external graphics solution configured with a powerful Radeon R9 300 Series GPU.”

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Performance Level : Desktop

Here is AMD’s showcase benchmark – based on a Razer Core powered by the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card.

This allows the Razer Blade Stealth to deliver frame rates (at 1440p resolution) in excess of  70 fps! This is nothing special for a desktop gaming PC, but it is phenomenal on a notebook.

 

Additional Information

The eGFX enclosure must be powered by an AMD Radeon graphics card that supports AMD XConnect. AMD plans to expand the list of Radeon GPUs that can support the AMD XConnect Technology. This will enable gamers to upgrade their eGFX enclosures beyond the Radeon R9 300 series GPUs.

Not all notebooks or 2-in-1s support AMD XConnect technology, and not all external graphics (eGFX) enclosures are compatible with AMD XConnect. The base system’s software package and BIOS must be configured to support AMD XConnect. Both the system and eGFX enclosure must have a Thunderbolt 3 port.

 

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