AMD introduces Phoenix 2: Hybrid Core Processors for Midrange Notebooks

November 3, 2023

AMD introduces Phoenix 2: Hybrid Core Processors for Midrange Notebooks

Summary: AMD has introduced its first hybrid core processors, the Ryzen 7040 "Phoenix" lineup, combining Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores to offer a balance between performance and efficiency for the midrange notebook segment.

  • Combines Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores for a balance between performance and efficiency
  • Straightforward scheduling system simplifies task allocation
  • Superior performance in low-power workloads

AMD has recently made a move in the notebook segment by introducing its first hybrid core processors, known as Zen 4c, under the codename Phoenix 2. These processors feature a reduced L3 cache to maximize the number of cores and optimize die area. The Ryzen 7040 “Phoenix” lineup includes two heterogeneous CPUs that replace or complement existing Zen 4 designs with more Zen 4c cores.

One of the processors in this lineup is the Ryzen 5 7545U, which combines two Zen 4 cores with four Zen 4c cores. It can be seen as a modification of the previous 7540U, which had six Zen 4 cores. The other processor, Ryzen 3 7440U, replaces the existing 7440U with a single Zen 4 core and three Zen 4c cores. While the previous version was likely faster with four full-fat Zen 4 cores, the new design offers increased efficiency.

The Zen 4c cores have a smaller L3 cache and are built on highly dense libraries optimized for low-clock compute workloads. This design choice limits their peak operating clocks to sub-4GHz regions. However, their instructions per clock (IPC) and performance remain identical to Zen 4, supporting both AVX512 and SMT2.

In contrast to Intel’s hybrid designs, AMD has implemented a straightforward scheduling system for Phoenix 2. The Windows scheduler treats the Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores as lower-clocked cores within the same cluster. It ignores them for high-performance tasks and utilizes them for less demanding workloads. While this approach simplifies scheduling, it does have limitations. For example, unlike Intel’s E-Cores, the Zen 4c cores are not automatically used for background efficiency tasks.

AMD’s internal testing has shown that the Zen 4c cores excel in low-power, multi-threaded workloads. These compact cores deliver superior performance at 15W and lower power levels. On the other hand, the larger Zen 4 cores outperform the denser Zen 4c cores in power ranges of 25W and above. AMD has already started shipping Phoenix 2 notebooks, and they will soon be available in the retail market. Unfortunately, there is no external indication to differentiate these notebooks from their predecessors. Users will need to power on the machine and check the System-on-Chip (SoC) name to confirm the presence of Phoenix 2 processors.

AMD’s introduction of hybrid core processors in the midrange notebook segment marks a significant milestone in the industry. By combining Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores, AMD offers a balance between performance and efficiency. The straightforward scheduling system simplifies task allocation, although it may not fully utilize the Zen 4c cores’ potential for background tasks. With superior performance in low-power workloads, these processors are poised to revolutionize the notebook market. Keep an eye out for AMD’s Phoenix 2 notebooks, as they bring a game-changing experience to midrange users.


Background Information

About AMD: AMD, a large player in the semiconductor industry is known for its powerful processors and graphic solutions, AMD has consistently pushed the boundaries of performance, efficiency, and user experience. With a customer-centric approach, the company has cultivated a reputation for delivering high-performance solutions that cater to the needs of gamers, professionals, and general users. AMD's Ryzen series of processors have redefined the landscape of desktop and laptop computing, offering impressive multi-core performance and competitive pricing that has challenged the dominance of its competitors. Complementing its processor expertise, AMD's Radeon graphics cards have also earned accolades for their efficiency and exceptional graphical capabilities, making them a favored choice among gamers and content creators. The company's commitment to innovation and technology continues to shape the client computing landscape, providing users with powerful tools to fuel their digital endeavors.

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About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

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Technology Explained

AVX512: AVX512 is a set of instructions used in modern computer processors to increase the speed and efficiency of certain operations. It stands for Advanced Vector Extensions 512, and it is an extension of the previous AVX instruction set. AVX512 is used in many applications, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. It is also used in high-performance computing, where it can help speed up complex calculations. By using AVX512, computers can process more data faster and with greater accuracy. This makes it an invaluable tool for businesses and organizations that rely on large amounts of data.

E-Cores: E-Cores (Efficiency Cores) are a type of technology used in the computer industry to provide a more efficient and reliable way of powering and cooling computer components. They are made up of a combination of copper and aluminum, and are designed to be more efficient than traditional copper cores. E-Cores are used in a variety of applications, such as in CPUs, GPUs, and other computer components. They are also used in servers, laptops, and other electronic devices. The technology is designed to reduce heat and power consumption, while also providing a more reliable and efficient way of powering and cooling computer components.

L3 cache: L3 cache is a type of computer memory that is used to store frequently used data and instructions. It is located between the processor and main memory, and is used to reduce the amount of time it takes for the processor to access data from main memory. This helps to improve the overall performance of the computer. In the computer industry, L3 cache is used in many applications, such as gaming, video editing, and web browsing. It can also be used to improve the performance of servers and other high-performance computing tasks. By providing faster access to data, L3 cache can help to reduce the amount of time it takes for a computer to complete a task.

SMT2: SMT2 is a newer version of SMT. Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) is a technology that allows a CPU core to process two tasks (threads) simultaneously. It is crucial to the swift operation of modern-day CPUs. SMT is AMD’s brand of multithreading, while Hyperthreading is Intel’s

SoC: A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a highly integrated semiconductor device that encapsulates various electronic components, including processors, memory, input/output interfaces, and often specialized hardware components, all on a single chip. SoCs are designed to provide a complete computing system or subsystem within a single chip package, offering enhanced performance, power efficiency, and compactness. They are commonly used in a wide range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to embedded systems and IoT devices, streamlining hardware complexity and facilitating efficient integration of multiple functions onto a single chip.

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