AMD has been displaying off its 7mn CPU chops this week, waxing lyrical concerning the superior new Zen 2 processor architecture coming our method in 2019. It’s all very thrilling, with a ‘revolutionary chiplet design’ probably gifting AMD the efficiency crown over Intel when the subsequent technology of Zen-based CPUs land in our gaming desktops.
But there’s an opportunity the brand new processors shall be quickly changed someday in 2020 with one other new CPU structure design utilizing the superior 7nm+ lithography. Of course the first-gen Zen chips had been themselves up to date after a 12 months by the Zen+ processors, with the Ryzen 7 1800X being changed by the 2700X, for instance. In that case, nonetheless, there was no precise architectural distinction between the primary and second-gen Ryzen chips, it was merely a shift from 14nm to a nominal 12nm course of node.
AMD has although declared its processor roadmap remains to be rolling forward, and which means the Zen three CPU structure is ‘on track’ for a launch seemingly round 2020. That would have it changing Zen 2 only a 12 months after its 2019 launch.
The Next Horizon occasion launched us to AMD’s varied 7nm designs, largely specializing in the information centre and its next-gen EPYC server CPUs and the brand new Radeon Instinct Vega GPU for machine studying. But essentially the most attention-grabbing a part of the proceedings, for us players not less than, has been the additional details about the Zen 2 structure filtering right down to our desktop rigs subsequent 12 months.
It’s a singular processor design, utilizing 7nm CPU chiplets combined in with a 14nm die taking care of the I/O. That means AMD can leverage the excessive yields, and comparatively low value, of the mature 14nm node and reap the benefits of the additional effectivity and efficiency of the 7nm node. There are different recent architectural adjustments mooted too, with improved entrance finish and floating level execution, and better IPC efficiency.
This might all make AMD’s Zen 2 CPUs the go-to gaming chips of subsequent 12 months, leaving Intel’s 14nm elements a great distance behind by way of course of node, and probably body fee efficiency too. And, with the Zen 2 design permitting for double the core density of the Zen+ chips, Intel might be a great distance behind by way of core depend too.
But for all of Zen 2’s enhancements AMD remains to be suggesting its subsequent next-generation CPU structure can be on the brink of roll out, probably for 2020 if the most recent slides are any indication.
Zen three might simply be the 7nm+ tick to the genuinely new architectural tock of Zen 2; an analogous year-on-year incremental replace to the Zen > Zen+ shift of the first-to-second-gen Ryzen processors. But from a nomenclature standpoint that simply appears to be like a little bit bizarre, making Zen three look like an entire new technology, and design, of AMD CPUs somewhat than what might be a probably minor lithography replace.
These are early days, nonetheless, and roadmaps are all the time inclined to alter. AMD has kind of dedicated to yearly updates, however it wouldn’t be an enormous shock to see the Zen three structure pushed out to make room for a possible Zen 2+ in 2020.
Though that might then influence on the Zen four structure which AMD has additionally confirmed is ‘in design.’ The momentum AMD has generated over the previous few years in its CPU design and execution is unbelievable, however by committing to such a probably speedy launch cadence AMD dangers not giving its superior new designs any time to breath.
But AMD has proven that it is aware of what it’s doing, within the CPU world not less than. So I’m constructive it’s not going to danger its processors competing with themselves… nonetheless a lot it desires to maintain sticking it to Intel.