AMD Chip, Codenamed: Magnum, with FPGA Prototype Board for DTV Spotted in Shipping Manifest on Zauba

Usman Pirzada
Posted Oct 26, 2015
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A couple of interesting shipping entries have popped up on Zauba, and while one of them is related to Nvidia, the other is a curious entry about an AMD product. The entry in question lists an AMD project codenamed ‘Magnum’ and mentions an FPGA prototype board – as well as the words DTV. Now loyal fans of the company would recognize these words and also how out of place they appear.

‘AMD Magnum’ spotted on shipping manifest – reveals AMD working on an FPGA prototype board for DTV

The entry in question is a very recent one and reads “PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD ASSEMBLY-AMD MAGNUM FPGA PROTOTYPEBOARD FOR DTV P/N .102-B25432-00 (FOC)”. Although we have heard talk of AMD wanting to dabble in the FPGA side of things this is something even more astonishing – because AMD sold its DTV division back in 2008 to Broadcom. For a little context, DTV stands for Digital Television and AMD was indeed in the DTV business back in the day.

AMD Magnum FPGA DTVThis shipping entry can be found on Zauba.com

I wasn’t able to find anything on the “AMD Magnum” code name mentioned but the pricing suggests that this is a pretty high end product. There are a couple of explanations for this listing and I would be mentioning the most probable. It is possible that AMD is working on an Nvidia Shield equivalent device, an all in one home entertainment top box if you will, which which would explain the use of the DTV keyword as well as the pricing. The company has recently been diversifying its products quite a lot while staying within its core competency – Project Quantum is one great example of this. If Project Magnum is what it looks like it is – then this could be a new venture (or rather, a remix of an old one) to deliver AMD chips in every home.

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There is also an alternative theory – that this particular prototype board is for a console. A prototype board built for a console should theoretically qualify for the DTV marker that is present on the shipment. It will also have the HDMI ports present on the other entry regarding the same product. The new Magnum codename would suggest that this is a brand new design from AMD – something for next generation consoles? or the Wii? Since we are entering the realm of pointless speculation, I will leave it here.

As far as the FPGAs are concerned, I would like to point out that we have previously spotted patents by AMD involving FPGA integration onto APUs – Zen APUs to be specific. These include everything from a re-configurable logic fabric to HBM2. A Zen APU with an integrated FPGA design would be surprisingly versatile in the semi custom market and could have alot of applications. The presence of FPGAs on this prototype board is another reason why this is a particularly high profile project and something that will undoubtedly be very interesting when it comes out.

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