Despite the semiconductor shortage, AMD is now well into the development of its next generation of processors. AMD Zen 4 promises improved performance over the Zen 3 chips and Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake and Raptor Lake processors. What to expect with Zen 4, AMD’s next microarchitecture?
If they are more expensive than the Zen 2 processors and if they require a motherboard with a 500 series chipset for the moment, the Zen 3 processors, released last November, are a real success for AMD. Despite the shortage, the success of processors like the Ryzen 9 5900X is well established, and the red team does not intend to stop there.
While Intel processors still benefit from a 10nm engraving process, Zen 4 processors will have a huge head start thanks, in part, to a 5nm design. The goal for AMD being to improve the instructions per cycle and possibly to increase the number of cores of their flagship processors beyond the 16 generally observed on high-end consumer chips.
So when can we expect Zen 4? How many cores will the flagship Ryzen 6000 series processor have? What kinds of performance gains can we expect from AMD from 5nm engraving as the market seems to be moving towards the big.LITTLE design for laptops and desktops? ? We tell you everything we know about Zen 4.
AMD Zen 4: when to release?
Many pitfalls can arise in the design and development of a new microarchitecture. A pandemic, on the off chance, is one example. Like the entire tech industry, AMD’s plans for Zen 4 have been largely delayed due to COVID-19.
At the end of July 2021, Lisa Su, the current CEO of AMD, claimed that the delay was linked to supply constraints, which will continue into 2021. If it was reasonable to think that Zen 4 could be available in 2022, the group director came to confirm this rumor and reassure her shareholders by indicating that her company was on track to present its new Zen 4 and RDNA 3 architectures during the year 2022.
Take out your notebooks: if this is confirmed, the release of Zen 4 would follow AMD’s usual update cycle for its CPU architecture:
- Zen and March 2017 ;
- Zen 2 and August 2019;
- Zen 3 in November 2020.
Thus, if AMD does not decide to change its habits, Zen 4 would arrive between February and April 2022. Some also evoke the release of a “Zen 3+” microarchitecture, a kind of refresh dedicated to compete with Alder Lake-S processors. Others anticipate a release of Zen 4 alongside new RDNA 3 graphics cards. An unusual and risky bet for AMD, as it would almost certainly dilute the two announcements, each of which deserves attention.
But then, how will AMD be able to last so long without releasing new processors? AMD has reached relative parity in market share with Intel for the very first time in 15 years. Leaving the field for so long could be the opening Intel needs to get back on its feet after a few difficult years.
Also, unlike Alder Lake, AMD Zen 3 chips do not offer DDR5 or PCIe 5.0 support. Except that during this time, the competition is advancing, with Intel already looking for new manufacturers to take advantage of these new technologies. Let’s hope for AMD that it doesn’t take too long to react.
AMD Zen 4: what technical characteristics to expect?
To date, other than the fact that it will take advantage of TSMC’s 5nm etching process, we don’t know much about the Zen 4 microarchitecture. We expect AMD to expect. a higher number of cores, probably going up to 24 cores for its consumer processors. Rumors of a 128-core, 256-thread monster for an EPYC server processor have also surfaced online.
According to Wccftech, AMD’s new socket AM5 will debut on Zen 4. The platform will require a new architecture, which seems logical. DDR5 RAM would also be supported.
See also: Steam: over a quarter of users own AMD processors
AMD has clarified that it will start production of chips with a 3D vertical cover by the end of the year. A novelty already seen in a Ryzen 5950X which, on its own, provided the kind of performance gains that one would normally see between two generations of processors. Concretely, there is no doubt that this kind of innovation will be introduced in Zen 4. For the rest, it is still too early to announce.
AMD Zen 4: what to give performances?
With its Zen 2 processors, AMD pulverized Intel by switching to the 7nm burn process. In 2020, the rival company even admitted that it would not be able to catch up with AMD and its burning process before the year 2021. With Zen 3 and soon Zen 4, which should as a reminder benefit from an engraving in 5 nm, AMD may well leave Intel’s processors with their heads in the sand once and for all …
According to the latest rumors, the Zen 4 chips would bring 40% performance gain compared to existing Zen 3 processors. How? ‘Or’ What ? Thanks to this TSMC 5nm etching process. Basically, the smaller the transistors, the more transistors can be installed on a chip – and therefore, the more powerful the processor.
A 5 nm engraving could technically bring up to 1.87x more transistors compared to the TSMC process in 7 nm, the one used within AMD Zen 3. This is almost double the density compared to Zen 3, which would imply serious performance gains thanks to this improvement alone .
A benchmark reported by the blog Chips and Cheese suggests that Zen 4 processors will offer a jump in the CPI of around 25%, while confirming the gain of 40% compared to existing Zen 3 processors. It is also question 5.0 GHz base frequency for all cores, regardless of how many AMD will use in its next-gen processors.
The report also suggests that technical samples from EPYC “Genoa”, AMD’s next-generation server family, are up to 29% faster than current EPYC “Milan” processors, despite using the same number. of hearts and clocks.
If we still know little about Zen 4, we will update this file with each new information.