June 29, 2017 // 2 p.m.
AMD has officially announced Ryzen Pro, the enterprise-targeted implementation of its Zen microarchitecture, which adds various security and reliability features to the Ryzen platform.
Designed to compete with Intel's vPro-equipped processor ranges, Ryzen Pro builds upon AMD's existing Ryzen range with a selection of features targeted at enterprise use. Chief among these is a suite of technologies dubbed AMD Secure, powered by a secondary processor core based on ARM TrustZone, which includes a built-in Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128-bit hardware-accelerated encryption/decryption engine, support for firmware-based Trusted Platform Module (fTPM) and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 features, and with what AMD claims is a 'secure production environment' in which the 'security process starts on the assembly line from the moment of production [and] test and confirms HW [hardware], firmware, BIOS, and configurations' for validity and security.
A shiny new feature of Ryzen Pro comes in the form of transparent secure memory encryption, not available on the consumer-centric Ryzen family, which AMD claims allows for the contents of memory to be encrypted on-the-fly regardless of the operating system or applications in use and without requiring software modification. Although the company has admitted there is some performance impact to enabling this feature, it states that the drop in throughput is 'low'. For those interested, AMD has published a white paper (PDF warning) with more details of these features.
AMD has also promised additional enterprise-pleasing features to the Ryzen Pro line including the promise that any given processor will be made available for a minimum of two years post-launch, will be made exclusively from wafers offering the highest yields, adherence to the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) for ease of manageability, and a 36-month warranty to system builders - three times longer than the 12-month warranty the company offers on its consumer-grade parts.
According to AMD, 'the world's largest suppliers of commercial client desktops are expected to provide Ryzen Pro-based PCs for businesses worldwide,' a far cry from the days of the company being locked out of the market by the Windows-Intel (WinTel) duopoly. Names and pricing, however, have not been disclosed, with AMD scheduled to release more information towards the end of August.
Parts confirmed for the Ryzen Pro launch are the Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X, Ryzen 7 Pro 1700, Ryzen 5 Pro 1600, Ryzen 5 Pro 1500, Ryzen 3 Pro 1300, and Ryzen 3 Pro 1200. In most cases the specifications of the Ryzen Pro models match those of their standard Ryzen equivalents, though the Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X runs at 3.7GHz boost and 3.5GHz base clocks to the Ryzen 7 1700X's 3.8GHz boost and 3.4GHz clock.