AMD is again preparing another monster (custom?) APU chip by codename “Mero” to beat Intel and Nvidia in SoC (System on Chip) era. Interestingly, 19th century’s remarkable painter by name Lee Mero gives inspiration to AMD’s engineering team for sure. Finally, upcoming APU puzzles are getting back together to make greater sense compared to last year’s struggle to put limited leaks into general understanding. All thanks to AMD itself for solid confirmation about Radeon RDNA 2 graphics architecture’s ability to run Ray Tracing through hardware acceleration. Specifically, AMD found the effective way to render Ray Tracing process through novel patented technology called “texture processor based” real-time Ray Tracing rendering. Most obvious question here is that “how does RDNA 2.0 is related to upcoming “Mero” APU which is making mysterious waves through the internet with limited information!?”
Mero will support Ray Tracing
After Xbox Series X and PS5 official hardware specs revelation, every tech enthusiast knows about texture based Ray Tracing will power both consoles using Arden (Xbox) and Oberon (PS5) APUs based on RDNA 2.0. On the other hand, there is “Van Gogh” custom APU that leaked out last September with Navi 2x RDNA 2.0 support and allegedly to lift up the performance of Apple Macbooks and Surface laptops. Most probably, Van Gogh will use Zen 3 processor enhanced by 7nm+ EUV fabrication process from TSMC. At last, David Wang (AMD Senior Vice President) is understood by majority tech enthusiasts that Ray Tracing must have full implementation throughout all product ranges, not only high end segment like Nvidia is doing right now.
Infamous online hardware enthusiast Komachi_Ensaka is the first one who spilled the beans about “Mero” APU last December but all specific detailed tweets were deleted right after the posting. However, you may find some chunks about “Mero” confirmation within the twitter account. One of the solid information about “Mero” is a similarity of it’s architecture to “Van Gogh” sibling that rumored earlier. Since Apple wants custom APU chip to catch up to the performance of gaming laptops, another possible custom chip might be prepared for another AMD client or it’s just a Desktop/Laptop monster APU?!
Mero might be a Desktop or Laptop APU
Both “Mero and Van Gogh” APUs share the same device ID and vendor ID, that means similar graphics configuration is expected too since Van Gogh gets Navi2x under GFX103x design according to Komachi_Ensaka’s table. These couple of APUs are twice smaller than Arden (Xbox Series X) APU with up to 54 CUs (Compute Units). If anyone uses common sense here, why does AMD needs to create another two custom APUs with fewer Navi2x CUs?! Because both upcoming APUs are created for PC/Laptop ecosystem based on PGA socket. Obviously, for instance, current Macbooks are using very similar Intel Core i5 8th Gen chips with typical Intel UHD Graphics that you can find in standard Intel LGA 1151 socket PC/Laptop processor systems. Therefore, AMD is most likely preparing “Mero” APU with powerful next gen Navi2x iGPU, as a result, allowing entry-level gamers to experience the Ray Tracing feature as David Wang (AMD SVP) wanted. However, “Mero” APU won’t be available till 2022 due to “Cezanne” APU launch delays (planned for q4, 2020). No wonder detailed leaks about Mero have been deleted from Twitter and Reddit so quickly to cool down the hype. Additionally, _rogame via twitter has posted very useful analysis on “Mero” APU’s graphics configuration potentially to be 32 CUs limited which is equaling to 4x Shader Arrays if you follow graphics architecture pattern of Arden (Xbox Series X) APU. Logically, 32 CUs are possible within a Desktop/Laptop APU silicon transistor chip by only using 5nm process technology where Moore’s Law Is Dead YouTube channel has leaked about 7nm+ EUV based Ryzen 5000 series “Cezanne” APU using Navi iGPU with 24 CUs and 4 disabled. Everything is possible when AMD goes full 5nm processing era.