TECHNOLOGY

AMD’s Ryzen 7040 Series: The First X86 Processors with Integrated AI Engine

Unveiled its latest mobile processor line, the AMD’s Ryzen 7040 series, which includes the first x86 processors to feature an integrated artificial intelligence (AI) engine.

The new chips, including the Ryzen 7640HS, 7840HS, and 7940HS, will be available in laptops starting in March and represent a major advancement for AMD in the realm of AI technology.

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New AI engine

X86 is a type of CPU architecture commonly used in Windows machines, and the lack of AI capabilities on these processors has previously driven manufacturers such as Apple to develop their own in-house solutions.

AMD’s new AI engine, called Ryzen AI, is based on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology and is intended for use in tasks such as video conferencing, predictive UI, security, and even gaming.

One specific application mentioned by AMD is the improvement of auto-framing and eye gaze correction in Microsoft Teams calls, a capability that typically requires a discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) such as those offered by Nvidia.

In addition to its potential uses in enhancing the functionality of various applications, AMD also touts the ability of Ryzen AI to improve laptop battery life by smartly adjusting the power draw of the device based on the task at hand.

The company claims that the AI engine will enable laptops to achieve up to 30 hours of video playback, a significant increase in endurance. AMD states that the goal of Ryzen AI is to make using a laptop as easy and seamless as possible, without the need for manual adjustments to settings.

It’s worth noting that the full range of AMD’s new mobile processors includes the 20 series, 30 series, 35 series, 40 series, and 45 series options, with the CPUs becoming progressively more powerful as the numbers increase.

The AI engine is not currently available on AMD’s most powerful mobile chips, the 7045 series. The company has not provided an explanation for this exclusion. AMD also offers its Alveo cards for enterprise solutions, which utilize a discrete XDNA AI engine, but these are not intended for consumer use.

Performance

In terms of performance, AMD demonstrated the capabilities of its 7040 series chips with a benchmark comparison against the Apple M1 Pro using Cinebench. The 7940HS was found to be 30% faster than the M1 Pro, although it’s important to take manufacturer specifications with a grain of salt.

In addition to the 7040 series chips, AMD will also be releasing cheaper, lower-wattage versions of its current desktop CPU lineup on January 10th, with prices ranging from $229 to $429. The company’s new 3D V-Cache processors for desktop computers will be available in February.

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