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More information on the new Ryzen SoC surfaces

The new SoC designed by AMD will be used in the Z+, a Chinese console based on Windows 10 (Source:
The new SoC designed by AMD will be used in the Z+, a Chinese console based on Windows 10 (Source:
Recently AMD designed an SoC for ZhongShan Subor's new console the Z+. While previous console SoCs used Jaguar CPU cores which were based on AMD's previous generation of architectures and mid range Polaris GPU cores, this new SoC uses Zen and Vega cores and is the latest console SoC from AMD. Now more details are available about the console and the processor itself.

More light has been shed on the new Zen and Vega SoC that resulted from a partnership between AMD and Chinese company ZhongShan Subor, which was worth about US$60 million. The Z+ uses an SoC that may be far superior to the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro SoCs which still use older Jaguar based cores. With 4 Zen cores at 3 GHz and 24 Vega CUs or 1536 cores at 1.3 GHz, this new SoC has far more horsepower than the previous Jaguar design, however it does lack in GPU performance which is around 4 TFLOPs, lower than the Xbox One X's 6 TFLOPs and the PS4 Pro's 4.2 TFLOPs. This SoC may be the FengHuang chip that AMD was rumored to be working on. 

An image from ChipHell shows that the SoC has 8 GB of GDDR5 and an 8+2 VRM, which should be enough for the entire package; overall the entire board is quite small, and might only be slightly bigger than an RX 580 PCB. Anandtech's Ian Cutress estimates the entire SoC has a die size of about 400 mm2, making it not much smaller than a Vega 64, which is nearly 500 mm2. It does appear that the SoC has no DRAM so the 8 GB of GDDR5 will also be used as system memory. While this amount of memory is somewhat low for the entire system, GDDR5 is much faster than DDR4, so if usage is not very high the CPU and GPU will run very well.

The console itself will have Windows 10 as an OS, bootable in default or Z+ custom settings (which will launch at a later date), a 4.9 liter chassis, a maximum noise level of 33 dB, 802.11ac WiFi, BlueTooth 4.1, a 128 GB M.2 SSD, space for a 1 TB HDD, 6 USB ports, and support for standards such as HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 1.4. ZhongShan Subor also claims the SoC will be capable of VR as well as 4K gaming at 60 FPS, which is interesting as the PS4 Pro and even at time the Xbox One X aren't able to do true 4K and 60 FPS at the same time.

AMD's SoC is very impressive, and interestingly the specifications are very similar to Intel's top end Kaby Lake G processor, the i7-8809G, which has 4 Kaby Lake cores and 24 Vega CUs (which are really more similar to Polaris). The Z+ SoC is clocked higher on the GPU and lower on the CPU compared to the i7 but architecturally the two processors are extremely similar. If AMD has already designed an SoC that could theoretically compete with Kaby Lake G, then it may not be unreasonable to assume that AMD could be launching a similar SoC or processor in the mobile or SFF market. 


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Matthew Connatser, 2018-08- 7 (Update: 2018-08- 7)