One of the big questions coming out of AMD’s CES announcements was if its new CPU design, codenamed Matisse and which enables two chiplets and an IO die on a single package, would support one of those chiplets being graphics based in order to make an APU. In our discussions with AMD, we received confirmation that this will not be the case.

The new Matisse design is the platform for AMD’s next generation of desktop processors. The layout shown at CES this year represented the design as having a single IO die, about 122.6 mm2 and built on GlobalFoundries 14nm, paired with a chiplet die, about 80.8 mm2, containing eight cores and built on TSMC’s 7nm. There is obviously space on that package for another CPU chiplet, and there has always been questions if the chiplet design is amenable to using a graphics chiplet instead.

AMD stated that, at this time, there will be no version of the current Matisse chiplet layout where one of those chiplets will be graphics. We were told that there will be Zen 2 processors with integrated graphics, presumably coming out much later after the desktop processors, but built in a different design. Ultimately APUs are both mobile first as well as lower cost parts (usually), so different design decisions will have to be made in order to support that market.

This doesn't rule out a future processor using chiplet graphics, this is just for Matisse.

Our contacts at AMD also discussed the TDP range of the upcoming range of Matisse processors. Given AMD’s definition of TDP, relating to the cooling performance required of the CPU cooler, the range of TDPs for Matisse will be the same as current Ryzen 2000-series processors. This means we could see ‘E’ variants as low as 35W TDP, all the way up to the top ‘X’ processors at 105W, similar to the current Ryzen 7 2700X. We were told that the company expects the processors will fit within that range. This should be expected on some level, given the backwards compatibility with current AM4 motherboards on the market with a BIOS update.

Read our announcement on the early preview of the Matisse processors here:




View All Comments

  • Chaitanya - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    Maybe like Threadripper on next gen AMD will add 2nd CPU chiplet. But before that I would really like to see AMD bring out 8Core APU based on Matisse. Reply
  • npz - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    So with:

    > Q) More than 8 cores?
    > A) There is some extra room on that package. You might expect us to put more on that package.

    and the statement eliminating the possibility of a GPU chiplet, the only remaining possibilities are another CPU chiplet or IO die.
  • haukionkannel - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    It means no extra chip yeat, but there will be later... Maybe 2020? Reply
  • neblogai - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    No- it says there would be no GPU chiplet on a specifically Matisse package. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    To me that sounds like the APU is probably going to be a dedicated CPU complex of it's own then.

    I don't know why they'd go that route, but whatever.

    It seems like having the second "socket" or whatever available for GPU or an additional CPU would be the safest bet.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    If you're wanting an APU, you're not likely to need the extra speed of Zen2 over Zen+ anyway. Reply
  • darkswordsman17 - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    Disagree, especially since the idea for this type of APU assumed a larger GPU (I think many assumed it would also include some HBM memory to help with bandwidth bottlenecks). At minimum you'd like the transistor and power characteristics of 7nm Zen 2. And if the I/O module would help with memory coherency (between the GPU and CPU) and latency. Reply
  • neblogai - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    That is not true. High performance mobile needs it, and AMD needs it for gaming (and used with dGPU) if they want to compete vs Intel in gaming laptop market, and embedded would be very happy with a crazy-efficient, 8-core Zen2 APU. Reply
  • teldar - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    Completely disagree. I would love to have a reasonably high end 8 core processor with a very reasonable (read not crappy) video unit built in so I can change the home computer to a SFF instead of a tower. I have a SFX case and PSU I bought for HTPC use and recently switched to Roku instead. I would love to make use of my SFX case. I'm not a computer gamer but want some video capacity. More than what the current APUs have. And I want more CPU as well.
    I would be very willing to pay the $300-400 for a good CPU and a good VPU in one chip. Particularly if it had some HBM on board.
  • Boxie - Friday, January 11, 2019 - link

    I personally would love a powerful SFF workstation Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now