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ASMedia Brings PCIe 3.0 to AMD's B550 and A520 Chipsets - DigiTimes

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware Germany)

ASMedia Technology is going full throttle to finish tape-outs for its PCIe 4.0 solutions by the end of the year with the hope of winning AMD's heart over again after the company went with its own chipsets for the first X570 motherboards

A recent DigiTimes report confirms that ASMedia has received orders from AMD to produce the chipmaker's upcoming B550 and A520 chipsets. However, orders for X570 chipsets are pretty much up in the air. If there are no setbacks on ASMedia's PCIe 4.0 tape-outs, the Taiwanese integrated circuit maker is likely to land the orders for the X570 chipset as well.

According to DigiTimes, the B550 and A520 chipsets support the PCIe 3.0 standard, but it's too early to rule out that they won't feature PCIe 4.0. For starters, PCIe 4.0 is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0, so B550 and A520 motherboards could support PCIe 4.0, but in a limited way. If we look back at the Ryzen 3000-series launch, the third-generation processors have as much as 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes at their disposal. So it's plausible that B550 and A520 motherboards can have their first PCIe x16 slot and one M.2 port wired directly to the processor.

From a monetary standpoint, it makes perfect sense to restrict PCIe 4.0 support on B550 and A520 motherboards. They are budget chipsets after all, and it would help reduce costs so the final product could be more accessible. As MSI CEO Charles Chiang recently told us in an interview, even the entry-level offerings are expected to be more expensive in comparison to the previous-gen AMD motherboards. It's understandable to restrict feature sets to meet certain pricing criteria.

The current timeline looks like this: ASMedia plans to ship B550 and A520 chipsets to motherboard manufacturers in the fourth quarter. It's safe to assume B550 and A520 motherboards could arrive at the end of the year. Since ASMedia's PCIe 4.0 tape-out won't be finished until the end of 2019, AMD X570 motherboards might see the light of day until sometime in 2020, perhaps in the first quarter. AMD is in no hurry to roll out X570 motherboards since X570 isn't a replacement for X470. The chipmaker is positioning X570 as the new flagship chipset that's one tier above X470.

  • linuxdude
    I might be wrong, but does the article confuse a few things?

    "Since ASMedia's PCIe 4.0 tape-out won't be finished until the end of 2019, AMD X570 motherboards might see the light of day until sometime in 2020, perhaps in the first quarter. AMD is in no hurry to roll out X570 motherboards since X570 isn't a replacement for X470."

    X570 chipsets will launch on 7/7 in combination with the Ryzen 3xxx series, they won't launch a new processor on an old platform where you can't use some if its key features. There is no ASMedia X570 and AMD X570, it's just X570.
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    I think having PCIe 4.0 on the primary slot and M.2 and 3.0 for the rest of the lanes would be a good compromise. Hopefully that would allow for boards have a less of a price premium (compared to X570), and avoid the need for active cooling of the chipset.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    As long as the CPU-chipset link is PCIe 4.0 to minimize potential bottlenecks from having PCIe 3.0 downstream links from the chipset to peripherals while still not requiring active chipset cooling, that would be perfectly fine with me. If the chipset feed is still 3.0 though, this might suck since a single 3.0x4 peripheral connected to the chipset can hog all of the link bandwidth.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    InvalidError said:
    As long as the CPU-chipset link is PCIe 4.0 to minimize potential bottlenecks from having PCIe 3.0 downstream links from the chipset to peripherals while still not requiring active chipset cooling, that would be perfectly fine with me. If the chipset feed is still 3.0 though, this might suck since a single 3.0x4 peripheral connected to the chipset can hog all of the link bandwidth.
    Indeed, if ASMedia is working on a 4.0 solution, the former would be the worst case scenario. After all the chipset has nothing to do with the 4.0 lanes tied directly tied to the processor. A manufacturer could build a board with a 4xx chipset that has full 4.0 support for at least the first couple PCIe slots (two x8) and a 4.0 x4 NVMe slot, and that's without switches. That being said I'm pretty sure ASMedia is working on 4.0 chipset(s) of some variety, as it wouldn't make sense for them to be working on a new chipset that doesn't at least support a 4.0 link to/from the CPU.

    The article on the other hand is largely nonsense.
    Reply
  • BaRoMeTrIc
    linuxdude said:
    I might be wrong, but does the article confuse a few things?

    "Since ASMedia's PCIe 4.0 tape-out won't be finished until the end of 2019, AMD X570 motherboards might see the light of day until sometime in 2020, perhaps in the first quarter. AMD is in no hurry to roll out X570 motherboards since X570 isn't a replacement for X470."

    X570 chipsets will launch on 7/7 in combination with the Ryzen 3xxx series, they won't launch a new processor on an old platform where you can't use some if its key features. There is no ASMedia X570 and AMD X570, it's just X570.

    I think they were referring to asmedia's production of x570 chipsets, AMD is producing their own in-house right now.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    linuxdude said:
    There is no ASMedia X570 and AMD X570, it's just X570.
    If AMD is sharing the X570 design with ASMedia so ASMedia can be a second source for board manufacturers, then it would make sense for ASMedia to need some time to qualify functional equivalence.
    Reply