AMD Picasso and Raven Ridge 2018 May Arrive Sooner Than Expected

AMD released two patches for its open-source AMDGPU DRM Linux driver yesterday. The latest patches add support for the red chipmaker's unreleased Picasso and Raven Ridge 2018 APUs (accelerated processing units).

During AMD's presentation at the Hot Chips 30 Symposium in August, it announced a new wave of Raven Ridge APUs is on the horizon. The Raven Ridge 2018 APUs, as AMD referred to them, are slated for a late 2018 launch. One of the patches that AMD sent out makes a reference to Raven2. According to the description in the patch, Raven2 is a new Raven APU. So, AMD is probably referring to the Raven Ridge 2018 parts. 

In case you haven't been following the APU evolution, Raven Ridge harnesses the power of AMD's Zen CPU architecture and Vega GPU architecture. In other words, they are practically Ryzen processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. According to AMD, the upcoming Raven Ridge 2018 processors are more power efficient than the current offering. Since the first generation of Raven Ridge processors were built under AMD's Zen 14nm FinFET process, it wouldn't come as a complete surprise if the new Raven Ridge 2018 chips come out of the 12nm FinFET oven.

A purported AMD roadmap Uruguayan media outlet Informática Cero published pointed to Picasso as the code name for Raven Ridge's successor.  Another leaked PowerPoint slide seemed to confirm that Picasso employs the same architecture as Raven Ridge, which might be true as AMD confirmed in one of yesterday's patches that Picasso is a new APU similar to Raven. If that is the case, we wouldn't expect any groundbreaking performance over the current generation of APUs. However, Informática Cero's unconfirmed information does point to performance and power improvements, which could possibly mean a die shrink. Our assumption is that Picasso will either be manufactured under GlobalFoundries' 12nm node or TSMC's 7nm node. 

Picasso processors will be available in desktop and mobile variants. In the case of desktops, the APUs should slot perfectly into the AM4 socket, which AMD plans to retain until 2020. If there are no setbacks, Picasso should arrive in 2019.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • djenan.hajrovic
    Just buy it.. am I right TH??
  • Dunzaus
    And don't forget to pre-order it! Right, TH?
  • djenan.hajrovic
    Glofo 7nm ??? TH you have trully become trash
  • Co BIY
    AMD creates an industry innovation that Intel will be unable to compete with ....

    Product names that actually mean something.

    I would love to see more along the lines of "Raven Ridge 2018".
  • AgentLozen
    Djenanhajrovic said:
    Glofo 7nm ??? TH you have trully become trash

    Looks like a typo. I've heard that Global Foundries have given up their 7nm process so AMD has gone forward with TSMC as their 7nm foundry. I suspect the author meant to say TSMC instead of GloFo but I would need to hear from them to be certain.
  • gggplaya
    Global Foundries decided to quite working on 7nm. But they still need to work on something, so I'm guessing they reallocated resources and ramped up production of 12nm and 14nm. Which is probably why these will start popping up sooner than expected.
  • littleleo
    No, not Intel, so not paid for, yet.
  • bit_user
    21317604 said:
    Global Foundries decided to quite working on 7nm. But they still need to work on something, so I'm guessing they reallocated resources and ramped up production of 12nm and 14nm.
    I hear they did have pretty big layoffs. Maybe they're not working on another node, and plan to just keep making 14 nm as long as it's profitable?

    Anyway, I'm excited for a 12 nm APU. I was tempted by the Ryzen 5 2400G, but was hoping for a little more CPU performance.
  • DragonAsta
    it might have looked "nice" from naming standpoint, but AMD should have and could have named them exactly as the way the core design was followed by number
    Ryzen 1xxx, Ryzen+ 2xxx (which includes raven ridge) Ryzen 2 3xxx and so forth, or, Ryzen 2017 1xxx, Ryzen 2018 2xxx, Ryzen 2019 3xxx
    (more or less like car makers do)

    they could have equally "linked" the desired motherboard chipset in naming
    so Ryzen 1xxx is "best used" with AM4 x170 or B150 and so forth.

    I personally do not get why they did NOT use the Ryzen+ in the direct naming because when Ryzen 2 launches (true second generation) it will make it much more confusing then it needed to be when they say for example Ryzen 2 3700x...unless they just do and should have left out any mention of the naming beyond Ryzen 3-5-7 followed by model say "Ryzen 2 or Ryzen 2nd generation when it is not and adding additional confusing mention of Ryzen+ in other marketing slides could have been much more "refined"

    as in K.I.S.S method...Ryen followed by model number PERIOD, on 14nm or 12nm or 7nm is "part of" the design, the end consumer does not get impacted by this nearly as much as thinking they are getting a 2nd or 3rd or 4th generation part when it may not be by naming alone.

    High hopes for AMD though, Ryzen overall has brought them much needed $$$$$ to keep them alive and put a very solid kidney punch into Intel dominance of lap/desk/workstation/server AND AMD all along has been pushing more and more opensource initiatives while their 2 main competitors seem to do everything but this (Nv seems absolutely against doing this unless it is for THEIR and only THEIR products)
  • alextheblue
    21318476 said:
    it might have looked "nice" from naming standpoint, but AMD should have...
    Still tame compared to Intel's lineup.