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AMD reveals Strix Point details: Zen 5 cores, RDNA 3+ and tripled NPU performance

Why it matters: AMD is gradually providing more information about Strix Point, with the latest data points unveiled at the company’s Beijing AI PC Innovation Summit. While the news that it will feature RDNA 3+ may not be that earth-shattering, it is interesting to hear that AMD plans to embed the latest XDNA 2 NPUs in the chips, which more than triples the performance of a current-gen XDNA NPU.

Information about AMD’s next mobile processor, Strix Point, has been coming to the market in drips, either through leaks or comments by executives. Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s chief executive officer, said at the company’s fourth quarter earnings report that the series will make the leap to the next-generation Zen 5 CPU core architecture – a significant step forward in AMD’s processor technology.

Su added that Strix Point is expected to deliver more than three times the AI performance of the Ryzen 7040 series processors. We know it will feature enhanced RDNA graphics and an updated Ryzen AI engine designed to significantly increase the performance, energy efficiency and AI capabilities of PCs. We also know that it has a shipment date of 2024. What we weren’t clear about, at least officially, was the GPU architecture.

The company shared this information, along with further details about Strix Point, at its recent Beijing AI PC Innovation Summit, where it introduced the Ryzen ‘Hawk Point’ 8040 series. It also gave the audience a preview of its AI PC ecosystem plans, disclosing that the Strix Point chips will include RDNA 3+ and XDNA 2 processing.

Su, who was present on the stage along with other AMD executives, explained that RDNA 3+ represents an evolution of the RDNA 3 architecture, intended to enhance rather than replace the upcoming RDNA 4 GPU architecture. RDNA 3+, also called RDNA 3.5, is no stranger to the market as it has been showing up in patches for a while.

To deliver Su’s promised three times improvement in generative-AI capabilities, Strix Point APUs will embed the latest XDNA 2 NPUs and a far more robust Ryzen AI software suite, executives said. This new NPU will triple the performance of a current-gen XDNA NPU, delivering over 70 total TOPS. For comparison, the AMD Ryzen 8040 series has 16 NPU TOPS for 39 total TOPS. Strix Point should also beat out competitors in this category, with Intel’s Core Ultra series delivering up to 34 TOPS and Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X Elite chips featuring 45 TOPS.

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