AMD ZEN Processor was showcased at an event in San Francisco, St. Regis Hotel by AMD. Dr. Lisa Su , CEO of Sunnyvale, California based AMD was quite excited about the performance of the upcoming Zen Architecture based Desktop/Laptop & server AMD processors.
AMD also gave details and previewed the performance of the new Zen Architecture based processors. They also highlighted the areas where they have worked to improve the performance Vs the last generation of AMD processors and more importantly vs Intel.
The Zen architecture based Summit Ridge processors are due next year and AMD has already started building some hype around the new products which would power Laptops, High End desktops and servers.
The biggest leap for AMD is jump from 32 Nm manufacturing process to a much refined and energy efficient 14nm manufacturing process (Global foundries is manufacturing AMD Chips). Lisa Su called the New Zen architecture a “Breakthrough Performance” something which comes in years and 100’s of AMD engineers have worked hard to make it possible.
“This is one of those once in a lifetime projects” said Lisa Su CEO AMD.
New AMD Processors – AMD would be launching the Summit Ridge Desktop Processor with 8 cores & 16 threads and Naples processor for servers with 32 Cores and 64 threads. The AMD desktop processor will be available for purchase next year in first half while the Server processor will go on sale in the second half. The laptop processors will also go on sale in second half of 2017. This also gives Intel plenty of time to improve on the current chips performance.
Current AMD Processors like the AMD FX 8370 come with special Wraith cooler for enhanced cooling (require more cooling) and are made using the older 32 NM process clocked at 4.0 GHz. The Zen Processor will have a lower TDP (thermal design power) and will not need specialized cooling solution to keep high temperatures at bay and will have ability to overclock well.
ZEN Architecture and New Features
Mark Papermaster , Chief technology officer at AMD told that the new Zen Processors have 40% improvement in Instructions per clock which is a big leap in performance made possible by clean design and clever use of secondary memory Cache. It essentially means the new AMD processor will have 140% output at the same clock speed when compared to the older gen AMD processors.
AMD also said the processors are capable of challenging the highest performing Intel 8 Core Broadwell E processor.
High Level View AMD Zen Architecture
- Two threads per core
- 8 MB shared L3 cache
- Large, unified L2 cache
- 140% performance for same clock speed
- Improved energy Efficiency
- Micro-op Cache
- Two AES units for security
- High efficiency FinFET transistors
- 14 Nm Manufacturing Process
Performance – AMD Showcased the Demo for the Summit Ridge processor (Zen) in a gaming PC running the Deus EX : Manking divided game, and the performance was great and AMD showcased that the processor can run the game in 4K resolution with R9 Fury. AMD also showcased it can best Intel chip (Broadwell-E) out there. In the below image you can see AMD ZEN has completed the benchmark ahead of Intel Processor, it was just a second faster (you can check this in the below video later).
Intel Skylake and Kabylake and CannonLake Vs AMD Zen Processors
Intel is already much ahead of AMD as far as processors are concerned and with the next generation of Kaby lake processors which will be based on 14 nm process, it will be more fine tuned in performance and efficiency Vs the current Intel Skylake 6700K. Intel is also planning for shrinking the manufacturing node further to 10 nm which will happen at the end of 2017 or early 2018 with the new Cannonlake architecture.
Considering the lead Intel has over AMD in terms of micro-architecture design of processors, it is not going to be an easy game for AMD to catch up with Intel as per analysts from Gartner research. As per my own personal experience of last 10 years this looks promising as far as AMD is concerned but will it beat Intel that will be seen next year when real world test happen.
New AM4 Socket – The Zen processors will require AM4 socket to run and new motherboards from partners will arrive as the processors gets released. They will also support the DDR4 as well as PCIE Gen 3. It will be a investment if you plan to dispose your current AMD Gaming PC and want the all new Zen processor with faster clocked DDR4 Ram.
AMD RX 480 and RX 470 success has been another big positive this year for AMD and forced Nvidia to launch the GTX 1060 earlier than expected, with the rejig of AMD management and Raja Koduri taking care of the graphics card and Virtual reality AMD is making bigger strides under the able leadership of Lisa Su. But they have a long journey to do if they wish to take on both Intel and Nvidia in the coming months.
Can AMD beat Intel in High End CPU market
This is a long shot for AMD and I would not pass on any early thoughts on this, better let the time decide and it is up to AMD guys how much can they stretch themselves to match or beat the unbeatable Intel. Though things look more positive from AMD’s perspective with both the Graphics card and processor division showing signs of revival. And personally I don’t like monopolies, they are just bad for the end consumers.
Here is a very Informative Video with a lot of Insights – AMD ZEN Processor Unveiling by Dr. Lisa Su.
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