AMD has a new set of chips that our readers are going to be extremely excited about. The new AMD Ryzen 8040 series takes a lot of what is good in the Ryzen 7040 series and adds more AI into the mix.
AMD Ryzen 8040 Series Launched with More AI
AMD has its new AMD Ryzen 8040 series codenamed “Hawk Point” which is really more of an update to the Ryzen 7040 series “Phoenix” which has been very popular. Later in 2024, we should hear more about Strix Point which will be the next-generation.
The new series of processors are still Zen 4 and RDNA 3 for their CPU and GPU IP. The big change is the speed of the NPU going from 10 to 16 TOPS.
We can see that the new parts still have the AMD Radeon 780M graphics that we have reviewed a number of times. Something that should be noted in these slides is that the NPU for AI acceleration uses AMD’s XDNA branding and is now the first block on these slides.
Something that is a total bummer is that AMD is not enabling NPUs for the lower-end chips. That stinks. Every chip should have the NPU for AI. The lower-end Radeon 740M graphics is fine, but everything should have a NPU these days. Especially given a Ryzen 5 8640U has one and a Ryzen 5 8540U does not.
With the 60% higher NPU TOPS, we get an “up to” 40% performance uplift.
AMD also says it can be very competitive with Intel’s 13th generation. Again, this is comparing Intel’s parts that have been shipping for some time to a Q1 2024 availability AMD part.
Next for “Strix Point” will be XDNA 2 NPU. AMD says that it will be over 3x the performance. The question would be is that in terms of raw TOPS (so 16 x 3 = 48) or application performance since it is only getting 40% performance scaling with 60% more NPU TOPS in the Ryzen 8040 generation.
AMD also has contests to bring new AI experiences with a number of prizes in different categories.
Perhaps a STH reader will win one of these prizes.
Overall it is great to see AMD is increasing the performance of its NPU. It is also a bit strange in terms of an announcement. We know Microsoft and others are focusing on AI experiences, so having an AI accelerator makes sense. Apple has been very successful with this in is Arm-based chips. Microsoft wants 40 TOPS for AI PCs so AMD needed a chip that could hit that threshold and that it hopes is faster than Intel Meteor Lake. That seems to be the big driver for the Ryzen 8040 series at this event. Realistically we expect devices in 2024 as the AI PC becomes a big push for the industry.