AMD is taking advantage of Computex to announce a new chip dedicated to entry-level and mid-range laptops, and therefore to the mass market. This new processor should offer a decent level of performance, while offering good battery life thanks to TSMC’s 6 nm engraving.
After the Ryzen 5000 “C” launched a few weeks ago for Chromebooks, and in parallel with the Ryzen 7000 desktop chips presented yesterday, AMD is taking advantage of its visit to Computex 2022 to unveil a new chip designed specifically for laptops with the cross between entry and mid-range – positioned between 400 and 700 euros. Soberly called “Mendocino”, this new processor combines a CPU part with 4 cores / 8 threads under Zen 2 architecture, and a graphics part based on the RDNA 2 design (also used on the latest Ryzen 6000U processors), all in s relying on TSMC’s 6nm etching.
It is therefore a somewhat curious assembly of old and modern technologies that AMD presents to us here, and this to reduce costs. Anyway, this chip will be installed on a new generation of affordable laptops during the 4th quarter of 2022, probably before the end of the year holidays.
A chip dedicated body and soul to the mass market
In detail, AMD’s choices make sense from an engineering point of view… at least for the targeted sector. The firm, for example, prefers to opt for its old Zen 2 architecture because it was designed mainly for quad-core configurations, while the Zen 3 architecture was optimized from the start for eight-core processors, underlines AnandTech. By returning to the Zen 2 design, AMD can therefore easily, quickly, and without additional costs, deliver a new quad-core processor without being forced to “recalibrate” the Zen 3 architecture.
Conversely, AMD opts for TSMC’s 6 nm engraving, which is more recent and has been used since the beginning of the year on the Ryzen 6000 “U” and “H” processors. Until now, the brand’s entry-level solutions have always been engraved using the archaic 12 nm process from GlobalFoundries. Passing over the node 6 nm from TSMC, AMD will be able to take advantage of much better energy efficiency to offer, with this new affordable processor, autonomy that can exceed 10 hours in mixed use. A nice improvement.
Graphically, this “Mendocino” chip is based on the rest of AMD’s latest graphics architecture: RDNA 2. For the moment, the brand does not specify the number of cores added to this latest generation iGPU, not more than the frequencies that will be applied to it. Logically, the performance developed here will be much more modest than on the Ryzen 6000 U chips, but we should nevertheless find compatibility with the latest video codecs, which is not negligible for the entry level. AnandTech explains for example that the decoding of the AV1 codec, increasingly used, should for example be on the menu.
A gray area also remains in terms of RAM support. If we know that this new processor will support LPDDR5 memory, we do not know at this stage whether it will benefit from a dual-channel (64-bit) or quadruple-channel (128-bit) memory bus. The second track seems the most probable, but in the immediate future nothing is certain. This element will influence the overall level of responsiveness of devices equipped with AMD’s new entry-level chip.
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