AMD has revealed details of its 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture, which represents the second and perhaps most significant step in the Zen timeline, which dates back to 2017 with the launch of its first generation Ryzen, Ryzen Threadripper and EPYC CPUs.
AMD’s Mark Papermaster spoke in detail about its new 7nm Zen 2 core and partnership with TMSC, which will be manufacturing it. From the outset, he claims a doubling of core density and halving of power consumption for the same performance, both potentially indicating that we’ll see increased core counts in future from its CPUs. He also claimed that Zen 2 will offer a 1.2x performance boost in IPC over current Zen+-based CPUs helped along by using a second generation Infinity Fabric.
Zen 3 On Track, Zen 4 In Design
The 7nm manufacturing process and indeed the Zen timeline doesn’t stop with the highly-anticipated Zen 2. The Zen 3 microarchitecture is apparently on track and Zen 4 is in its design phase.
AMD’s success with Ryzen, Threadripper and EPYC has been one of the main talking points of the computer industry for the last two years and for good reason; these process ranges have offered some stiff competition to Intel INTC –1.43%. Already a generation on from the original 14nm Zen cores introduced in 2017, moving to a 12nm manufacturing process with Zen+ this year with products such as 2nd Generation Ryzen and Threadripper, AMD is looking to take the most significant leap in the known Zen timeline – the move to a 7nm manufacturing process and the Zen 2 microarchitecture.
Intel’s long-delayed 10nm manufacturing process still has no specific launch date, with the company still using a 14nm process that’s been refined numerous times, stretching all the way back to its ‘Broadwell’ CPUs launched in 2014.
Zen 2 will be the building block of its Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper desktop CPUs as well as its EPYC server CPUs and is the most significant step in Zen’s timeline for a number of reasons. AMD needs to keep driving performance upwards to stay competitive and already made significant gains with Zen+, offering higher frequencies and improved boosting algorithms that offered tangible benefits, especially in lightly-threaded workloads. The move to 7nm should allow for higher frequencies as well as increased yields and this will impact all three tiers of its current processor line-up.
Intel’s recent 9th generation CPU launch offered higher frequencies and increased core counts, albeit for significantly higher costs, so Zen 2 represents a vital move for AMD to keep up the pressure, increasing lightly-threaded and multi-threaded performance while offering the same great value that has usually translated from its desktop CPUs compared to Intel’s equivalents.
I’ll be covering more details from the launch as well as discussing the impact AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture will have on its product line-up and competition with Intel so make sure to follow me here on Forbes or on social media using the links below.