AMD Van Gogh to take on Intel Tiger Lake-UP4, RDNA2 iGPU implementation could be a perfect test bed for upcoming Dragon Crest, Rembrandt, and Raphael APUs
We have seen several references to an upcoming AMD APU codenamed Van Gogh pop up in various leaks over the past year. AMD Van Gogh is expected to be a low-cost, low-power alternative to Tiger Lake-UP4 in the 7.5 W to 18 W TDP envelope. We have already covered some rumored aspects of Van Gogh including that it would feature a Zen 2 CPU core and an RDNA2 integrated GPU (iGPU). Now, Moore's Law is Dead (MLID) on YouTube is adding a few additional tidbits.
Citing information from sources familiar with the matter, MLID seems to be confident that Van Gogh is indeed in the works at AMD, though whether the actual product would make it to market or not remains to be seen. Van Gogh will be based on a monolithic Zen 2 die (implying that it will be a 7 nm part) that tops out at four cores and eight threads.
MLID also confirmed that the iGPU would indeed be an RDNA2 part with 8 compute units (CUs). So far, AMD has relied on the GCN-based Vega for its APUs including the latest Cezanne and Lucienne parts. Though AMD could manage to eke out a theoretical 59% higher performance per CU with Renoir, the purported performance benefits in moving to RDNA2 are still anyone's guess at this point owing the limited TDP headroom.
Known leaker Patrick Schur had tweeted last year that Van Gogh will support LPDDR5 RAM for added graphics bandwidth and use the FF3 socket. MLID's sources seem to confirm the same as well.
During the Cezanne APU launch this year, AMD indicated that they had used the same topology for Renoir and Cezanne to allow for an easy upgrade path for OEMs and to enable faster tape-outs. A Renoir four-core Zen 2 CCX occupies half the space that of a Zen 3 CCD, which should give enough room to design a fairly capable RDNA2 iGPU.
With AMD rumored to be introducing a Dragon Crest APU based on a similar architecture and Rembrandt 6 nm Zen 3+ with RDNA2 graphics in 2022, Van Gogh could be a perfect testing ground for AMD engineers to evaluate the transition from GCN to RDNA2 on the iGPU side of things. These learnings will likely carry over to the Zen 4 Raphael desktop lineup as well.
Having a more capable GPU on-die in a low TDP envelope could mean Van Gogh might see interesting use cases such as low-power convertibles or even handheld gaming consoles that are likely to be much more powerful than the Nintendo Switch.