AMD has confirmed multiple new chips are on the way: the impressive-sounding new Phoenix APUs and something called Dragon Range. Sound enticing? From the specifications the red team has released so far, these new Dragon Range APUs will make for a mean chip for a high-end gaming laptop.
Following on from Ryzen 6000-series mobile processors launched earlier this year, both Phoenix and Dragon Range will be a part of the Ryzen 7000-series. Rounding off the 7000-series are the desktop Raphael chips, and these all share some common features, including the Zen 4 architecture and support for PCIe 5.0.
Phoenix will then support LPDDR5 memory and will come as 35–45W parts. These are targeting ‘thin and light gaming’ laptops, and while AMD is yet to confirm, rumour has it that these chips could feature up to 24 Compute Units of either the RDNA 2 or RDNA 3 graphics architecture for what’s likely to be pretty impressive gaming performance.
Though perhaps those top CU counts will be reserved for the more powerful of the two mobile gaming APUs. Dragon Range sounds a little beefier with support for full-fat DDR5—full SO-DIMMs are now available from multiple manufacturers, so supply shouldn’t be any issue—and will come with TDPs in excess of 55W.
AMD also notes Dragon Range will have the highest core, thread, and cache ever for a mobile gaming CPU. That would put it above the Ryzen 9 6900HX available today, which comes with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache. I think it’s fair to say that we can expect some impressive specs out of this lineup.
Intel also plans to ramp up its next-gen Meteor Lake chips with stacked GPUs. It says this will form “a new class of graphics”, though it still has Raptor Lake chips, an improvement on Alder Lake, to release until these new and improved chips arrived. Meteor Lake has at least been powered on in Intel’s labs and has even booted Linux and Windows.
Both AMD and Intel appear dedicated to improving portable graphics power, at least. That’s an exciting prospect for future gaming laptops and all manner of handheld machines. Though don’t expect Dragon Reach or Phoenix this year, both are scheduled for 2023, as is Intel’s Meteor Lake.