Yields are an important factor in any manufacturing process, and AMD appears to be enjoying a very high rate with its Ryzen CPUs. ‘Sources' have told Italian website Bitsandchips that yields are as high as 80%: that is, about 80% of CPUs are produced with all eight cores fully functional.
The high yield of the Ryzen CPUs means that AMD can sell its EPYC (formerly known as Naples) datacentre processors (based on Ryzen) at a low cost. Bitsandchips says that Dropbox is interested, quoting VP of infrastructure Akhil Gupta: "The combination of core performance, memory bandwidth, and I/O support make EPYC a unique offering. We look forward to continuing to evaluate EPYC as an option for our infrastructure."
WCCFTech has some details about the upcoming Ryzen 3 (four-core/eight-thread) processors, which are expected to be announced at Computex in late May. The CPU is reported to measure 44mm²; around 10% smaller than a comparable Skylake processor. The L2 cache and density are also said to be higher, at 512KB (versus 256KB) and 1.5mm²/core (versus 0.9mm²/core).
Our take: While AMD's Ryzen yields are high, they are not unexpectedly so. Ryzen is based on the 14nm die, which is a mature manufacturing process. The die itself is also small, which further raises yield rates (more dies cut from a sheet of silicon means that a single failed processor has less of an affect on the overall output).
Still, 80% yield is very good news for AMD - and its investors - and will lead to higher profits, probably through lower ASPs but higher shipments. A move like this would mean lower-than-expected prices on the EPYC processors, which is perhaps why Dropbox has released a statement of interest.
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