After this week’s quarterly earnings report, AMD held a press conference to go over its future CPU plans. After announcing record $5.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, the company unveiled an updated CPU roadmap for 2023. Though we already know about its upcoming Zen 4 “Raphael” CPUs, it announced a new lineup of heavy-hitting mobile processors too. Dubbed Dragon Range, AMD says these CPUs will offer the highest “thread, core, and cache” amounts for a mobile gaming CPU ever. Clearly, the gauntlet has been laid down, on paper at least.
The roadmap spells out these upcoming chips will be based on the Zen 4 architecture, so no surprise there. This is for 2023, after all. They will be 55W+ chips designed for laptops thicker than .78 inches, which are desktop replacements. They’ll feature DDR5 memory and PCIe 5.0. AMD’s mention of these chips having the highest amount of cache in a mobile CPU is intriguing. We all suspected the company would be topping off its Zen 4 CPUs with extra L3 cache vis-a-vis its RX 5800X3D CPU. Now it appears that technology will probably be coming to the mobile gaming arena, which would be a first.
AMD’s announcement that it would lead Intel in “core and thread” count is a big change too. Its current 6000-series mobile CPUs top out at 8C/16T, which is less than Intel’s 20-thread Core i9-12900HK. AMD also seems to be favoring efficiency over raw performance this generation. Perhaps it has reconsidered that decision, and will be going all-out with Dragon Range.
It certainly sounds like it’s what it’s planning. AMD also announced a new batch of CPUs dubbed Phoenix. These are intended for sub-20mm (0.78″) laptops, which are thin-and-light models. Despite being targeted at slim devices, these are still gaming CPUs. They will offer the same advanced features as Dragon Range, but in a smaller thermal envelope of 35W to 45W.
Though AMD’s slide doesn’t offer a ton of new information such as clock speeds, core counts, cache sizes and so forth, it’s clear AMD is leaning into gaming performance with Zen 4. Also, these upcoming AMD chips won’t be facing off against Alder Lake mobile, but Raptor Lake mobile. So far we know very little about Raptor Lake, and absolutely nothing about its mobile version. AMD’s current 6000-series Zen 3+ chips are a refinement of Zen 3, which is what Raptor Lake mobile will probably be for Alder Lake. This could give AMD the advantage, just like how Intel has the upper hand currently.
In summary, we once again have it in writing that AMD’s Zen 4 desktop CPUs will be launching in 2022. Though we’ve reported on that previously, it’s good to see the company confirm it again. This architecture will also be carrying the company through 2023, going up against Intel’s Raptor Lake. As it stands right now, it looks like late 2022 will be the battle of the desktop chips, while 2023 will be a mobile gaming showdown. Finally, why the name Dragon Range? So far Intel has been the company using the word Dragon in its nomenclature. It used it as recently as its current Dragon Canyon NUC even. Shot across the bow, anyone?