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AMD's Van Gogh APU Gets New Audio Tech

AMD
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD's mysterious 'Van Gogh' APU promises to offer several significant improvements over its predecessors, with an RDNA 2-based graphics core and DDR5/LPDDR5 being perhaps the most important advances. Now it appears the new APU will also have a new audio processing block. 

AMD has posted 12 patches for its Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) driver that enable its upcoming Van Gogh APU, reports Phoronix. The patches reveal that Van Gogh is set to feature AMD's new audio co-processor — ACP 5.x — with two I2S interfaces/controllers. As there are no prior mentions of AMD's ACP 5.x blocks that we could find, it looks like the Van Gogh APU will be the company's first platform to support the new audio technology (at least on Linux). 

There is very little information about AMD's ACPs on the Internet. The only thing we found at press time is that AMD's Raven Ridge APU from 2017 relied on ACP3x, so perhaps AMD's contemporary APUs feature ACP4x. It is unclear what kind of innovations ACP 5.x brings (e.g., hardware decoding of Dolby Atmos or DTS:X streams?), but we do know that it is newer than its predecessors. 

AMD's Van Gogh is indeed one of the company's most mysterious APUs ever. The processor is rumored to feature Zen 2 cores, an RDNA 2-based graphics processor, and a memory controller to support DDR5 and/or LPDDR5 memory. In addition, the chip is expected to be produced using one of TSMC's 7nm process technologies, which explains why AMD opted for a combination of relatively compact Zen 2 cores and high-performance RDNA 2 GPU.  

Architecturally, Van Gogh will resemble custom SoCs found in Microsoft's Xbox Series X|S and Sony's PlayStation 5 consoles, but without knowing the exact configuration of Van Gogh, we cannot state that this is an APU aimed specifically at gamers.  

AMD does not comment on unreleased products, so basically everything we know about the Van Gogh is from Linux patches and rumors. So consume everything with a grain of salt.

  • vern72
    If the chip supports DDR5 them I'm guessing it's being made for the AM5 platform.
    Reply
  • TCA_ChinChin
    I curious as to why they chose Zen 2 with RDNA2. They already have Zen 3 out with Vega, it seems like a step forward in graphics but a step backward in CPU.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    TCA_ChinChin said:
    I curious as to why they chose Zen 2 with RDNA2. They already have Zen 3 out with Vega, it seems like a step forward in graphics but a step backward in CPU.

    Yes it does seem rather odd thing to do, even odder they would pair Zen 2 with DDR5.
    Reply
  • Djekna80
    thisisaname said:
    Yes it does seem rather odd thing to do, even odder they would pair Zen 2 with DDR5.
    Well simple it is already done and working in newest console part, you have 4700D witch is VAN GOG without integrated graphic.
    Reply
  • Gillerer
    TCA_ChinChin said:
    I curious as to why they chose Zen 2 with RDNA2. They already have Zen 3 out with Vega, it seems like a step forward in graphics but a step backward in CPU.

    The article said it already: They're smaller than Zen 3 cores.

    If this is a budget-oriented gaming APU, Zen 2 is plenty good enough but 8 CU Vega is lacking.

    Some leaks suggest it's only going to have 4 cores. Making them with Zen 2 will use less than half the area compared to a 8-core Zen 3 - mostly down to Zen 2 needing less L3 cache. They also don't have to create a new design for a 4-core Zen 3 CCX.

    The DDR5 memory controller thing could be that AMD is using this as a test vehicle for DDR5? Reuse everything else they know is working (Zen 2, Navi 2, Infinity Fabric) and slap on this as the new thing. This seems to be what AMD is doing for CPUs anyways; switching modules piecemeal so they don't have to redesign the whole thing every time.
    Reply
  • junglist724
    Well, looks like the steam deck might be using this.
    Reply