No AMD Zen Core for Project Scorpio; New Semi-custom SoCs Coming in 2018

Project Scorpio reveal and Amazon pre-orders

AMD could launch new semi-custom SoCs using Zen core in 2018, which means Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio console won’t be powered by AMD’s next-gen architecture, but the existing Jaguar / Puma CPU.

Sony has just announced the next version of its PS4 console called the PS4 Pro. According to the official press release, the Pro sports an AMD Polaris based GPU, coupled with an overclocked 8-core CPU that is still using the low-power Jaguar x86-64 architecture.

This led many people to turn back and look again upon Xbox Project Scorpio. If nothing else, Microsoft’s next generation console has a great chance to debut at next year’s E3 game show. Previous reports suggest that Scorpio will overpower Sony’s Pro, with a more powerful SoC which combines not just a Polaris GPU, but also a CPU based on the Zen architecture. This is a significant upshift from using 8 smaller Jaguar CPU cores to the ones built on the 14nm process.

amd_zen_specs_4

Featuring a 6TF Radeon GPU and Zen based CPU, Project Scorpio is expected to deliver 4K Ultra HD, 1080p @ 60 Hz HDR, and decent VR solutions. But before you get your hopes up, AMD has reportedly announced that Zen-based semi-custom SoCs for game consoles will not arrive before 2018, that is to say, Scorpio is likely to still use the Jaguar / Puma CPU architecture.

At a recent press conference, AMD CEO Lisa Su is quoted saying they will work closely with Microsoft and Sony to jointly develop new custom-design SoCs that would be out in 2018. For now, the PS4 Pro and the upcoming Xbox Scorpio will use AMD’s latest 14nm graphics chip coupled with the existing CPU core.

amd_semi_custom_soc_zen_3

We know that the PS4 Pro leverages an AMD Radeon-based GPU capable of 4.20 TFLOPs, thereby offering double the GPU power as the original PS4. In comparison, if Scorpio is to deliver 6 TFLOPs of compute power, it seems unlikely that it will sport a Polaris 10 GPU. That would need a mighty overclock to hit 6TF, and based on the rendered imagery of Scorpio’s heating assembly, this isn’t going to happen–at least on paper.

With that in mind, the other option could be a downclocked version of AMD’s next-gen Vega technology. Some reports also suggest that the new 4K-focused Xbox will be built around a new scaled custom graphics solution that will likely sit between the mid-range Polaris and enthusiast-grade Vega GPU. But, these are all rumors until we get an official word from either Microsoft or AMD.

amd_gpu_roadmap_vega_2

On the CPU side of things, as mentioned above, we will likely see a Puma (or perhaps an updated version) inside the Project Scorpio, but we don’t know how it could meet the 6TF target of the graphics chip. That being said, we might see the real capacity of AMD Zen based CPU cores on the alleged Xbox Two that could be out sometime in 2019.

  • MrZweistein

    Dear author, some questions and remarks to your article:

    a) Do you have a official quote or slide that would harden your statement? Because the picture you took from the event doesn’t support your statement very good as it states 12 month semi-custom ramp up which would still be ready in 2017.

    b) Have you derived the CPU used for Scorpio from their PC APU roadmap? Because afaik those semi-custom SOCs can be very different from their PC line-up and maybe so those statements can’t be used for Semi-custom.

    c) Its interesting that Playstation is also stated as Sony just released a statement that you won’t see any new console for a substantial period of time! So why should AMD talk about Playstation? Was this a conclusion you made on your own?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Nir

      The completely tech illiterate author also thinks the Polaris 10 core needs a “heavy overclock” to reach 6TFlops, while infact it is 5.5. Some aftermarket versions have light overclocks to 6TFlops.

      • Ashley Gann

        Actually, it’s >5.8TFlops… 1266 x 2304 x 2

        • Nir

          Even worse. The article writer clearly doesn’t know a lot about tech.

          • SlutMagnet

            I doubt he knows about anything, he’s a games ‘journalist’, after all.

      • Edward Turvey

        A “heavy overclock” when in comparison to the PS4 Pro, which has a 911MHz GPU core clock. Scorpio would need a 1300MHz GPU core clock to reach 6Tflops, which I doubt they will want to do due to thermals. Most likely Scorpio will use Vega with a higher CU count and lowered clockspeed.

        • R Valencia

          Vega has 4X perf/watt, hence 1300 Mhz is reachable. The refinement is like R9-290 to R9-390

      • Cody Lee

        Hey, I think you haven’t seen this yet (DigitalFoundry’s analysis of Project Scorpio), and i don’t think they are illiterate as the author of this article. So you should better study how the SoC works;

        “A 40 CU part (of the Polaris 10 GPU) would need a mighty overclock to hit 6TF, and considering the heating assembly planned for Scorpio looks a little lacklustre. With that in mind, our money is on a downclocked version of AMD’s upcoming Vega technology.”

      • R Valencia

        Vega 11 says Hi i.e. Vega SKU to replace Polaris 10 in 2017

    • Cody Lee

      To let you know, some other websites have also covered this story, including the relatively established MyDrivers:

      http://news.mydrivers.com/1/498/498847.htm

      I think they’re referring to the AMD’s investors event held recently. I’ve seen this slide on a couple of other tech blogs, and they are also stating the same: AMD semi-custom SoCs to arrive in 2018.

      • MrZweistein

        Thx for the info!

      • MrZweistein

        Other than your link I see no other known tech news outlet has run with that story. Interesting isn’t it?

      • Ari Goldman

        What exactly makes mydrivers credible? they dont appear to source their information based on a google translate of the webpage. And perusing their articles they seem to be a run of the mill clickbait website.

        This article claims this announcement was made at a recent press conference, which is obviously false because otherwise every major website would be reporting on it.

        Neither of these sources seem remotely credible.

  • Don

    MrZweistein- That’s what I was thinking.

  • R Valencia

    Scorpio’s estimated SoC size is 362 mm^2 and Polaris 10 has about 232 mm^2.
    The remaining 130 mm^2 is more than enough for full 8 core ZEN+NB+SB.

  • Jeff Scout

    THIS AUTHOR IS A FUCKING MORON OK LMAO PHIL SPENCER CLEARLY STATED THAT XBOX SCORPIO COULDN’T BE LAUNCHED UNTIL 2017 BECAUSE THE HARDWARE WOULDN’T BE AVAILABLE YET AS THE HARDWARE HASN’T BEEN MANUFACTURED N WON’T BE UNTIL NEXT YEAR 2017 so ofcourse it’s not gonna use the older outdated jaguar cores lmao THAT TABLET CPU COULDN’T EVEN PUSH A 6 TERAFLOP VEGA GPU ok it’s not gonna happen alright don’t be mislead by this idiot OK THE TRUTH IS XBOX SCORPIO WILL BE UTILISING A FULLY CUSTOM SYSTEM ON A CHIP WITH AN 8 CORE ZEN BASED CPU + AMD VEGA GPU okay it’s that simple alright guys the XBOX SCORPIO IS THE REAL DEAL AS IT’S A NO BULLSHIT EXTREMELY POWERFUL CONSOLE WHICH WILL BE USING THE LATEST ZEN CPU VEGA GPU SOC its that simple don’t let this pc fanboy mislead you because the truth is pc guys are flipping their lids over xbox scorpio because it’s a direct threat to their 2,000 dollar plus custom built gaming pc and they can’t stand it as a console with a closed loop console environment plus an ultra low level console api running a 6+ teraflop graphics card WITH the new vega architecture is going to blow the doors off all mid range to high range custom built gaming computers as only those with the ultra highest end graphics cards n processors are gonna be able to contend with Scorpio because the fact is when comparing a console to a gaming pc the reality is if both the pc and the console had identical hardware both running at identical speeds THE CONSOLE WOULD BE ANYWHERE BETWEEN 20 to 40% more efficient n more capable because of the console having such an extremely low level api with a closed loop console environment which is what makes Xbox Scorpio so awesome especially now that as of a few weeks ago Microsoft’s own Phil Spencer stated that people need not worry about the price of Xbox Scorpio as he feels as though it will be in line with the ps4 pro as far as price so basically were talking getting Xbox Scorpio for about 500 dollar’s hopefully give or take no more than 50 to 100 bucks putting the XBOX SCORPIO at between $450.00 to $600.00 at the most which is an incredible price for the power n performance but regardless GUYS BACK TO THIS BULLSHIT ARTICLE DON’T BELIEVE HIS BULLSHIT OKAY ZEN PLUS VEGA ARE BEING FINALIZED NOW TO ENTER INTO THE MARKET 2017 AND XBOX SCORPIO WILL HAVE BOTH

    • Jeffrey Byers

      I sigh and go back to playing Starcraft 2… then I’ll edit a video and do some word processing on my GSYNC 144FPS monitor.

    • InsiderX

      The communication tech is codenamed ‘Oban Blitter’ and its been in development for a very long time. There is a very early version in Xbox one as well. Jeff, what is your twitter handle? A few smuggled goods to show you 😉

  • Gabriel Porto

    I read the article but failed to find the reason why Zen will not power Scorpio.

  • Jeff Scout

    XBOX SCORPIO WILL BE EQUIVALENT TO AN ULTRA HIGH END PC AT LAUNCH AS FAR AS GAMING PERFORMANCE IS CONCERNED..

    Xbox Scorpio Specs

    Custom patented console only architecture developed in collaboration with MICROSOFT & AMD where Microsoft has developed a brand new communication method between components which results in a nearly 1 to 1 ultra low zero latency communication between all the components AS THIS NEW METHOD IS THE BIGGEST POWER N EFFICIENCY JUMP IN GRAPHICS PROCESSING SINCE XBOX 360 LAUNCHED with the first ever custom built unified graphics memory architecture where Xbox 360 was vastly superior to ultra high end Pc graphics cards for nearly 18 months after launch until Pc adopted the new unified memory architecture at which point obviously Pc caught up and surpassed consoles once again as far as gaming n graphics performance… Xbox Scorpio has the advantage this time because Microsoft has patented this new console specific architecture for Xbox Scorpio only which means Pc won’t be adopting this new architecture anytime soon and this new 1 to 1 zero latency communication method allows for development on the Xbox Scorpio to be nearly 60% more graphically power efficient as opposed to the same exact equivalent Pc hardware which means for example the 6 teraflop gpu inside of Xbox Scorpio will be the equivalent to 9.6 teraflops in a gaming Pc graphics card as the extra 3.6 teraflops is a result of the new console specific architecture which allows Xbox Scorpio to have a 60% power efficiency advantage over the exact same Pc hardware……. The most exiting part about this is that Microsoft patented this new communication method which allows for a nearly 1 to 1 zero latency communication between the MEMORY, CPU, and GPU and it’s specific only too Xbox Scorpio and it’s a 5 year patent…….

    The Xbox Scorpio is also going to have the most powerful gaming CPU on the market when it launches as its running the brand new 8 core summit ridge 97 watt RYZEN CPU @ 2.8ghz and if you know anything about the new zen CPU architecture from AMD then you know that the new RYZEN 8 core summit ridge CPU is beating intels most powerful 10 core i7-6900 in both single core and multi core benchmarks and the fact Xbox Scorpio will have this CPU is gonna be a straight bitch smack to Pc master race guys which will assuredly have an inferior CPU regardless of which CPU they have period……. The next biggest thing that Xbox Scorpio will have is a 6 teraflop AMD VEGA GPU that’s down clocked and trimmed down to have 6 teraflops of graphics rendering power, however as I explained above this 6 teraflop AMD VEGA GPU will be equivalent to 9.6 teraflops of graphics processing compute power in a Pc graphics card and that’s some serious business…….

    The other thing Xbox Scorpio is using is 12gb of ultra fast gddr5x memory with 320gb per second memory bandwidth which is the same amount as the current gtx 1080 card…..

    All in all the Xbox Scorpio will have the 8 core RYZEN CPU, 12gb gddr5x memory (320gb per second memory bandwidth) both coupled together with a 6 teraflop AMD VEGA GPU (rendering the equivalent of 9.6 teraflops of Pc graphics card compute power due to the new patented console architecture of Xbox Scorpio

    THE FACT IS THE XBOX SCORPIO WONT BE A MID RANGE PC EQUIVALENT CONSOLE AT LAUNCH BUT RATHER XBOX SCORPIO WILL BE THE EQUIVALENT OF AN ULTRA HIGH END GAMING PC AS FAR AS GAMING PERFORMANCE IS CONCERNED and since only 10% of all Pc gaming rigs use ultra high end hardware that means 90% of all gaming rigs will be slaughtered by the performance of XBOX SCORPIO for years too come especially with the new patented communication method which won’t be available on Pc graphics cards which means Xbox Scorpio will hold its advantage for quite some time……

    Also due to the ultra high deep level of optimization that’s available when developing games within a closed loop console type environment with an ultra low level CONSOLE SPECIFIC API that means the advantage is gonna be even that much more impressive….

    Xbox Scorpio will have a CPU & GPU combination that rivals the highest end Pc gaming rigs in existence when it launches as its gonna absolutely crush 90% of all custom built gaming rigs in the 1,000 to 3,000 dollar range especially considering all this power which will include the fastest gaming CPU on the planet will all be inside of a closed loop console where developers will easily obtain NATIVE 4K 60fps gaming at the equivalent of Pc ultra settings…..

    The last thing I wanna say is for those who think XBOX SCORPIO WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE LOL THINK AGAIN BECAUSE MICROSOFT IS GONNA BE GETTING A VERY INSANELY CHEAP PRICE ON ITS CHIPSETS FROM AMD DUE TO THE FACT that Microsoft has been collaborating with AMD on the low down since 2013 developing XBOX SCORPIO even before it launched Xbox one and WHAT HAPPENED IS MICROSOFT FUNDED NEARLY 40% of the research n development costs associated with ZEN/VEGA which is how AMD was able to create the most powerful gaming CPU architecture ever created with ZEN and in exchange for the funding from Microsoft they were able to secure not just a great price on Xbox Scorpio chipsets but also they were able to secure a patent for the new custom architecture communication method which allows for the nearly 60% jump in power processing efficiency for the GPU and so yea this is a very big deal for Microsoft as the Xbox Scorpio is no joke people and my information comes straight from the horses mouth as I have a very close acquaintance who works for a major 1st party Microsoft games studio which has updated me with this information within the past 72 hours and while i can’t and I won’t publically expose my source due to his non disclosure agreement I will at least say that MICROSOFT WILL BE SHARING INFORMATION ON THE NEW PATENTED CONSOLE XBOX SCORPIO ARCHITECTURE SPECIFIC COMPONENT COMMUNICATION METHOD along with some benchmarks and other hardware specific details very soon either shortly before E3 and or at E3 so yea with all that being said I CANT WAIT TOO SHOVE THIS DOWN THE THROATS OF THE RICH PC MASTER RACE PRICKS WHO WILL BE ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED WHEN THEY REALIZE THE POWER N POTENTIAL OF XBOX SCORPIO IS GONNA BE VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THEIR PC RIG THEY WASTED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL and guess what they deserve it because they have made fun of us console peasants for so long and it’s gonna be so gratifying when XBOX SCORPIO BITCH SMACKS THEIR SORRY OVER PRIVALGED PC MASTER RACE ASSES……..

    XBOX SCORPIO

    8 core RYZEN CPU 2.8ghz

    VEGA gpu 6 teraflops (9.6 Pc equivalent)

    12gb gddr5x 320gb per second bandwidth)

    MY FELLOW CONSOLE PEASENTS GET READY BECAUSE WERE TAKING OVER THE GAMING IDUSTRY WITH THE LAUNCH OF XBOX SCORPIO and no longer will be play second fiddle to Pc just because we spent less money

    • Ralf

      You are another idiot and liar, like MisterX and Parasite76.

      • Srenia Ia

        data movement can bring huge performance. check out hp memory driven arch.

        • Jeff Scout

          Finally someone who actually reads the entire comment and then prcoess a the information put forth n draws a reasonable possible conclusion because they actually took the time to research what I was saying instead of calling me a liar like the dude above RALF LOL who is clearly a pissed off Pc master race hater who is starting to regret spending thousands of dollars for his Pc knowing that us console peasants could very likely get the same ultra high end level Gaming performance with bettter optimization for only $599.00 dollars lol it really smokes their asses n they are in full meltdown mode

      • Jeff Scout

        Another pissed off Pc master race prick who is in full meltdown mode as Xbox Scorpio is staring to really threaten their Pc hierarchy for only around $599.00 dollars and they can’t stand it as Pc gaming is in free fall mode right now with absolutely no parachute and these guys are jumping out of airplanes bwahahahahahah

        • Eddie Battikha

          Ryzen Cpu in Scorpio, u saw the Dev kit in NoVember and ur friends a developer LMFAO, u have no life and most definitely no credability.

    • Eddie Battikha

      What happened to theRyzen CPU in Scorpio????? Nice try Misterxmedia.

  • Jeff Scout

    FOR THE LAST FUCKING TIME THE XBOX SCORPIO IS RYZEN/VEGA PERIOD……….

    Listen I have absolute 100% inside factual information from a very close acquaintance of mine who has been working with an official Xbox Scorpio dev kit which his development team received from Microsoft back in November 2016. The developer is from a major 1st party studio and the information he has provided me is 100% accurate. The developer confirmed that the 343 industries developer who a few weeks ago publicly stated how the Xbox Scorpio was far more beefier than originally expected was absolutely correct as the console wasn’t downgraded at all but rather the exact opposite. The Xbox Scorpio is using a brand new completely custom console only specific architecture that’s using an all new rendering method which allows for an ultra efficient almost ZERO LATENCY communication between the system CPU & GPU which allows for a nearly 60% higher graphical rendering performance when compared to what’s currently available on Pc graphics cards and or current game consoles. The new architecture essentially allows for the Xbox Scorpio to take 6 teraflops worth of GPU compute power and render that 6 teraflops at 60% higher than the exact same Pc graphics card in a Pc which means that the Xbox Scorpio 6 teraflops of GPU COMPUTE POWER IS EQUIVALENT TO a 9.6 teraflop Pc graphics card. The new custom architecture was developed in collaboration between Microsoft & AMD designed specifically for Xbox Scorpio and the new communication method IS 100% fully patented from Microsoft specifically for the Xbox Scorpio. The way in which Microsoft was able to develop and patent this new custom architecture was because Microsoft funded nearly 40% of the research n development costs associated with ZEN/VEGA in exchange for not jus the ability to develop and patent this brand new custom console only architecture communication method specifically for Xbox Scorpio only but in addition Microsoft also in return was able to secure an extremely cost efficient price on the new Xbox Scorpio chipsets from AMD WHICH ARE ABSOLUTELY 100% ZEN/VEGA based chipsets. The CPU inside the Xbox Scorpio is an 8 CORE RYZEN SUMMIT RIDGE R5 CPU @ 2.8ghz, and the graphics chip inside Xbox Scorpio is a custom designed AMD VEGA GPU 6.2 teraflop GPU @ 970mhz. The Xbox Scorpio is also using 12gb of gddr5x memory with 320gb per second memory bandwidth. Those specs are the exact specs and exact hardware that’s currently used inside the Xbox Scorpio dev kits as they are all using early engineering samples of both the RYZEN CPU & VEGA GPU. I was also informed that currently right now developers have numerous games that are currently up and running on the Xbox Scorpio dev kits. The games that I was told so far which are being tested n benchmarked that are currently running NATIVE 4K 60fps on Xbox Scorpio dev kits are as follows…….

    DOOM 4K 60fps (Pc ultra equivalent)
    BATTLEFIELD 4K 60fps (Pc ultra equivalent)
    HALO 5 (4K 60fps Xbox One equivalent)
    WITCHER 3 (4K 60fps Pc ultra equivalent)
    FALLOUT 4 (4K 60fps Pc ultra equivalent)

    Those games are all currently running at NATIVE 4K on the Xbox Scorpio dev kits, and while they’re definitely more games being tested n benchmarked internally by different development teams I was told that the ones I listed above are the only games that my sources own personal development team has seen 1st hand running NATIVE 4K 60fps.

    I was informed that the reason 343 industries developer came out and publicly expressed the fact that Xbox Scorpio was far beefier than originally expected isn’t because the hardware itself is beefier or upgraded but BECAUSE DEVELOPERS HAS ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA THAT MICROSOFT & AMD had developed a brand new custom architecture that’s console specific for XBOX SCORPIO which is why so far apparently the system is running NATIVE 4K 60fps at the Pc ultra setting equivalent without even putting the hardware under full load where essentially Xbox Scorpio dev kits are rendering these games at NATIVE 4K 60fps with a lot of wiggle room as the hardware isn’t being pushed anywhere near its full capabilities as the new architecture is the biggest jump in graphical rendering power efficiency since the Xbox 360 launched with a custom and Radeon GPU which had the first ever unified memory architecture that wasn’t available on Pc graphics cards at the time which is why when Xbox 360 launched there wasn’t a Pc graphics card on the market that could compete with Xbox 360 for nearly 18 months until Pc graphics cards started to adopt the new unified graphics architecture at which point that’s when Pc caught back up and surpassed consoles. I was told that this time around Pc graphics cards won’t be able to adopt this new architecture AS MICROSOFT HAS FULLY PATENTED THIS NEW ARCHITECTURE AS XBOX SCORPIO CONSOLE SPECIFIC which means neither Pc nor PlayStation will be able to use and or develop graphics chipsets using this new architecture as it’s fully custom and designed specifically for Xbox Scorpio.

    The last thing I wanna share is that at least in the case of my specific source I was told that internally when testing and benchmarking the Xbox Scorpio dev kits the graphical rendering performance is on par with the NVIDIA TITAN X PASCAL in terms of 4K rendering power and that’s using an early engineering sample of the RYZEN/VEGA chipset which I was told the final chipset used in Xbox Scorpio will be roughly 15% more power efficient than what’s being used in the dev kit as AMD are still tweaking and optimizing the specific APU being used for Xbox Scorpio. I was also informed that in addition to the overall graphics rendering power Xbox Scorpio also has the absolute fastest GAMING CPU in the world right now as the RYZEN CPU IS THE 8 core 8 thread R5 version and it’s faster in both single core and multi threaded applications than the intel i7-6900k CPU and while Xbox Scorpio isn’t getting the RYZEN r7 CPU which has 8 cores 16 threads I was told it honestly won’t make any difference for Xbox Scorpio, however the 8 core 8 thread R5 version is significantly cheaper and vastly more power efficient than the highest end 8 core 16 thread R7 version and that’s why Microsoft has chosen to run with the RYZEN R5 version with 8 cores 8 threads ALTHOUGH I WAS TOLD XBOX SCORPIO GAMES WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE 8 extra virtual cores as those will be locked down and fully reserved specifically to run the system software and all background tasks etc………

    I wanna finally end what I’ve said by saying the last bit of information which I was told was that with Xbox Scorpio and its new architecture which will enable the 6 teraflops of GPU COMPUTE POWER INSIDE XBOX SCORPIO to be the equivalent of a 9.6 teraflop Pc graphics card but also I was told that because of the nature of development for a closed loop console type environment with an ultra low level console API I was told that the optimization for this console will enable Xbox Scorpio to have a very serious initial advantage over even the most expensive ultra high end gaming computers and because of the patent on the new custom console specific Xbox Scorpio only architecture the developer community pretty much all agree that this initial advantage could hold strong for at least 18 to 24 months and so yea I’m sure ok get all sorts of flack and pissed off Pc master race haters talking shit about what I’ve said but TRUST ME GUYS WHAT IVE SAID IS ABSOLUTELY THE REAL DEAL AND APPARENTLY MICROSOFT WILL BE SHARING DETAILS REGARDING THE NEW RYZEN/VEGA APU and also the new custom patented Xbox Scorpio architecture sometime around and or at this years upcoming E3 convention

    • Eddie Battikha

      A long winded one with no credability at all 😉