Report: AMD’s next-gen Carrizo APU supports DDR4, integrates chipset

Carrizo is supposed to be AMD’s next-gen APU. According to a leaked roadmap from December, the chip will replace Kaveri in 2015 and have GCN-derived integrated graphics combined with updated "Excavator" CPU cores. We don’t have new details on those elements of the chip, but Bright Side of News claims to have seen a "Preliminary BIOS and Kernel Developer’s Guide" for Carrizo, and that document reveals some interesting changes.

BSN says Carrizo’s memory controller will support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. There’s no indication of supported DDR4 speeds, but the new memory type will presumably require new motherboards. However, Carrizo is supposed to be compatible with Kaveri’s FM2+ socket, so it may work in existing boards when paired with DDR3 RAM. Fingers crossed.

Somewhat surprisingly, BSN says Carrizo will integrate I/O connectivity: dual 6Gbps SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, and an SD interface. This platform functionality will be limited to BGA versions of the chip meant for notebooks, though. It will reportedly be disabled in socketed versions destined for desktops. The desktop-bound chips will rely on separate chipset silicon to provide I/O ports, just like Kaveri does today.

Another surprise is Carrizo’s PCI Express configuration, which is reportedly limited to 16 Gen3 lanes on the APU. Only eight of those lanes will be available for discrete graphics, BSN says, with the remainder split between peripheral connectivity and a four-lane link for separate chipset silicon.

None of this information is confirmed, of course, but it all sounds plausible if AMD is targeting Carrizo primarily at mobile systems. Most notebooks rely on integrated graphics and can get by with only a handful of PCIe lanes, SATA connectors, and USB ports. Integrating chipset functionality and cutting PCIe lanes also makes sense for small-form-factor and all-in-one rigs. The changes aren’t ideal for enthusiasts building powerful desktop systems, but perhaps AMD has something else in store for us. An FX refresh has to be coming eventually, right?

Comments closed
    • maroon1
    • 6 years ago

    Carrizo is going be just minor improvement over the overrated and overhyped kaveri. The improvement is going to be even smaller than small improvement that we from Richland to Kaveri. Just wait and see by yourself.

    DDR4 is barely faster than DDR3. The early model will be around 2133Mhz to 2400Mhz and those are going to be more expensive than DDR3 (even the ones with similar speed). So, if you think this will solve memory bandwidth for the APU graphics then you are mistaken. It is better to spend money on dedicated graphics than to waste money who DDR4 which will barely make any difference.

    Carrizo support AVX2 ?! So what ? Intel already support this, and with Skylake they will support AVX3.2

    It will be only matter of time until intel catch up with AMD graphic performance. The gap is getting smaller every generation between the two.

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      So much complaining. I hope you can afford to spend lots more on Intel when your much-hated company called AMD is gone, pal.

      • mikato
      • 6 years ago

      I hope you come back and post to eat some crow if you turn out to be wrong.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 6 years ago

    Just check how disappointing A10-7850K CPU benchmarks are – [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/7865/asrock-fm2a88x-extreme6-review<]link[/url<]. AMD better make an FM2+ compatible Carrizo. Slight IPC increase along with increase in clock-speed plus new instructions like AVX2 should be some consolation for early Kaveri FM2+ adopters.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 6 years ago

      A $185 A10-7850K is slower than a $1050 Core i7-4960X? Oh noes…

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        It’s not so much that the 7850K loses to some Xtreem Intel part.

        It’s that:
        1. In a large number (not all) of workloads it loses to a throw-away 55-watt dual core I3 part (that’s cheaper than the 7850K).
        2. In literally every benchmark that isn’t an IGP test it loses to our old friend the 2500K from 2011, usually by a large margin and you can’t even retreat to the old “better in multithreaded” line that you had with 8-core AM3 parts because you’ve lost the extra cores.
        Oh, and even brand-new that 2500K wasn’t much more than the 7850K, and you could always buy a cheaper 2400 that would still win too.

        • maxxcool
        • 6 years ago

        It would loose to a 2004 part : [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115233[/url<]

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          You had an Ivy Bridge ten years ago??!?!?!??

            • maxxcool
            • 6 years ago

            oh damn.. meant 200$

    • maxxcool
    • 6 years ago

    In other news, my 6yr old Thuban 4gz system will still rub Carrizo’s face in the bottom of the magic swirly bowl with a minor gpu upgrade and not a full platform upgrade.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    [url<]http://news.techeye.net/chips/amds-carrizo-will-be-28nm[/url<] OMG. Looks like [url=http://www.techreport.com/news/25723/unofficial-amd-roadmap-details-desktop-plans-through-2015?post=783084<]Game_boy[/url<] was right... And this is 2015. Both GloFo and TSMC are supposed to be at 10nm by then, right..?

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Neely, the only thing we can be sure of is that Broadwell is cancelled.

      For all we know, GloFo and TSMC may very well skip 20nm, 16nm, 12nm, and 10nm and go straight to 7nm by 2015.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 6 years ago

    C’mon.

    You and I both know AMD have no FX series updates on its roadmaps because there are no updates coming.

    They’ve ceded the enthusiast market, except for limited run chips that take existing product and juice ’em up with more power to push them at higher speeds with insane pricing at the start and then slowly dropping pricing back down to lower than Intel levels.

    Basically, AMD is using a smokescreen to seem relevant in the enthusiast space while actually targeting the mainstream user with chips that seem to prioritize the wrong aspects of the APU concept.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Theoretically there’s nothing that prevents AMD from coming up with a CPU-only 6 or 8 core Isteamroller chip that would work with a socket FM2+ board… theoretically.

      Practically there are engineering and economic issues with doing so. Engineering is in the fact that you need a way for those cores to communicate that scales better than the rather anemic L3 cache in AMD’s existing chips. Economic is the design & manufacturing costs for these chips vs. expected price levels and sales.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 6 years ago

      You also have to take in consideration of TMSC and GF.

      Both of them are optimizing their silicon dies for low power consumption, specifically for mobile devices.

      If AMD had to downclock Kaveri in order to avoid a 150W TDP, what do you think would happen if they try to introduce an enthusiast Steamroller CPU?

      Let’s just say that the complaints about the 5 GHz Piledriver CPU’s power consumption would come back again.

    • Geonerd
    • 6 years ago

    DDR4? Meh!
    While a ‘nice’ thing to have, the fractional bandwidth improvement won’t do squat for GPU performance.

    What AMD’s next APU NEEDS is a Gig or so of stacked DRAM. If they can’t / won’t do that, they may as well not bother to release the dumb thing.

    IMO, this is AMD’s last chance to be relevant. Now, watch them blow it…. 🙁

    • gmskking
    • 6 years ago

    If DDR4 ever comes out, that is.

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      Well, 4 comes after 3, so it’s just a matter of when.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        Well, 3 comes after 2, but not at Valve.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      DDR4 will come out, but that’ll be it. [url=http://www.techreport.com/news/21807/tuesday-shortbread?post=587661<]Two more years...[/url<]

        • f0d
        • 6 years ago

        its going to take 2 more years for ddr4 to be anywhere near mainstream
        HMC memory wont be around for at least 7 imo

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          I wasn’t talking about mainstream.. HMC will first appear in HPC, and I do think it’ll be by the end of 2016 (in NVidia’s Volta).

          DDR4 and HMC will coexist for a while, but HMC is just so compelling that everything will eventually move from DDR to HMC and then no more DDR.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    Why does it feel every 6 months like AMD is getting smaller.

    Waiting for this to take a toll on the GPU part of their company 8^\

      • Concupiscence
      • 6 years ago

      With no updates on Pirate Islands after the release of the Geforce GTX 750, I think it’s starting to.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]but perhaps AMD has something else in store for us. [/quote<] Abandoning the performance crowd isn't a surprise.

    • BehemothJackal
    • 6 years ago

    Slightly off topic, but does anyone know why AMD hasn’t released a new mobile GPU since the 7970m? Both the 8000m series and the 200m series are rebrands of the 7970 which perform at about the level of a desktop 7870.

    Nvidia on the other hand are bringing maxwell to mobile. What gives? AMD just abandon that market?

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Well, since introducing GCN AMD has only really done one major update late last year at the very-high end with the R9-290/290x. Those parts are still GCN, but just with a whole lot more units.

      Since putting a high-end GPU in a low-power envelope notebook is clearly a no-go, it makes sense that you won’t see anything new until AMD either comes up with a new version of GCN or at least shrinks to 20nm (waiting on TSMC).

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 6 years ago

      Nividia’s completed projects: Maxwell and their mobile stuff

      AMD’s completed projects: APUs for Xbox One, PS4, ARM server, Kaveri, Kabini, and possibly one other thing

      Oh, and AMD has quite a bit of debt.

        • ronch
        • 6 years ago

        Don’t forget Mantle. And of course, their Super Secret x86 CPU core that will succeed the fundamental Bulldozer architecture which is due exactly when Intel isn’t expecting anything from AMD.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          And TressFX and Centurion

      • swaaye
      • 6 years ago

      Also, NV’s 600M-800M series are made up of a lot of the same GPUs too.

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    hopefully that next APU supports DX12, right? isnt usb 3.0 backwards compatible? Y2K called and wants their 2.0 ports back!

      • bittermann
      • 6 years ago

      How many USB 3.0 ports do you need and how many peripherals would actually use up even the 2.0 bandwidth for an all in one APU? Better to have more ports than less faster ones.

        • smilingcrow
        • 6 years ago

        For a laptop four USB 3.0 ports is fine.
        For a Desktop four in total might also be fine but some people would want them all at the front, some split between the back and front etc. To cover all those possibilities with just four ports is not realistic.
        Ideally I’d want to see 4 ports on the backplane and 1 or 2 internal headers so I’d say 6 ports is a better baseline. 8 USB 2.0 ports seems overkill so a 6/6 split makes more sense for flexibility.

          • bittermann
          • 6 years ago

          If you need that many ports you’d be better off getting a powered usb hub. I really don’t know the situation where you would need that many ports sticking out everywhere, even on an htpc! I mean 4/8 for a total of 12 ports isn’t enough????

            • smilingcrow
            • 6 years ago

            Nobody said 12 ports isn’t enough and I simply suggested that a 6/6 split gives more flexibility.

        • ferdinandh
        • 6 years ago

        How many USB 1.1 ports do you have?

      • yuhong
      • 6 years ago

      These ports require OS support for xHCI so older OSes (like Win7 and older) would not be able to use the ports.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    Oh, another two questions:

    -How much would Carrizo’s memory controller be improved? Or did AMD focus all of their attention on getting a functional DDR4 controller?

    -What would be the price of DDR4 in 2015? Similar to DDR3 when it first launched?

    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Ok, just a few comments/questions:

    1. The BGA packaging looks like AMD is planning to put their big cores in cat-core territory. I do wish they’d put in more than just two SATA ports though.
    2. Socket compatibility: Don’t count your chickens until the eggs hatch. AMD has a good reputation for changing their minds at the last minute. And unless DDR4 maintains the exact same pin signals as DDR3, don’t expect something that will work with an FM2+ board to also support DDR4 unless they have some secret sauce in the works.
    3. At this point, Excavator’s performance is pretty much unknown. Let’s hope AMD can pull a killer bunny out of their hat, but honestly, I’m not confident they can. Well, maybe a cute, gentle guinea pig….
    4. Any word on process tech these things will be built with? Rumors say it’s still gonna be 28nm. Please AMD, have mercy.
    5. An FX refresh? That would be interesting. I hope they sell them in cool tin boxes again. Current 8-core FXs seem to be sold in ordinary cardboard boxes again. Good thing I got mine in the original tin box!
    6. What comes after Excavator again? Can AMD pull off a Sledgehammer again?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 6 years ago

      More important than 2Xnm, it’s likely a low power process. This may be a dramatic departure.

      Think bigger than moving Kaveri to a GPU favoring process, canning the server / enthusiast platform, and reneging on “modules” and high clock speeds.

      In 2015, AMD will no longer be standing at the crossroads of laptop, desktop and server. It will be x86 mobile and ARM mobile.

      If there’s an x86 “core” after Excavator, it may be a rather uneventful cross between a co-processor and legacy controller. Still necessary for compatibility or just certain tasks, but GPUs can take up the heavy lifting.

      Memory controllers, cache, eDRAM, etc. get the tangible performance improvements, anyways.

    • Tristan
    • 6 years ago

    Some time ago, there were rumors that Kaveri will support GDDR5 for integrated graphic speed-up.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      There have been rumors that Kaveri has a 256-bit memory controller that’s compatible with GDDR-5.

      And maybe it does.

      But if AMD never releases a product that actually uses GDDR5, then.. well… it might as well not be on there to save AMD some money in manufacturing costs.

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 6 years ago

        Maybe it was a leftover design from the PS4 APU?

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    I think this is probably a good compromise, keeping chips compatibile with the last gen socket and a forward looking one. So you can keep inching them forward, while keeping them in touch with upgrade cycles. I hope AMD is doing this across all their chips and not just the latest couple from now on.

    AM+ was great, but must’ve been hard maintaining compatibility for such a long time.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Hey Bensam… what about this “insightful” comment you made when you single-handedly snuck into Intel’s HQ and revealed to the world their evil plot to destroy USB by continuing to have USB 2 ports in their chipsets:

      [quote<]I wonder... Intel chipsts still have USB 2 ports... Considering Intel used to immediately jump on new peripheral tech as soon as it came out... It may have something to do with Thunderbolt yielding ulterior motives, but Intel would never do that.[/quote<] Link: [url<]https://techreport.com/news/23289/report-haswell-chipsets-add-6gbps-sata-usb-3-0-ports?post=653355[/url<] How come in you infinite wisdom you don't hold AMD to the same standard when their 2015+ products are still polluting the world with the evil USB 2? WHY DOES AMD HAVE ULTERIOR MOTIVES IN KEEPING USB 2 BENSAM!! ONLY A MAN OF YOUR INTELLECTUAL HONESTY AND GENIUS COULD GIVE US THE ANSWER!!

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    “Another surprise is Carrizo’s PCI Express configuration, which is reportedly limited to 16 Gen3 lanes on the APU. Only eight of those lanes will be available for discrete graphics”

    I’m pretty sure the CPU would bottleneck a dual-GPU config before the 8 lanes of PCI-E would.

    Even then 8 lanes of PCI-E 3.0 is equal to 16 lanes of PCI-E 2.0.

    The question is, how much would they improve the CPU performance? Extremetech did an interesting investigation into Steamroller’s CPU and interconnect designs: [url<]http://www.extremetech.com/computing/177099-secrets-of-steamroller-digging-deep-into-amds-next-gen-core[/url<] They ended up concluding that doubling the decoder units didn't really help that much, and the problem was further down the pipeline, possibly with the integer units, cache and/or branch predictor.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]The question is, how much would they improve the CPU performance? [/quote<] Don't go back to AMD just because some rumor website promises that "this time it's different!" I still remember the posts that we heard from the "Bulldozer was really a success you are just too inferior to recognize AMD's greatness" crowd about how Steamroller was right on par with Haswell.... well technically that's true if you underclock Haswell enough and disable a core here and there.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 6 years ago

    Desktop Kaveri A8 has yet to show up, I’ve yet to see a single Kaveri based notebook, and Intel is hoarding Iris Pro.

    I really can’t get excited about a next gen part when the current gen has barely entered the market. I just want a dang affordable notebook with a solid iGPU that can play new games within reason. Is that so much to ask for?

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      It’s a replay of the original Kabini launch. Promising chip, finished systems nowhere to be found.

      • Unknown-Error
      • 6 years ago

      Kaveri for notebooks has not been released yet. Does anyone know when mobile Kaveri will be unveiled?

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 6 years ago

        I doubt AMD themselves know the answer to that

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]The changes aren't ideal for enthusiasts building powerful desktop systems, but perhaps AMD has something else in store for us. An FX refresh has to be coming eventually, right?[/quote<] TR Crowd: Intel has given up on us enthusiasts! AMD: YOU PRO-INTEL SHILLS! WE CAN GIVE UP A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN INTEL! [HEY FANBOYS! Get with the program and have your bots mark this post at -8 just like my other post! Edit 2: THANK YOU! KEEP BOTH POSTS CONSISTENT PLEASE!]

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      1/10

      I expect better from you. That 1 is out of pure pity.

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        I’m working under a tight deadline here!

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 6 years ago

          The all caps life aint for you either, bro.

            • ronch
            • 6 years ago

            SSK just patented the use of the Caps Lock key. Everytime you press your Caps Lock key you gotta pay royalties to the King!!

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 6 years ago

            Or you at least have to have post with style.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            How high are the royalties? Might be worth it..

            • ronch
            • 6 years ago

            Enough to cover his bid to get a Platinum Subscriber account here.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Oops.. so much for socket FM2+ being upgradeable to Carrizo.

    [Edit:

    [quote<]However, Carrizo is supposed to be compatible with Kaveri's FM2+ socket, so it may work in existing boards when paired with DDR3 RAM. Fingers crossed.[/quote<] That won't end well for anyone. ] Oh, and for all the people who screamed bloody murder when Intel integrates anything into a chip, I'm sure you'll be completely intellectually honest and hold AMD to the exact same standard for criticism [/snicker].

      • Unknown-Error
      • 6 years ago

      this what the original [url=http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2014/3/18/exclusive-amds-carrizo-apu-details-leaked—soc-for-the-mainstream.aspx<]BSN[/url<] article says : [quote<][b<]On desktops Carrizo will drop into the known FM2+ socket and the integrated FCH will be disabled and the external FCH of the board used. This is an understandable tradeoff to avoid changing the motherboard infrastructure again[/b<]. While some users might dislike the fact, that there is dormant silicon in AMDs upcoming APU for the desktop, the functionality is not sufficient to satisfy the needs of desktop users. If anything, it would be a nice to have addon to the current standalone FCH features. ...[/quote<] So yeah, according to the article, there will be an FM2+ Carrizo but the integrated FCH will be disabled (fused off?) and FM2+ is DDR3 only. To use Carrizo with DDR4 you will need a brand new socket (FM3?) and the accompanying mobo.

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        BSN also said that AMD has a “good track record” with socket compatibility…. let’s review the meaning of the word “good”:

        1. Socket FM1: Compatible with Llano and… yeah.

        2. Socket FM2: Required for Trinity and slightly overclocked Trinity known as Richland…. w00t. Llano? Nope? FM1, Nope?

        3. Socket FM2+: Required for Kaveri, oh but you can put in Trinity or Richland and receive exactly zero benefits over socket FM2.

        4. Carrizo: Purportedly huge changes that will be completely compatible with socket FM2+ and require no new motherboards at all… yeah right.

        Actually, being incompatible with FM2+ could be a good thing: If AMD is foolish enough to do nothing to improve Carrizo’s memory bottlenecking, then it is guranteed DOA against Broadwell.

        [EDIT: DEAR AMD FANBOYS: PLEASE DOWNMOD THIS POST MORE TO SHOW THAT YOU WANT CARRIZO TO HAVE A CRIPPLED MEMORY INTERFACE AND FAIL! K-THANKS!]

          • Unknown-Error
          • 6 years ago

          Off-course, we are all assuming the BSN article is not BS.

          So assuming its true, Carrizo has [b<]HUGE[/b<] changes? Not sure about that. It adds new instructions most notably AVX2. But if the integrated stuff (FCH) would be turned off on desktop and having a memory controller that supports DDR3 and DDR4 FM2+ helps compatibility. Socket FM1 : Llano (Stars + [b<]VLIW5[/b<]) Socket FM2 : Trinity, Richland (Piledriver + [b<]VLIW4[/b<]) Socket FM2+ : Kaveri (Steamroller + [b<]GCN[/b<]) Carrizo for desktop (Excavator + [b<]GCN[/b<]) & DDR3 should go to FM2+. But more integration (FCH) & DDR4 will require a new socket FM3? For people who already have FM2+ the ability to drop-in a Carrizo will be a good thing. They'll at least get AVX2 and probably some IPC and speed bumps. Off-course if AMD cannot make an FM2+ Carrizo........... well ........AMD just shot themselves in both feet.

          • Concupiscence
          • 6 years ago

          Look, you’re really knowledgeable, but the magnitude of your throbbing hateboner for AMD’s finally getting too hard to ignore. Cut the caffeine, or stop using AMD as the source of your Two Minutes Hate, but for the love of God, I’m starting to dread the comments in anything about AMD because I know you’re going to be here spewing venom and fixating on every dumb or questionable decision they’ve made since the new millennium began.

          Based on everything I’ve seen here it looks like AMD’s making some reasonably prudent decisions to look forward while [i<]not[/i<] throwing existing customers under the obsolescence bus. So that's good. Let's hope Excavator finally fixes some of the doofy backend holding back the *dozer architecture. My living's not dependent on them executing well. I just like seeing competition and a market force working to maintain reasonable prices.

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            I don’t hate AMD. I hate AMD [b<]fanboys[/b<] who pretend that AMD bends over backwards to provide socket compatibility when the opposite is actually true in the real world. As I said in my post: It would be [b<]good[/b<] for AMD to come out with a new motherboard standard that includes, for example, some sort of GDDR-5 add-in or at least jumps to DDR4. The only time I bring up the facts listed above is to point out the hypocrisy of those who act all repressed when Intel comes out with a new motherboard. I'm just tired of regurgitated religious dogma that doesn't actually apply to the real world and isn't even put forth by real people from AMD.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 6 years ago

      Extremetech said that Carrizo is likely to be compatible with FM2+ despite having its own southbridge chip integrated, since the Carrizo APU would disable its intergrated southbridge chip as soon as it detects a motherboard southbridge chip.

      It’s only the laptop users that might get shafted. But I don’t think many people upgrade their laptops that much other than popping in extra RAM, an SSD or a bigger 8-9 cell battery.

      Which also gives AMD the option to release a FM3 (or FM2++) socket; a desktop mobo without a southbridge chip to cut costs.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 6 years ago

      FM1….my most regrettable PC related purchase ever.

        • Unknown-Error
        • 6 years ago

        Not surprising. FM1 was a very mediocre platform.

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