Earlier this month it was revealed that component manufacturer GIGABYTE had been the victim of a major server breach, during which documentation of future products (plus confidential partner information from the likes of Intel and AMD) was acquired by the 'hackers'. The cache of documents was put up for ransom soon after that, following an apparent failure to comply, leaked online.
Part of the leak, as analysed by Chips and Cheese, included details of the computing platform centered around AMD's upcoming Socket AM5 processors based on their Zen4 architecture. There's still quite a few gaps to be filled - as expected for a line-up still at least a few months away from release - but one of the more intriguing parts of the info. dump is the news that Zen4 CPUs will likely be manufactured with an integrated GPU as standard.
AMD's APU offerings have been somewhat patchy since the desktop range transitioned to Ryzen in 2017. Laptops and desktops with discrete GPUs were understandably given priority in their revival from ailing chipmaker, but that left budget PC builders lacking in red team options (particularly in recent years). Only this past month for instance did a consumer APU with better than Zen+ CPU cores become available (the 4000G series effectively being AWOL in consumer markets). If the leak is true then it heralds a transition to a chip strategy favoured by Intel since Sandy Bridge launched in 2011.
The leak lists three families of Socket AM5-compatible processor, each filling a particular market niche listing overt specification information for onboard GFX if not the underlying GPU architecture. They also outline probable video I/O options: one dedicated port and three usable as either USB Type-C data or video-out.
It's also stated that the integrated graphics may be selectively disabled on a per-model basis. This could be due to manufacturing defects or market positioning, and is an approximate analogue to Intel's 'F' class desktop processors.
The same documents also confirm DDR5 support - already all-but assured thanks to the change in socket to AM5 - and the debut of USB4. Indeed USB4 seems to be a core differentiating factor between the three chip families alongside the number of available PCI-Express lanes, with one featuring two and another none at all.
AMD Zen4 CPUs are expected early next year, potentially with an unveiling at CES2022. Hopefully they will also arrive with news that will please system builders on a budget.