AMD's next-generation, high-performance 'Zen' X86 core

AMD's 2015 Financial Analyst Day has offered us a glimpse into what the company has in store for us the silicon pipeline for the next few years. And one of the most anticipated arrivals is AND's next-generation, high-performance X86 core, codenamed Zen.

AMD's 2015 Financial Analyst Day has offered us a glimpse into what the company has in store for us the silicon pipeline for the next few years. And one of the most anticipated arrivals is AND's next-generation, high-performance X86 core, codenamed Zen.

While we didn't get to find out everything about Zen, we did get some of the highlights, which included the confirmation that AMD has plans to significantly boost performance. According to AMD, the new high-performance core design offers a 40 percent boost in Instruction Per Clock (IPC) throughput.

It's also important to note that Zen is a CPU and not an APU, and as such does not feature an on-board GPU.

Zen will also see AMD move away from the Clustered Multithreading (CMT) offered by the Bulldozer architecture to a new Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) design which is similar to the Hyper-Threading used by Intel for well over a decade. It has been long suggested that a shift from CMT to SMT could bring AMD chips a 10 to 15 percent performance boost.

Zen will use a new Socket, the AM4, which will also be used for AMD APUs in 2016. The chip will also support DDR4 RAM.

While AMD has confirmed that Zen will begin shipping in 2016, it has not conformed the FinFET process that will be used to build it, although it is expected to be a 14-nanometer architecture.

Also announced is a new ARM core called K12 that is aimed at high-performance servers and embedded applications, and have been designed with energy efficiency in mind. This will be available in 2017.

See also:

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All