AMD is all about AI and automotive at CES 2024

AI processor for auto; fast, integrated GPUs for desktop; more AM4; and an affordable desktop GPU for gamers with a lot of memory for AI.

David Harold

AMD made several significant announcements at CES 2024, focusing on AI technology and automotive applications. They introduced the Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors with AI capabilities and support for the ONNX framework. AMD also unveiled two new automotive products, the Versal AI Edge XA and Ryzen Embedded V2000 series. In addition, the company showcased partnerships in the handheld gaming and announced new products in consumer computing and graphics, including Ryzen 8040 mobile chips and the Radeon RX 7600 XT graphics card. They also expanded the AMD Advantage Program for enhanced gaming experiences. 

What do we think? There was a strong AI push this year from AMD at CES 2024, but the demos were not as compelling as rival Nvidia’s. That said, AMD’s auto announcements were far more interesting than Nvidia’s robotics focus at the show.

Crucial to the Versal is that it is qualified for automotive use, reinforcing its safety and predictability. But on the other hand, it also focuses on AI, an area that automakers are wary of today (and consumers, too). There has been a softening of AI and autonomous spend in 2023, and we think that will continue. Automakers are nothing if not conservative. That said, we like AMD’s push into automotive, which is a valuable market. Unfortunately, at a press briefing we attended, AMD could name no customers for the new devices, and their older customers are all in in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems.

The computing announcements are stronger, though, especially the very competitively priced Radeon RX 7600 XT, which will be on sale this month. Unfortunately, Nvidia has come in with a keenly priced Super series at the show, raining somewhat on the Radeon RX 7600 XT’s parade.

AMD makes several notable CES announcements

At the opening to CES 2024, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su said, “We believe that AI is the most transformational technology of the last 50 years,” and AI was a notable theme for the presentation.

The Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors are the AI PC play, including for small form factors. They combine Zen 4 CPU, an NPU (AMD says the world’s first in a desktop processor), and a GPU that AMD says is as powerful as a standalone GPU card.

For AI, AMD is supporting the open-source ONNX framework, with thousands of models available. RocM support was also announced. It’s something, but far from as compelling as Nvidia’s CES demos. That said, Adobe and Microsoft joined AMD to show AI capabilities and tout support for the next-generation AMD XDNA 2 for generative AI experiences on PCs that Su said would deliver 3× GenAI performance compared to Ryzen 7040. This will debut in AMD Ryzen StrixPoint devices later in 2024.

(Source: AMD)

AMD also spoke about its long-standing partnerships in the console space with Sony and Microsoft, which it sees as leverage to giving their handheld gaming devices with Valve, Asus, and Lenovo credibility. Of those, Valve’s Steam deck dominates the space today.

AMD continued its automotive momentum with two new products as well as technology demonstrations at CES with its growing list of ecosystem partners. The announcement underscores the synergy of the company following the acquisition of Xilinx nearly two years ago. With it, AMD has now greatly expanded its portfolio for the automotive market, offering solutions ranging from in-vehicle experience (IVX) and infotainment (IVI), to autonomous driving and AI-enabled tech used for object detection, automated parking, and more.  

The two new auto products announced are:
  • Versal AI Edge XA: AMD’s first 7nm device to be automotive qualified and brings hardened IP and extra security to automotive applications. Additionally, with AI engines onboard, the Versal AI Edge XA can perform pattern recognition of signs, object detection, and more. 
  • Ryzen Embedded V2000 Series: Enables carmakers to deliver better performance and multitasking for infotainment and IVX systems. Delivers high-definition graphics, with enhanced security features and automotive software enablement. 

AMD also made a number of new announcements across consumer computing and graphics. Notably, AMD claims its new Ryzen 8040 mobile chips with a Radeon 700 series GPU can beat Intel’s Meteor Lake. Laptops with the new chips will be on sale in February 2024 from Lenovo and others.

  • The Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors—Features what AMD says is the fastest built-in graphics in its class to deliver immense power, performance, and efficiency for intensive workloads including gaming and content creation. Processors at the top of the stack will leverage Ryzen AI technology to optimize AI workloads and unlock new AI experiences. 
  • Four new Ryzen 5000 series processors—Expand the already unprecedented AM4 platform longevity. These new processors add to a broad portfolio of desktop processors across AM4 and AM5 platforms, providing users a range of choices when designing their ideal PC.  
  • The Radeon RX 7600 XT—A high-performance, feature-rich graphics card designed to power demanding games and content creation applications of today and beyond. 
  • The expansion of the AMD Advantage Program—Gives OEM and system builders the opportunity to develop high-volume, multi-segment desktops and laptops verified by AMD to deliver incredible gaming experiences. The existing AMD Advantage Program will now rebrand as “AMD Advantage Premium.”