AMD built a powerful semi-custom Ryzen-Vega SoC for game consoles and PCs

After reasserting itself into the high-end CPU space with its Zen architecture, AMD apparently still has a few surprises up its sleeve. One of those was revealed today. The company announced a new semi-custom SoC (system-on-chip) featuring a quad-core Ryzen CPU with 24 Vega CUs, and 8GB of GDDR5 memory.

All of this computing goodness comes packed onto a single chip that is intended to power a "new gaming PC and upcoming console" in China. AMD worked with a company called Zhongshan Subor on the project, though we have to wonder if it will introduce similar SoCs to other manufacturers.

It is an intriguing design, for sure. The SOC sports an 4-core/-8-thread Ryzen processor running at 3GHz, along with 24 Vega CUs clocked at 1.3GHz for graphics. The GPU basically amounts to a Radeon RX 580, and is perhaps even a bit more powerful.

On the graphics side, the semi-custom chip is flexes more muscle than AMD's Ryzen 5 2400G APU, which features 11 Vega CUs clocked at 1.25GHz and taps into system memory. It is more in line with the module AMD designed in partnership with Intel for its Hades Canyon NUC—it has the same number of Vega CUs, but is clocked slightly faster and has 8GB of GDDR5 memory instead of 4GB of HBM2.

The only rub here is availability. It's not clear if AMD plans on releasing something similar for the global market, or if this was just a one-off side project.

"Designing a semi-custom gaming SoC for Subor represents an exciting opportunity for AMD to make our high-performance technologies even more accessible to gamers in China. The new SoC is also a great example of our semi-custom strategy, where we take our differentiated IP and tailor to meet the specific needs of a customer to create a product only AMD can deliver," AMD said.

Beyond the press photo, Anandtech found a few images of the actual game console floating around a Chinese-language website. It looks like something Asus might design under its ROG banner, basically a more aggressive looking Xbox.

AMD also mentioned that its custom SoC supports FreeSync and its Adrenalin software.