AMD Details Longterm Zen CPU Roadmap



/ 6 months ago

AMD Zen

Just about a year ago, AMD reframed the entire x86 CPU market with their new Zen processors. After years of lagging behind Intel, the company now had something that could challenge Intel’s dominance. Following up on their early success, AMD is now launching new Zen based processors as well setting the stage for the future roadmap. During their presentation, the company set out the roadmap for Zen+, Zen 2 and Zen 3 into 2020.

The first announcement is the launch of Zen+. Zen+ follows on last years Zen release with a new process node. The die shrink refresh brings the process down to 12nm from 14nm. As a result, this should allow Ryzen to boost clocks and/or improve efficiency as well as introduce minor tweaks to the design. Zen+ should be used for the new Ryzen and Threadripper 2 processors. There is no word yet on Ryzen Mobile or EPYC.

AMD Already Done With Zen 2 Design

Furthermore, AMD has set out the roadmap for the next 2 years or so. After Zen+, Zen 2 will arrive as a much bigger update. First up is an architecture update with major changes to decode width, instruction support, cache, and power. Along with Zen 2 comes a process node upgrade to 7nm. Finally,  AMD has already finalized Zen 2and it should hopefully arrive in early 2019. Unfortunately, that means no fixes for Spectre either.

After that, AMD will release Zen 3 in 2020 as a process node tweak. The update will bring in the 7nm+ process as an update. As we know, 12nm is really just 14nm+ so 7nm+ might get rebranded further along to say 5nm. With a strong roadmap out to 2020, AMD looks set to perform well into the future. The big question is what will come after Zen. As CPU design takes a lot of time, AMD is likely already working past Zen 3 so we have that to look forward to, perhaps in an announcement next year.

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