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AMD "Little Phoenix" APU with Zen 4 cores and RDNA3 iGPU rumored to power Steam's Deck 2 handheld console, could launch in late 2023

AMD's "Little Phoenix" will power the Steam Deck 2 handheld consoles. (Image Source: AMD/TowardsDataScience - edited)
AMD's "Little Phoenix" will power the Steam Deck 2 handheld consoles. (Image Source: AMD/TowardsDataScience - edited)
The "Little Phoenix" is rumored to launch in late 2023 with Steam's second gen Deck handheld console. Apparently, it is a cut-down version of the "Phoenix" laptop processor that is scheduled to launch in early 2023, and the four Zen 4 cores with 8 threads plus the RDNA3 GPU it integrates should bring at least 50% improvements over the Van Gogh Zen 2 + RDNA2 version from Deck 1.

Sources close to Youtuber Moore’s Law Is Dead suggest that AMD is planning to launch a ultra low-power version of the upcoming "Phoenix" mobile processors based on the Zen 4 CPU cores and the RDNA3 graphics architecture. Currently codenamed “Little Phoenix,” this cut-down version is rumored to be utilized in Steam’s Deck 2 handheld console, which could be launched in Q4 2023 at the soonest.

According to MLID, the "Little Phoenix" would feature a 110-150 mm2 die, which roughly puts it between Van Gogh and Mendocino. Pricewise, it will cost more than Van Gogh as it is produced on a newer TSMC node. It could integrate a maximum of 4 cores with 8 threads boosting to 4 GHz. This could lead to 24-35% higher PPC and possibly 50% overall CPU boost in performance over the Steam Deck 1 processor with Zen 2 + RDNA2. On the graphics side, the RDNA3 iGPU could feature 4 work groups with 8 compute units and a total of 1024 stream processors.

The memory controller would be limited to LPDDR 128-bit. Bandwidth gains over the Deck 1 should be substantial, but they heavily depend on the type of memory utilized by Valve. For LPDDR5-6400, for example, the Steam Deck 2 would get 16% increased bandwidth, but LPDDR5X-8533 would bring almost 50% improvement.

It is unclear what type of accelerators will be included, and, depending on maximum CPU turbo clocks, the “Little Phoenix” chips could be on par with a Ryzen 5 3600, thus providing enough performance to run AAA games at 60 fps for the remainder of this generation. Theoretically, the RDNA3 GPU should provide double the graphics performance of the Van Gogh chip powering the Steam Deck 1, but Valve might not unleash its full power and decide to constrain it with slower memory to save production costs and battery life, in which case performance would be close to a Rembrandt RDNA2 iGPU.

 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 06 > AMD "Little Phoenix" APU with Zen 4 cores and RDNA3 iGPU rumored to power Steam's Deck 2 handheld console, could launch in late 2023
Bogdan Solca, 2022-06-17 (Update: 2022-06-17)