The YouTuber High yield together with the photographer Fritzchen’s Fritz offered an in-depth look at the chip that powers Steam Deck: the AMD Van Gogh (Aerith for Valve). This is a custom APU from Valve, whose analysis showed that some parts of the processor are completely retained unused.
The solution chosen for the laptop is based on four Zen 2 cores combined with eight RDNA 2 Compute Units (CUs). which appear rather scaled down compared to those used on laptop APUs. However, it should also be noted that Van Gogh is not available as a semi-custom theme to OEMs, so its use is almost exclusively on Steam Deck.
What is interesting, however, is the composition of the chip, which measures 162 mm2. The memory bus LPDDR5 takes about that 9% the surface, the CPU cores 12%while that of the GPU11%. Aside from that, The eight graphics processing units only represent half of the GPU: The other functions and components of the video part occupy almost the same area as the eight CUs.
Together with other components, these take up around half of the chip surface. However, the other half houses the buses from PCIe, USB and that I/O controller the APU, to which there is also a component that the YouTuber was initially unable to identify: the CVPE.
According to High Yield Approximately 14% of the surface area would be dedicated to the computer vision processing engine (CVPE), a unit used in Magic jump 2. On the other hand, the APU used by the viewer has four Zen 2 cores and eight processing units for graphics based on RDNA 2, just like Van Gogh. The creator actually believes that the two APUs are actually the same solution.
To strengthen this theory, there would be the new APU from Steam Deck OLEDbased on the 6nm process of TSMC which has a higher logical transistor density than 18%, less than 20%which suggests that something has been removed with this update.
High Yield even speculates that the original Steam Deck could use CVPE, although it is unclear how and for what this could be used. Aside from that, It is very likely that AMD has made this component physically inaccessible: In fact, it is currently only used by Magic Leap 2.