Launched earlier this year, AMD’s Ryzen 4000 “Renoir” APUs brought several new features and technologies to the table for AMD. Along with numerous changes to improve the APU’s power efficiency and reduce overall idle power usage, AMD also added an interesting TDP management feature that they call SmartShift. Designed for use in systems containing both an AMD APU and an AMD discrete GPU, SmartShift allows for the TDP budgets of the two processors to be shared and dynamically reallocated, depending on the needs of the workload.

As SmartShift is a platform-level feature that relies upon several aspects of a system, from processor choice to the layout of the cooling system, it is a feature that OEMs have to specifically plan for and build into their designs. Meaning that even if a laptop uses all AMD processors, it doesn’t guarantee that the laptop has the means to support SmartShift. As a result, only a single laptop has been released so far with SmartShift support, and that’s Dell’s G5 15 SE gaming laptop.

Now, as it turns out, Dell’s laptop will be the only laptop released this year with SmartShift support.

In a comment posted on Twitter and relating to an interview given to PCWorld’s The Full Nerd podcast, AMD’s Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions (and Dell alumni) Frank Azor has confirmed that the G5 15 SE is the only laptop set to be released this year with SmartShift support. According to the gaming frontman, the roughly year-long development cycle for laptops combined with SmartShift’s technical requirements meant that vendors needed to plan for SmartShift support early-on. And Dell, in turn, ended up being the first OEM to jump on the technology, leading to them being the first laptop vendor to release a SmartShift-enabled laptop.

Azor’s comment further goes on to confirm that AMD is working to get more SmartShift-enabled laptops on the market in 2021; there just won’t be any additional laptops this year. Which leaves us in an interesting situation where, Dell, normally one of AMD's more elusive partners, has what's essentially a de facto exclusive on the tech for 2020.

Source: Twitter

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  • Spunjji - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

    Pascal does not have better power efficiency than RDNA. RDNA's absolute efficiency is, in fact, about about the same as Turing when run at sensible clocks (see the vanilla 5700 on desktop). Turing is more efficient on an architectural level, but it's the end result (architecture + process) that matters for system design, and they're about even in that regard.

    If power efficiency were the only reason for the lack of high-end AMD GPUs, it wouldn't make sense for integrators to use the low-end AMD GPUs either - they could use an equivalent Nvidia GPU and save weight and money on cooling at a really cost-critical end of the market. That's not the case, so clearly there's a little more to it.
    Reply
  • CiccioB - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

    And actually no OEM offers laptops with AMD dGPU but for some design that is probably given by AMD themselves and for very cheap devices.
    And that's why none is going to use SmarthShift.

    And it is Pascal that is on par with RDNA even on 16nm, Turing efficiency is way better. In fact , just downclock Turing as for laptop requirements and you get super power efficient dGPU that AMD can't rival in any way.
    Run RDNA at its best Frequency(V)/W spot and you just get snails. Yet, they do not eat very much, but they remain snails with respect to what Nvidia can provide at its best freq/W spot.
    Reply
  • ranran - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

    My feeling is that for AMD to really break into the laptop market, they are going to have to bite the bullet and design/implement their *own* line of laptops, much like Apple, to really start generating market penetrance.... OEM's are still too Intel-centric and if AMD just waits for OEM's to do it, they might miss out on a huge window of potential before Intel catches up and shuts them out again.... Reply
  • CiccioB - Monday, June 8, 2020 - link

    This is wrong.
    Intel is of no importance here. The problem is the dGPU offerings, and Intel is not providing them (yet).
    You can see there are many more laptops and netbooks with AMD APU inside. The problem for AMD is that ends there. They dGPU are too much behind that almost all the new designs that use AMD APUs are matched with a Nvidia GPU. Were SmartShift does not work.

    So you will see an increasing number of mobile solutions with AMD inside, but not dGPUs. Only APUs.
    Reply
  • Adam844 - Saturday, June 13, 2020 - link

    Good article <a href="https://fullformordefinition.blogspot.com/p/progra... Reply

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