AMD Announces Zen 4 Microarchitecture Under Development

AMD EPYC 'Rome': Zen 2 on 7nm, 64C/128T of CPU power

When it comes to floating point per socket performance, it's a huge 4x leap over the previous generation EPYC processor. It's next-generation Epyc chips combine up to eight 7nm CPU "chiplets" with a central 14nm I/O die supporting 8-channel DDR4 memory and PCIe 4.0.

AMD also talked about Zen 2 CPU core and modular design methodology with the so-called chiplet design but we will cover that one in a separate article.

Key to this better performance is AMD's choice to manufacture Rome on TSMC's 7nm process technology, which gave chip designers a larger transistor budget, while also offering increased performance and performance per watt.

AMD has offered a tantalizing preview of "Rome", the Zen 2 EPYC processor that will offer up to 64 cores and four times the floating point performance as its predecessor. What exactly gets ported over to Ryzen, however, isn't known.

Today AMD is holding its Next Horizon event, where it has revealed details of some of the upcoming parts the company will be producing for the datacenter, including the Zen 2-based Rome CPU.

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What is New with 7nm Zen Processors?

"By using the Zen 2 architecture and 7nm, on desktops", said analyst Pat Moorhead of Moor Insights. AMD claims that it has double the throughput with the same power draw, a higher number of instructions per clock, and of course, enhanced security.

"It's hard to say on notebooks right now and I need a bit more information on how AMD would implement this in mobile platforms", he said.

Zen was originally released in March 2017, with the first generation Ryzen. If the claims hold up, the second-generation processor has a shot at being the highest performing datacenter CPU in 2019. These chips are expected to be launched sometime in 2019 but an exact launch timeline has not been revealed yet. We know Lisa Su is scheduled to deliver a keynote at CES in January.

With AMD's rival Nvidia having largely cornered the high-end gaming GPU market, but with AMD promising to fight back, there were rumblings that AMD's press event late last night could bring with it the news of a new high-performance GPU - and it did, in a way: The company has announced the Radeon Instinct MI50 and MI60 accelerator boards, its first products to feature a graphics processor built on a 7nm process node, designed for accelerating machine intelligence and deep learning applications in the data centre. These ROME CPUs however have hardware mitigations for Spectre.

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