2020 was an excellent year for the tech space as we got to witness the unveiling of new-gen GPUs with the RTX lineup and Radeon RX6000 series cards, watch the Ryzen CPUs break past Intel, see the release of next-gen console gaming, and so much more. With everyone stuck at home and their interests pointed towards technology, this only worked in favor of all things tech & gadgets.
However, if we’re to point out one superstar among all of them, the title of MVP would have to go to team AMD and their current President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su for breaking expectations and shaking up the semiconductor industry. And, despite all the success they experienced in 2020, they’re starting 2021 strong and show no signs of letting anyone catch up.
New Architecture: Surpassing Limitations
Innovations in architecture have always led to the biggest leaps in performance and unlocked different venues to test new limits. AMD plans to continue this streak of innovation, obtaining patents and applying for necessary upgrades. Yes, the monolithic approach to GPU chips and Zen 3 architecture present in their current lineup of CPUs are doing well, but what if we told you getting more is possible?
- Chiplet Architecture for GPUs: Just last December 31st, AMD obtained the patents for chiplet architecture on their GPUs, proving that they have zero plans of sticking with the herd by building bigger dies but instead utilize chiplet-to-chiplet communication. Perhaps they’ve cracked the code to the inefficiency problem, but the closest thing to proof we have right now is the success of their CCX cores present in Ryzen chips.
- FPGA Elements: They don’t only plan to upgrade their architecture for their GPU lineup but also have plans to get FPGA elements onto their CPU architecture. With the help of Field-Programmable Gate Array elements, resources can be easily reconfigured to help boost performance in other workloads when not under stress by other applications.
It is currently pretty early into 2021 to make any forecasts on AMD’s roadmap, but what’s for sure is that this year will feature more turning points for both the GPU and CPU architecture space. So, if you have any plans of building a computer or upgrading your current system, keep your eyes glued on the news!
Looking into Ryzen APUs
Another silent beast from AMD’s lineup is their APUs. While most people prefer their Ryzen CPUs without the integrated graphics, it will only be a matter of time when an APU can run a triple-A title without the help of a dedicated graphics card. Sure, Zen 3 architecture has completely overshadowed their APU brothers, but when Cezanne starts breaking into the mainstream, the demand for mobile chips will go crazy.
- Leaks Are Promising: Based on the current leaks going around, we’re expecting a bump into the amount of available L3 cache and the die to be at least 10% bigger. However, this was the only amount of information extracted, and all eyes are waiting for January 11 when AMD plans to do the reveal.
- Compact Systems: As people start to prefer small form-factor builds and more inexpensive system-building options, we might see the market share for more compact systems to rise even more. And as AMD’s APUs become more favored as mobile chips, people might even consider purchasing gaming laptops as their workstations.
APUs still have a lot to work on, but to say that they’re behind and not worth your time is a bad decision. Inevitably, we’ll reach a melting point where a Ryzen APU integrated graphics can match the performance of a GTX 1060.
How Does It Look for the Competition?
Things aren’t looking too hot for their competitors, but to say that they’ve pushed back beyond recovery is overselling it, and we think all this change is good for the tech space. We won’t deny, though, that a lot of people love AMD because of their rise and the underdog position they’ve assumed for the longest time. Now, the tables have turned, and there’s no telling what’s to come next.
- Intel Needs To Shift Gears: For the longest time, we’ve seen Intel squeeze out every bit from their chipsets like reclaimed barnwood, recycling the same architecture again and again. But now, Intel is in desperate need of shifting their gears and pushing back into innovation if they want to remain relevant in the years to come. Yes, they still hold the bigger market share, but will this tech giant be complacent?
- GPU Showdown: In terms of GPU performance, both Nvidia and Radeon are still neck and neck, with more people leaning towards the green team. There’s not much to say other than it’s been a blast seeing them trade blows, but if Ryzen’s success on CPU is anything to follow, the Radeon team might have an ace up their sleeve.
Competition Breeds Innovation
The tech space is enriching, and with all this competition, innovation is sure to follow suit. Who knows what else there is to come of 2021, but one thing’s for sure is that it’s us consumers who’ll be reaping all the benefits!