AMD Expects Zen Architecture to Last 4 Years
Samuel Wan / 2 years ago
While scoring a major win is great news, successful companies are those that plan for the long run and keep on winning or at least not losing too badly. After a half decade with the less than successful Bulldozer, AMD looks to be backing a winner when it comes to their new Zen CPUs. According to AMD, the plan is for Zen to remain as the company’s CPU architecture for about 4 years.
While Intel used a tick-tock and later process-architecture-optimization strategy, AMD is planning on a tock tock tock roadmap. A 4-year cycle is actually about what AMD has usually gone with, with fundamental architectures usually lasting about 3 to 4 years. In some ways, the lack of a tick also makes sense as that part of the equation is beyond AMD’s control. Without their own fabs, they will have to rely on the like of Global Foundries and Samsung to deliver on the new process nodes.
Given the approach and the performance we are getting with Zen, te possibility of it remaining relevant for 4 years is quite possible. After all, the last 4 years haven’t seen much gains on Intel’s side. According to AMD’s own roadmaps, Zen+ is set to follow Zen around 2019. With Zen to last 4 years, this suggests that baseline Zen will last for about 2 years without an architectural refresh and Zen+ will live for 2 years after that. While Intel has reiterated on their Core series for about a decade, it will be interesting to see where AMD will end up after the end of 4 years.
A final note is that AMD is declaring the end of paper launches. With many previous launches, AMD announced products only to have market availability lag behind. With Ryzen, the plan is to have products ready for sale on that day of the launch. This does still leave the question of having enough supply to satisfy demand in the air.